Health Utility Grid and Global SDGs Panel

The United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are critical guides for any efforts focused on digital cooperation and independence. The health utility grid (HUG) is focused on these SDGs, while also looking to bring transformational change to health and wellness across the globe. Building off the previous talk on the foundations and ramifications of HUG, this panel will explore:

  • What key issues in global health can digitization and emerging technology improve upon the status quo?
  • What are the main obstacles to implementation and progress for new solutions?
  • What advantages exist in the Global South for more rapid implementation of HUG and other types of emerging technology?

Where can HUG most immediately contribute to the SDGs?

Health Utility Grid and Global SDGs Panel

The event is finished.


Sep 25 2020


5:45 PM - 6:45 PM


  • Alex Cahana
    Alex Cahana
    BTBlock Health Group, UN/CEFACT Healthcare and Blockchain

    Dr. Alex Cahana is the Chief Medical Officer and EMEA Market Lead for ConsenSys Health, Web 3.0 (Healthcare) Expert for UN/CEFACT, and advisor for the Internet Foundation.

    Alex is an oracle, healthcare ecosystem designer, and Web 3.0 champion. His areas of expertise are WellBeing, Social Determinants of Health, Systems Engineering, and Phenomenology. He specializes in offering big-picture, cross-disciplinary advice, strategically assessing early-stage ventures, and designing disruptive solutions in healthcare. His solutions embrace the “holocratizing” of healthcare with Universal Health Income (UHI) with the goal of transforming people from passive health service consumers into active, self-sovereign health and wealth producers.

  • Gabriela Pelin
    Gabriela Pelin
    Founder Avant Advisory, Health Blockchain Business Leader at IBM (former)

    For over 20 years, Gabi has created multiple business entities, obtained funding for organizations at various stages of maturity, delivered business strategy and restructuring advisory services, and negotiated alliances and partnerships. A creative strategic leader who excels in unstructured and difficult environments, Gabi works with her clients to define their mission, values and strategy to build new businesses, companies, and large market organizations from the ground up. Gabi has extensive experience in strategic consulting, investment banking, cross-border transactions, corporate finance and business development in the US, Canada and Eastern Europe.

  • Heather Flannery
    Heather Flannery
    Founder and Chief Executive Officer, ConsenSys Health

    Heather Leigh Flannery is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of ConsenSys Health, a spin-off from ConsenSys AG effective March 2nd, 2020. She is also Co-Founder and Board Chair of Blockchain in Healthcare Global (“BiHG”), a new 501(c)6 trade association organized under the IEEE ISTO. She chairs the IEEE SA P2418.6 Standards Development Working Group (blockchain in healthcare and life sciences), serves as the FY19 Co-Chair of the global HIMSS Blockchain in Healthcare Task Force, Chairs the Healthcare Special Interest Group at the Enterprise Ethereum Alliance (EEA), and is an Associate Editor of the peer-reviewed journal, Frontiers Blockchain for Science. Ms. Flannery is also an Innovation Fellow at EP3 Foundation, has served as Industry Faculty for the United States Department of Health and Human Services Office of the National Coordinator for Health IT (US HHS ONC) and is an active consultant, advisor, and keynote speaker.

  • Michael Akinyele
    Michael Akinyele
    Chief Innovation Officer (former), U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs

    Mr. Michael Akinyel is the Founder and Managing Principal of The Maximizer Group, an independent advisory firm primarily advising corporations, investors and startup companies. He is a healthcare futurist, collaborative leader, product and growth expert focused on inventing the future of healthcare delivery and payments.

    Mr. Akinyele is the former, founding Chief Innovation Officer of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the largest federal civilian agency with a ~$250B budget and ~400K employees. He was appointed to the Senior Executive Service (SES) in 2019 and was responsible for leading, transforming and scaling enterprise innovation at the VA. His efforts were primarily focused on implementing Section 152 of the MISSION Act of 2018 which authorized the creation of a Center for Innovation for Care and Payment at the VA. He was the Principal Lead of the VA Innovation Center (VIC).

  • Pierre Vigilance,
    Pierre Vigilance,
    Founding Principal, HealthUp

    Founding Principal of the strategic advisory firm HealthUp, Dr. Vigilance is a systems-thinker with extensive experience in operations management, policy, executive education, and strategic partnership establishments that are designed to improve population health outcomes.

    He is a public health practitioner whose career has been dedicated to improving the health of vulnerable populations through non-profit, government, academic, and consulting roles. In addition to his advisory work, Dr. Vigilance is an adjunct professor of Health Policy & Management at the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University (GWSPH). Pierre served as Associate Dean for Practice at GWSPH,and has served in the capacities of Health Commissioner for Washington, D.C. and Baltimore County.