Published: 06 October 2021

Professor Yu Xiong disrupts inequality with United Nations Population Fund

The University of Surrey’s Professor Yu Xiong delivered a keynote speech at the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Innovation Roundtable about disrupting inequality and accelerating progress for girls and women. 

UNFPA’s Strategic Plan until 2025 identifies innovation as a key accelerator to meet current challenges and sees it as an essential way to boost the organisation’s impact, especially in addressing the populations lagging furthest behind in terms of equality, improving the impact and effectiveness of programmes, and leveraging opportunities, social capital, funding and technology. It plans to: 

  • Strengthen the corporate innovation architecture, culture, communities and capabilities; 

  • Scale-up proven and impactful innovations; 

  • Form new partnerships and connect with relevant innovation ecosystems; and 

  • Leverage more financing for innovation. 

Professor Yu Xiong was one of the three keynote speakers at the roundtable, which took place on 1 October. The others were Dr Ingrid Briggiler, MD, Founder and the President of the Llamando and Nuevo Método, and Christian Ruehmer, Chief Investment Officer for Bamboo Capital Partners. The event was opened by Diene Keita, the Assistant Secretary-General of the United Nations and Deputy Executive Director for the UNFPA.  

Professor Yu Xiong, Associate Dean International at the University of Surrey and Director of the University’s new Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation, said: 

“Current events around the world sadly show the scale of the challenge still facing women, from the volatile, threatening situation in Afghanistan to the reminders of violence against women here in the UK. It’s vital that people come together, like we are at this roundtable, to address how to disrupt the ongoing inequality which blights lives. 

“Innovation is a vital route towards creating change and moving towards a more equal world. I’m keen to help enable people to realise their ideas for improving access to family planning, tackling preventable maternal deaths and ending gender-based violence and harm. Building connections and identifying investment sources are important parts of the solution.” 

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