Spotlight Health to Feature New Voices Fellows
Aspen New Voices Fellows pose at the Aspen Ideas Festival in 2016.
The challenges of international development can seem insurmountable. The world’s toughest problems in global health, food security, and poverty reduction defy easy solutions. The Aspen New Voices Fellowship, part of Aspen Global Health and Development, is working to address these problems. This year, the program's Fellows will lend their voices to the Aspen Ideas Festival.
Each year the Fellows bring messages of hope and perseverance to the Festival’s Spotlight Health session Undaunted. It's an evening of true stories from the frontlines of global development.
This year’s Undaunted session will be held at the Hotel Jerome on Friday, June 23. It will feature 10 storytellers, including a psychiatrist from Zimbabwe pioneering new ways to bring therapy to underserved communities, an Indian researcher looking at how to prepare for killer heatwaves, and an activist from Barbados leading the global campaign to make HIV/AIDS drugs available to the world’s poorest people.
“This year our focus is on defining moments in the Fellows’ development work—moments that stand out either as a miserable failure, a grand success, or a total surprise,” said Andrew Quinn, director of the New Voices program. “How they respond to these moments is shaping what kind of world we all live in.”
The Fellowship, now in its fifth year, is a media and communications program for development experts from Africa and other parts of the Global South. Through specialized media training and journalist mentoring, the program helps New Voices Fellows tell their stories across a variety of platforms—bringing crucial grassroots perspectives to a global development discussion too often dominated by western academics and advocates.
Since the program’s launch, New Voices Fellows have been featured more than 2,500 times in worldwide media outlets. They have contributed op-eds to The New York Times, interviewed with journalists at NPR and the BBC, presented TED and TEDx talks, and delivered story slams for The Moth podcast. Fellows are also featured on panels at Spotlight Health, an experience many have called a highlight of their Fellowship year.
“This is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, and you have to let yourself go to enjoy it,” said 2013 New Voices Fellow Adebisi Alimi. “Prepare to shine and come out of your shell. Network, find opportunities, learn, hike, or rest. You may never have this kind of opportunity again.”
The 2017 New Voices Fellows are:
Food Security Specialist
Gulrez Shah Azhar
Health Policy Expert
Food Policy Specialist
Scientist + Entrepreneur
Global Health Expert