Communicating in Times of Conflict and Crisis: How to Be Seen and Heard

Organized in collaboration with the Global NGO Executive Committee (GNEC)

30 June 2022

10 am - 12 pm EDT


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This year's workshop examines and provides tools to help NGOs communicate accurate and reliable information, especially in times of crisis and conflict.




Connie Sobon Sensor
PhD, RN, CTN-A, Director Global NGO Executive Committee; Assistant Professor, Rutgers University School of Nursing; President of the Northeast Chapter of Transcultural Nursing Society

Welcome Remarks

Hawa DIallo
Chief, Civil Society Unit, Department of Global Communications, United Nations

Setting the Stage

Patrick Sciarratta
President, Global NGO Executive Committee, Senior Fellow, World Development Foundation


Guy Berger
Director for Strategies and Policies, Communications and Information, UNESCO

Lance Gould
CEO, Brooklyn Story Lab

Ratomir Petrovic
Chief of Radio, UN Mission in South Sudan

Julia Hagl
Manager, Outreach Programme on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda, Strategic Communications Division, Development and Human Rights Section, Department of Global Communications, United Nations

Olasubomi Iginla Aina
Executive Director, The Lightup Foundation, Director, Global NGO Executive Committee



Connie Sensor

Dr. Connie Sobon Sensor is a professor at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey, USA. She currently represents the League of Women Voters of the United States as a UN Observer. Dr. Sensor earned a PhD from Seton Hall University, a Masters in Nursing Management from Kean University, and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from New Jersey City University. She has presented locally, nationally and internationally about the UN Sustainable Development Goals, Leadership in Global Health, and her research about health-related beliefs, practices and experiences of migrant populations.



Hawa Diallo

Hawa Diallo, Chief of the Civil Society Unit at the Civil Society and Advocacy Section, UN Department of Global Communications has extensive United Nations experience in public information outreach and fostering civil society partnerships, with a particular emphasis on youth and women’s organizations. Ms. Diallo began her United Nations career in 1987 in the Department of Public Information and has served in two United Nations Peacekeeping Operations in Cambodia and Somalia, respectively. She has also worked for the United Nations Human Settlements Programme (UN Habitat) in Nairobi, as an Associate Human Settlements Officer and as a Partners and Youth Officer.



Patrick Sciarratta

Patrick Sciarratta is the President of the Global NGO Executive Committee and a Senior Fellow at the World Development Foundation.  Mr. Sciarratta was the founder and director of the Youth Assembly at the United Nations (2002-2015), during which he introduced former UN Youth Envoy Ahmad Alhendawi, one of its early participants, to the United Nations. Patrick also produced the Ambassadors Sing For Peace CD, featuring 5 sitting UN Ambassadors. For over two decades, he has acted as Editor of the NGO Reporter, a quarterly disseminated by the GNEC to thousands of UNDGC affiliates worldwide.  Mr. Sciarratta was named by UNDGC as Co-Chair of the Media Committee for the very successful UN 68th Annual Civil Society Conference in August 2019 “Building Inclusive and Sustainable Communities.”  Patrick founded the Vinculum Foundation and the Bond Street Theatre Coalition, both residing in New York. Mr. Sciarratta is a MacArthur awardee for his work to recreate the home of America’s first arts community, near Woodstock, NY, in 1989.  Patrick was a Presidential Representative to President Clinton and received the NYS Governor’s Achievement award as well as a lifetime Achievement award from NYU Gallatin Division, where he obtained his interdisciplinary masters degree in 1980. 


Guy Berger

Since 2011, Guy Berger has overseen work in Freedom of Expression and Media Development at UNESCO. Before that, he headed the School of Journalism and Media Studies, at Rhodes University, South Africa. He has published more than 50 books and chapters in books, mostly dealing with press freedom and media development issues. His expertise includes media and internet policy issues. 





Lance Gould

Lance Gould is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Brooklyn Story Lab (BSL), a media-strategy firm that teaches purpose-driven organizations how to be more effective storytellers, particularly around their SDG-related work.

He was previously a journalist who held newsroom-leadership positions at The Huffington Post (Executive Editor), The Boston Phoenix (Editor in Chief), The New York Daily News (Deputy Managing Editor), and Spy Magazine (Editor).

In 2016, Lance received a Tribeca Disruptive Innovation Award for his editorial work related to the SDGs. In 2017, Lance was named to the Leadership Council for the UN's Media for Social Impact Summit. He is on the Board of World Elephant Day and for four years has been a volunteer commissioner for the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN)'s Commission on Education and Communications.



Julia Hagl

Julia Hagl heads the Human Rights portfolio in the United Nations Department for Global Communications. This includes the United Nations Outreach Programme on the 1994 Genocide Against the Tutsi in Rwanda. She is the Department’s focal point for the implementation of the United Nations Strategy and Plan of Action on Hate Speech and leads the #NoToHate global communications campaign. Prior to her current appointment, Ms. Hagl oversaw UN Exhibits and served as Special Assistant to the Director of the Outreach Division in the Department for Global Communications. Ms. Hagl held communications and administrative roles in UNEP and UNESCO in Paris and Nairobi and worked in the private sector for IBM and Korn/Ferry International before joining the UN Secretariat in New York.

A native of Austria, she holds a M.A. in in International Relations and B.A.s in International Relations and Business Administration.





Olasubomi Iginla Aina

Olasubomi Iginla Aina is the Executive Director of the Lightup Foundation, a non-governmental organization working with young people and the disadvantaged people. The Lightup Foundation has a Special consultative status with the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) and is associated with the United Nations Department of Global Communications, which Olasubomi has led effectively and remarkably for the past 21 years. Within this period, the organization has executed hundreds of projects that have benefited tens of thousands and have broken a world record which is currently been used to project the rights of the child i.e. UNCRC in selected countries (targeting 30 countries) of the world under the project tag: “Bag Of Hope” .

Olasubomi Iginla Aina’s contributions has been recognised nationally and internationally. First, she was recently recognised by her Majesty the Queen of England with the appointment of the Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire MBE on the 26th of November 2019. Following that she was appointed by the Nigerian government as the Diaspora Ambassador to Nigeria as well as the National Assembly Ambassador to the UK.  She was recognised by the US government due to her impact on women and young people in Nigeria, hence she was invited to represent Nigeria at a high-profile Leadership programme organised by the US government. Additionally, Ms. Olasubomi Iginla Aina was recently elected as a Global NGO Executive Committee Director (GNEC). 

Her humanitarian work has become well known and featured internationally across various media outlets including the Washington Post, Punch, the Sun newspaper, London Gazette, Croydon Advertiser, Surrey Mirror, television stations such as Canada TV, Ben TV, Passion TV, TVC station, Channels News, African Independent Television (AIT) etc. In 2010, she was celebrated as a GOOD SAMARITAN on the BBC One Show. Ms. Olasubomi is currently a doctoral student at the University of Brighton. PhD Topic: “Africa moving from aid to trade - Nigeria as a case study.” this explores the possible ways to achieve the UN SDGs 8 and 9.