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Dean Karlan

Professor of Economics & Finance, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University

Dean Karlan is the Frederic Esser Nemmers Distinguished Professor of Economics and Finance and co-director of the Global Poverty Research Lab at Northwestern University. Since November 2022, Karlan is Chief Economist of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). His research focuses on development and behavioral economics, typically using experimental methods to examine questions about poverty and behavior modification. Previously he was a professor at Yale University and Princeton University. He is the Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action, co-founder of, co-founder of ImpactMatters, and a board member of the M.I.T. Jameel Poverty Action Lab. He co-authored four books: More Than Good Intentions, Economics, Failing in the Field, and The Goldilocks Challenge. He received a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T., an M.B.A. and an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Virginia.

Innovating for impact: Fintech and Mission-Driven Investing to Advance Financial Inclusion

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Denis Medvedev

Senior Economic Advisor, IFC

Denis is a Senior Economic Advisor in the office of the Vice President, Economics and Private Sector Development at the IFC. He was previously Director of Economic Policy Research department at the IFC and Manager of Firms, Entrepreneurship, and Innovation unit at the World Bank. In his earlier assignments at the World Bank, Denis was responsible for policy dialogue, lending, and analytical work in South Asia, Latin America & the Caribbean, and Africa, and developed forward-looking scenarios for the global economy.

Denis’ own research has recently focused on firm growth and productivity, while his earlier work explored international trade, income distribution dynamics, and the Sustainable Development Goals. He is an author of more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles, books and book chapters, and World Bank reports. He holds a Ph.D. from the American University.

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Matt Flannery

Cofounder / CEO, Branch Intl.

Matt is the founder and CEO for Branch International, a leading machine learning-powered provider of fair financial services in emerging markets. Branch is one of the most popular financial apps in Africa and recently expanded to Latin America and Asia. Prior to launching Branch, Matt founded the ground-breaking microfinance non-profit, where he served as CEO for nearly a decade. Under his leadership, operated in 80 countries and lent more than $1B to low income entrepreneurs. Matt has been honored with The Economist “No Boundaries” Innovation Award and was named one of FORTUNE magazine’s “Top 40 under 40.”

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John Onwualu

Principal, Flourish Ventures

John Onwualu is currently a Principal on the investment team at Flourish Ventures. Prior to joining Flourish, John served as a Managing Director for the U.S. International Development Finance Corporation (DFC), the U.S. government’s $60 billion development finance institution. During his tenure, John built and led the agency’s first direct equity investment group, investing in innovative companies creating impact in emerging markets around the world.

Before the DFC, John was at SoFi, a leading consumer fintech company. At SoFi, John spearheaded special projects, streamlined business operations, and worked on multiple acquisitions. John began his career at Morgan Stanley as an intern in 2010 and ultimately left as a Vice President in the firm’s investment bank, advising leveraged buyouts, mergers and acquisitions.

John is a graduate of the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he concentrated in Finance.

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Viviana Siless

CTO, Co-founder, and Professor
Quipu & Universidad Torcuato Di Tella

Viviana Siless is a full-time professor and researcher of AI at the School of Business at the University Torcuato Di Tella. She obtained her master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Buenos Aires Argentina, and her Ph.D. from the University Paris-Sud/INRIA. She spent 6 years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Martinos Center, MGH, Harvard Medical School. Her research work in computational neuroimaging focused on improving the diagnosis of neurological diseases by using MRI, development and improvement of AI algorithms for applications in computer graphics, healthcare and credit scoring. Before her PhD, she worked 4+ years as a full stack software developer. In 2018 she co-founded Quipu Bank, to improve liquidity in the informal economies of LatAm. Viviana is the CTO, and directs technical team, and leads the AI credit score research and development and the blockchain initiatives.

The Role of Digital ID as a Key Component of Expanding Financial Inclusion

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Ken Weber

VP Social Impact & Sustainability, Ripple

Ken is VP of Social Impact & Sustainability for Ripple. Ken leads Ripple’s efforts to expand financial inclusion globally. He also oversees Ripple’s $100M commitment to help modernize and scale global carbon markets.

From 2011-2016, Ken served as the founding Executive Director of the Zynga Foundation, which pioneered the use of digital games for charitable giving, education and cognitive health.

From 2006 to 2011, Ken was COO of DATA and ONE, a global grassroots campaigning and advocacy organization taking action to end extreme poverty and preventable disease, particularly in Africa.

Prior to ONE, Ken was founding president and COO of Network for Good, co-founded by AOL, Cisco and Yahoo! Since inception, NFG has processed more than $4.5B in charitable contributions for more than 400,000 nonprofits.

Ken currently serves as board chair of Centigrade, a data platform for global carbon markets. He is also a member of the Budget and Finance Committee of the Annenberg Trust.

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Matthew Davie

President, Davie Partners

Matthew Davie is the former Chief Strategy Officer at Kiva, a global non-profit focused on bringing financial inclusion to the world’s unbanked populations. He led new initiatives that brought emerging technologies to vulnerable populations around the world. Additionally, Matthew was a board member at Diem/Libra and a senior advisor at the Linux Foundation, the World Economic Forum, and ID2020. Prior to Kiva, he was an executive at multiple technology companies in the data, entertainment, and gaming sectors. Matthew earned a B.S. from the University of California at Davis and a Ph.D. from Stanford University.

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Will Le

CEO, impactMarket

Will Le is the CEO of impactMarket. Prior to joining iM, Will was one of the earliest team members of Celo, the Kenya country director of GiveDirectly (where he oversaw the launch of the largest UBI project in the world), and had stints at IDEO, Gates Foundation, and Bain Capital Credit.

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Rebecca Rouse

Digital Finance Team Lead, USAID

Rebecca Rouse is Team Lead for Digital Finance at USAID, where she leads efforts to strengthen open, inclusive, and secure digital ecosystems as part of Agency programming.  Prior to joining USAID, Rebecca spent seven years as the Director of Financial Inclusion at Innovations for Poverty Action, where she grew IPA’s portfolio of applied research on topics such as financial consumer protection, financial health, mobile money, and behavioral economics. Rebecca has a background in remittances and cross-border payments, and has served as the Coordinator of the Regional Facility on Remittances and Savings of the Inter-American Development Bank Group, a researcher with the remittances and development program of the Inter-American Dialogue, as well as time with IOM Moldova, FINCA Peru, Banco de Ahorro y Crédito Unión in the Dominican Republic, and as an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer. Rebecca holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, and a BA in political science from Bryn Mawr College.
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Schan Duff

Lead, Global Product and Partnerships Legal, Stripe

Schan leads the global product and partnerships legal teams at Stripe, supporting Stripe’s core payments, lending, SaaS, crypto, data, and hardware offerings in 46 countries. Previously, Schan was Vice President, Strategy for Kiva Protocol, a decentralized digital identity service that received the World Bank’s Mission Billion Global Prize in 2020. Earlier in his career, Schan worked with a leading international law firm in Washington, D.C.

For the past decade, Schan has actively contributed to global policy dialogues on technology and financial inclusion as a Senior Fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Research Affiliate at the Cambridge Center for Alternative Finance, and an advisor to the Consultative Group to Assist the Poor.

Schan earned a B.A. from Williams College, a J.D. from the University of Chicago Law School, and a PhD from The Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

Session: When Nontraditional Financial Actors Offer Financial Services

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Marcel Fafchamps

Senior Fellow, Stanford University

Marcel Fafchamps is the Satre Family senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and a member of the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law. Fafchamps is a professor (by courtesy) for the Department of Economics at Stanford University. His research interest includes economic development, market institutions, social networks, and behavioral economics — with a special focus on Africa and South Asia.

Prior to joining FSI, from 1999-2013, Fafchamps served as professor of development economics for the Department of Economics at Oxford University. He also served as deputy director and then co-director of the Center for the Study of African Economies. From 1989 to 1996 Fafchamps was an assistant professor with the Food Research Institute at Stanford University. Following the closure of the Institute, he taught for two years for the Department of Economics. For the 1998-1999 academic year, Fafchamps was on sabbatical leave at the research department of the World Bank.


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Benedict Guttman-Kenney

University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Benedict Guttman-Kenney is an Economics PhD Candidate and MBA at The University of Chicago Booth School of Business. His research focuses on household finance topics that are both academically interesting and relevant to inform public policymaking on the topic of consumer financial protection regulation. Before moving to Chicago, he spent six years conducting consumer finance research in the Behavioral Economics and Data Science Unit of the UK financial regulator: the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) and was seconded to the Federal Reserve Bank of New York for six months. His research at the FCA included informing the setting of a price cap on the payday lending market and leading a series of experiments – partnering with lenders – to test ways to reduce credit card debt. Graduate of the University of Warwick and University College London.

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Paolina Medina

Assistant Professor of Finance, University of Houston

Paolina C. Medina is an Assistant Professor of Finance at the Bauer College of Business of the University of Houston. Professor Medina conducts research on Household Finance using field experiments and observational data, with a focus on understanding how psychological biases in consumer behavior affect outcomes in financial markets.

She received her PhD in Managerial Economics from Northwestern University in June 2017, and her BA in Economics from ITAM in 2009. In between, Professor Medina worked at the Central Bank of Mexico with the group in charge of regulation of retail financial services.

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Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara

Assistant Professor of Finance, Louisiana State University

Dimuthu Ratnadiwakara is an Assistant Professor of Finance at Louisiana State University. His current research focuses on how new technologies have enabled the expansion of credit access to traditionally underserved populations and the impact of the growth of fintech lenders on incumbent banks. He received his Ph.D. in finance from the University of Houston.

Session: Privacy and Fairness in Machine-assisted Decisions

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Sonia Katyal

Associate Dean, Faculty Development and Research,
Co-Director, Berkeley Center for Law & Technology,
Roger J. Traynor Distinguished Professor of Law

Professor Sonia Katyal’s work focuses on the intersection of technology, intellectual property, and civil rights (including antidiscrimination, privacy, and freedom of speech).

Professor Katyal’s current projects focus on artificial intelligence and intellectual property; trademark law, branding and advertising; the intersection between the right to information and human rights; and a variety of projects on the intersection between art law, cultural heritage and new media.  As a member of the university-wide Haas LGBTQ Citizenship Cluster, Professor Katyal also works on matters regarding law, gender and sexuality.

Professor Katyal’s recent publications include Technoheritage, in the California Law Review; Rethinking Private Accountability in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, in the UCLA Law Review; The Paradox of Source Code Secrecy, in the Cornell Law Review; Transparenthood in the Michigan Law Review (with Ilona Turner); Trademarks, Artificial Intelligence, and the Role of the Private Sector, also in the Berkeley Technology Law Journal (with Aniket Kesari); The Gender Panopticon in the UCLA Law Review (with Jessica Jung); and From Trade Secrecy to Seclusion in Georgetown Law Journal (with Charles Tait Graves).   She has also previously published shorter pieces with the New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Boston Globe’s Ideas section, Hyperallergic, Los Angeles Times, Slate, and the National Law Journal, and has also been cited by the Supreme Court.

Professor Katyal has won several awards for her work, including an honorable mention in the American Association of Law Schools Scholarly Papers Competition, a Yale Cybercrime Award, and is a three-time winner of a Dukeminier Award from the Williams Project at UCLA for her writing on gender and sexuality. Her recent articles, The Paradox of Source Code Secrecy, was selected for inclusion in the Best Intellectual Property articles of 2019; and From Trade Secrecy to Seclusion (with Tait Graves) won the Law, Science and Innovation/Intellectual Property Prize from the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law in 2022.

During the Obama administration, Katyal was selected by U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker to be part of the inaugural U.S. Commerce Department’s Digital Economy Board of Advisors.

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Catherine Tucker

Professor, MIT

Catherine Tucker is the Sloan Distinguished Professor of Management and a Professor of Marketing at MIT Sloan. She is the faculty director of the EMBA program. She has also been the Chair of the MIT Sloan PhD Program.

Her research interests lie in how technology allows firms to use digital data and machine learning to improve performance, and in the challenges this poses for regulation. Tucker has particular expertise in online advertising, digital health, social media, and electronic privacy. Her research studies the interface between marketing, the economics of technology, and law.

She has received an NSF CAREER Award for her work on digital privacy, the Erin Anderson Award for an Emerging Female Marketing Scholar and Mentor, the Garfield Economic Impact Award for her work on electronic medical records, the Paul E. Green Award for contributions to the practice of Marketing Research, the William F. O’Dell Award for most significant, long-term contribution to Marketing.

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Jann Spiess

Assistant Professor of Operations, Information & Technology, Stanford GSB

I am an econometrician in the OIT group at Stanford GSB. My current research focusses broadly on two related themes: First, I work on integrating machine learning into the econometric toolbox. Second, I study data-driven decision-making with misaligned objectives, including algorithmic fairness, human–AI interaction, and the regulation of algorithms.

I hold a PhD in economics from Harvard University. Previously, I obtained a master’s degree in public policy from the Harvard Kennedy School. My background is in mathematics with a focus on probability theory and combinatorics, which I studied at the University of Cambridge (Part III of the Mathematical Tripos) and the Technical University of Munich.

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Joshua Blumenstock

Chancellor’s Associate Professor, UC Berkeley

Joshua Blumenstock is a Chancellor’s Associate Professor at the U.C. Berkeley School of Information and the Goldman School of Public Policy. He is the Co-director of the Global Policy Lab and the Center for Effective Global Action. Blumenstock does research at the intersection of machine learning and empirical economics, with a focus on how novel data and technology can better address the needs of poor and vulnerable people around the world. He has a Ph.D. in Information Science and a M.A. in Economics from U.C. Berkeley, and Bachelor’s degrees in Computer Science and Physics from Wesleyan University. He is a recipient of awards including the NSF CAREER award, the Intel Faculty Early Career Honor, and the U.C. Berkeley Chancellor’s Award for Public Service. His work has appeared in general interest journals including Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, as well as economics journals and computer science conferences.

Session: P2P transfers, Tech Adoption, and Mobile Money

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Jill Grennan

Associate Adjunct Professor, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley

Jillian Grennan is an associate adjunct professor of finance and sustainability at the Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley. Grennan is an accomplished researcher and expert in finance. Her research provides valuable insights for practitioners seeking to navigate the complex landscape of corporate value creation and emerging technologies. Grennan’s primary research focuses on how corporations create value, especially intangible value (e.g., intellectual property). In her research, Grennan employs innovative computational techniques to quantify corporate culture, sustainability, and diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) objectives. She utilizes machine learning (ML) and natural language processing (NLP) techniques to measure these often difficult-to-measure factors and empirically examines their impact on financial value creation and destruction.

Additionally, Grennan’s expertise extends to the realm of emerging financial technologies (FinTechs), which have been catalyzed by advancements in artificial intelligence (AI) and blockchain. Her research in this domain investigates the effects of AI on high-skilled work, the relationship between market efficiency and AI signals, the dynamics of competition between incumbent corporations and FinTechs, and the evolving governance, tax, and regulatory needs of FinTech organizations.

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Emily Williams

Assistant Professor, Harvard University

My research is focused in consumer and household decisions, with a special focus on economically vulnerable groups. My research studies the influence of innovations in financial services on the financial choices and behaviors of these households, as well as major macroeconomic themes that affect financially fragile households in the United States, such as the rising cost of housing and climate-related issues. Another key area of my work is in informal social insurance facilitated through social networks. This research is supported by using massive data on household income and expenditures for millions of people across the U.S.

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Nicola Limodio

Assistant Professor, Bocconi University

Nicola Limodio is an Assistant Professor of Finance in the Department of Finance at Bocconi University and a CEPR Research Affiliate. His research focuses on the study of financial institutions in emerging markets, especially the intersection between finance, the political economy, and development. Nicola received his PhD in Economics from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

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David Argente

Assistant Professor, Yale University

David Argente is an Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale University’s School of Management, with a secondary appointment at the Yale Department of Economics. He is also a Faculty Research Fellow at the NBER, a Faculty Member of the Economic Growth Center, and a Research Affiliate of the Cowles Foundation. His research interests include applied macroeconomics, macro development, innovation, and monetary economics and his recent works center around the use of payment methods in developing countries.

Prior to joining Yale School of Management, David was a Visiting Scholar at the Minneapolis Fed, an Assistant Professor at Penn State University, and a Kenen Fellow at the International Economics Section of Princeton University’s Economics Department. Professor Argente has also worked in the Latin America Region of the World Bank and the Bank of Mexico.

He received his PhD in Economics from the University of Chicago in 2018.

Session: Digital Businesses, and SMEs Performance in Developing Countries

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David Sraer

Associate Professor, UC Berkeley

David Sraer is an associate professor at UC Berkeley, in the department of economics and the Haas school of business, where he currently serves as the chair of the finance unit. He holds the James J. and Marianne B. Lowrey Chair in Business. David is an associate editor for the Journal of Finance. He is also a member of the Economic Council of the French Prime Minister (CAE), a research associate at the NBER and a research affiliate at the CEPR.

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Layane Alhorr

PhD Candidate, Harvard University

Layane is a PhD candidate at the Harvard Kennedy School specializing in Development and Labor Economics. She studies ways to promote inclusive growth for marginalized communities, with a focus on the role that entrepreneurship and digital technologies play across cultures. During her PhD, Layane’s work has focused on the promise of social media in providing online market access to female entrepreneurs living in conservative communities.

Before her PhD, Layane was a researcher at JPAL MIT and spent time in Kenya working on digital financial inclusion projects. As a Fulbright scholar, she pursued a Masters’ degree in International and Development Economics at Yale University.

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Benjamin Faber

Associate Professor, UC Berkeley

Ben Faber has been teaching at Berkeley since 2013.

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Emil Palikot

Stanford GSB

Emil Palikot is a postdoctoral researcher at Stanford Graduate School of Business. He has a PhD in Economics from Toulouse School of Economics. He specializes in Digitization Economics, AI and Decision Making, and Industrial Organization.