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In October 2017, GSDI hosted a 3-day launch and symposium, which gathered researchers from across the globe to discuss the next frontier of impactful research and innovations from the field perspective.
Explore the presentation archives page for presentation slides and selected footage of keynote and plenary speeches.

Global Social Development Innovations Launch and Symposia
Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA
October 11-13, 2017

Keynote Speakers

Dr. Michael Sherraden

Michael Sherraden
Washington University in St. Louis,
Center for Social Development

Dr. Michael Sherraden, is the George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor and founding director of the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St Louis. CSD conceives and tests social innovations. Sherraden’s research on civic service – National Service (1982) and The Moral Equivalent of War? (1990) – contributed to the creation of AmeriCorps in 1993. His research on asset building – Assets and the Poor (1991), Inclusion in the American Dream (2005), Assets and Low Income Families (2008), and Asset Building Innovations and Strategies in Asia (2014) – has informed asset building policies in the United States and many other countries.

Dr. Ashu Handa

Ashu Handa
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Dr. Sudhanshu (Ashu) Handa is an economist specializing in poverty and human capital in developing countries and is the Lawrence I. Gilbert Distinguished Professor of Public Policy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Handa is one of the Principal Investigators of a multi-country study on the impact of national cash transfer programs on households and children (, which is led by UNICEF, and he has led or been part of large-scale impact evaluations of cash transfer programs in Ghana, Malawi, Zambia, Kenya, and Zimbabwe.

Plenary Speakers

Mr. Dennis Haraszko

Dennis Haraszko

Mr. Dennis Haraszko manages the monitoring, evaluation, and research activities within the MasterCard Foundation’s rural & agricultural finance and savings portfolios.  Prior to joining the Foundation, Dennis worked at the University of Notre Dame, where he guided the Ford Family Program’s work in Kenya and Uganda, coordinating community engagement activities and research projects in health, youth entrepreneurship, and financial inclusion.

Dr. Rebecca Macy 

Rebecca Macy

Dr. Rebecca Macy is the L. Richardson Preyer Distinguished Chair for Strengthening Families at the UNC School of Social Work where she has taught courses in mental health, trauma and violence, social work practice, and statistics. She is nationally known for her work in the field of family violence, interpersonal violence, and human trafficking. She joined the UNC faculty in 2002, after receiving her doctoral degree in social welfare from the University of Washington in Seattle.

Ms. Rani Deshpande

Rani Deshpande

Ms. Rani Deshpande is Director of Financial Services and Employment at Save the Children, where she leads global work designed to provide adults and youth with the opportunities, skills, and tools they need to earn and manage a decent income. Previously at Save the Children, she led YouthSave, a $12.5M project created in partnership with The MasterCard Foundation to investigate the potential of savings accounts as a tool for youth development and financial inclusion in developing countries.

Thank You to Our Generous Sponsors


Platinum Level

Gold Level


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Bronze Level


The Office of the Chancellor

Dean Gary Bowen, PhD, MSW
Kenan Distinguished Professor

Jack Richman, PhD, MSW
Johnson – Howard – Adair Distinguished Professor

Sheryl Zimmerman, PhD, MSW
Mary Lily Kenan Flagler Bingham Distinguished Professor

Drs. Jeff and Elizabeth Stringer