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Off the Record - A Candid Conversation with Neil Townsend, Start Network

After an eight-year journey, the Start Network has achieved much, and furthering engagement in the Pacific region is currently a strategic focus. Based on his role as Innovation Manager, Neil Townsend will explore the successes and challenges to date of the Start Network, including sharing key learning, and ideas for engagement in the Pacific region

Date & Time: Thursday 8 November 2018 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm AEDT

Location: The Cluster 31 Queen Street #17 Melbourne, VIC 3000 Australia

Come along and share some Good Will Wine and snacks at The Cluster as we have a candid conversation with Neil Townsend about what the Start Network means for Australia and the Pacific region.

Established in 2010, the Start Network is made up of 42 national and international aid agencies from five continents, ranging from high-profile organisations to smaller agencies. Start’s objectives include establishing a “new humanitarian economy” – a system that reduces the power of centralised institutions and bureaucrats and gives more control to communities and individuals.

After an eight-year journey, the Start Network has achieved much, and furthering engagement in the Pacific region is currently a strategic focus. Based on his role as Innovation Manager, Neil Townsend will explore the successes and challenges to date of the Start Network, including sharing key learning, and ideas for engagement in the Pacific region.

Neil Townsend, the Programme Manager for the Disaster Preparedness Innovation Labs at the Start Network – a 2 year, 10 million GBP programme to support locally led innovation in the field of disaster and emergency preparedness in Jordan, Mozambique, Bangladesh, Philippines and Kenya. Neil has spent over 10 years working in disaster response which includes working in emergency situations in Sierra Leone, Congo, Burundi, Kosovo, Mozambique, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi as well as in other countries.

Neil also spent three years working with remote communities in British Columbia and Alaska as the CEO of a network of local and indigenous organisations engaging on sustainable land use planning, locally led business initiatives and indigenous rights. Most recently he was the CEO of a start-up supporting the development of community owned renewable energy businesses in South Africa. Neil brings this cross sectoral experience to the table in his role at the Start Network which seeks to support locally led change in the humanitarian system.

 



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