The Future of Humanitarian Action Conversation Series

For 25 years, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has honored and highlighted the work of exceptional humanitarian organizations through the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize. Historically, this recognition would culminate in an annual symposium and Prize ceremony, bringing together thought leaders from around the world to discuss the most pressing humanitarian issues of our time and share how we can work together to build a brighter and more just future. While COVID-19 has caused the cancellation of our in-person event, the Hilton Foundation is pleased to announce that we are partnering with Devex to host these conversations in a virtual setting. All content will focus on the theme, “The Future of Humanitarian Action: Writing the Next Chapter.”

Hilton Humanitarian Prize Ceremony

Friday, October 23 // 10 a.m. ET

Three smiling men stand apart from each other in front of a glass building and behind an award.
Peter Laugharn, president and CEO of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, presenting the 2020 Hilton Humanitarian Prize to Homeboy Industries Founder Father Greg Boyle, S.J., and CEO Thomas Vozzo.

This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize — the world’s largest annual humanitarian award presented to a nonprofit organization judged to have made exemplary and extraordinary contributions toward alleviating human suffering.

On the heels of a conversation series on The Future of Humanitarian Action: Writing the Next Chapter, the 2020 Hilton Humanitarian Prize Ceremony is dedicated to recognizing the work of this year’s prize recipient, Homeboy Industries. Join Homeboy Industries Founder Father Gregory Boyle, S.J., Equal Justice Initiative Founder and Executive Director Bryan Stevenson, and special guests, including The California Endowment’s President and CEO Dr. Robert Ross and Award-winning Actor and Activist (and Homeboy Industries Board Member) Jane Fonda, for this momentous event emceed by Journalist Soledad O’Brien.

Conversation #3: Breaking the Cycle: Gang Violence As A Humanitarian Issue

The number and severity of humanitarian crises are growing around the world. Last year saw the highest number of people displaced by conflict since World War II. One source causing hundreds of thousands of citizens to flee their homes, is gang violence, a major international humanitarian issue that spurs internal displacement and refugee migration, which is both fueled by and further increases poverty. Join us for a discussion on violence — especially as perpetrated by criminal gangs and the systemic issues that perpetuate their existence — in Central America and beyond. Hear from leading experts on the ground, including Roberto Lovato, journalist and author of Unforgetting: A Memoir of Family, Migration, Gangs and Revolution in the Americas, and Celina de Sola, co-founder of and vice-president of programs at Glasswing International, who share how trauma-informed localized solutions can help break the cycle of violence in these communities, and ultimately see them thrive.

Conversation #2: The Fintech Revolution Powering the Future of Humanitarian Aid

As we identify more localized solutions to some of the most pressing humanitarian challenges of our time, one global technology trend is disrupting the humanitarian aid sector: “fintech” or financial technology. Fintech in the humanitarian context is driven by the convergence of a number of major technological advancements — mobile money platforms, affordable smartphones, biometric identification, etc. — which has made it possible to design humanitarian interventions in ways that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago.

Iyinoluwa Aboyeji, general partner and co-founder of Future Africa; Allie Burns, CEO of Village Capital; Alexander Diaz, head of crisis response & humanitarian aid at; Michael Faye, president and co-founder of GiveDirectly; and Rashmi Pillai, executive director at Financial Sector Deepening Uganda, share their reflections, insights and the actionable steps we can all take to advance the fintech revolution.

Conversation #1: Decolonizing Humanitarian Aid

Watch the first of these virtual conversations, held September 17, where we explore what it takes to decolonize humanitarian aid with those who are leading the work both here in the U.S. and globally. Hear from Edgar Villanueva, author of “Decolonizing Wealth: Indigenous Wisdom to Heal Divides and Restore Balance,” Cheryl Dorsey, president of Echoing Green, Kennedy Odede, co-founder and CEO of SHOFCO (2018 Prize Laureate), and Shaheen Kassim-Lakha, Director of Strategic Partnerships as they discuss the colonialist mentality pervading humanitarian aid, and how to reform it.