IGNITE Conference, presented by SPARK, explores how to reimagine jobs

IGNITE Conference, presented by SPARK, explores how to reimagine jobs


The international non-governmental organisation SPARK presents the ninth edition of its annual IGNITE Conference on Tuesday, September 13.

Taking place in Amsterdam, the conference attracts entrepreneurs, NGOs, governments, policy-makers, incubators, philanthropists and over 40 organisations from across fragile and conflict-affected regions of the Middle East and Africa. 

Reimagine Jobs at IGNITE

The annual conference is the only event worldwide that focuses on job creation for youths, women and refugees living in emerging economies. The organisers from the Dutch international development NGO, SPARK, chose this year’s theme, "Reimagine Jobs," because of what they call the multiple, intersectional problems facing youth today. 

“The climate crisis, COVID-19 and the digital revolution are dramatically changing the jobs we have and the way we work. The IGNITE Conference brings together stakeholders from across the world’s most fragile regions to discuss how the most vulnerable people - youth, refugees, women - can stay included in the global economy,” said Simon van Melick, Programme Manager at SPARK and founder of the IGNITE Conference.

"The IGNITE Conference brings together stakeholders from across the world’s most fragile regions to discuss how the most vulnerable people... can stay included in the global economy"

Gain valuable insights from keynote speakers at IGNITE

The event’s spectacular venue, the Muziekgebouw aan t 'IJ, which overlooks Amsterdam’s IJ river, will feature over 400 experts and stakeholders involved in youth employment, entrepreneurship and higher education.

Main stage panellists and keynote speakers at IGNITE Conference 2022 include:

  • Birgitta Tazelaar, Deputy Director-General International Cooperation at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs
  • Raouf Mazou, UNHCR's Assistant High Commissioner for Operations
  • Alessandro Villa, Deputy Head of Unit at the Directorate-General for International Partnerships for Central Asia and Middle East, European Commission
  • Rowan Barnett, Head of Europe, Middle East and Africa
  • Sonia Ben Jafaar, CEO of Abdulla Al Ghurair Foundation for Education
  • Alexander Betts, Professor of Forced Migration and International Affairs, and Senior Fellow in Politics at Brasenose College at the University of Oxford
  • Raed Al Saleh, General Manager of the White Helmets, Syria
  • Irvine Floreal Muramea, Founder and Managing Director of INFINITY Group, Burundi

International organisations and event partners lend their support

Over 20 global funders and philanthropists are expected to attend the event, including the European Union, ENABLE (the Belgian Development Agency) and The IGNITE Conference promises to bring together stakeholders from the public and private sector, Europe and the Gulf, and bridge political divides in order to discuss the important issue of jobs for youth. 

Partners attending the event include the IKEA Foundation, Islamic Development Bank, Qatar Fund for Development, Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Finance Corporation and the DIHAD Humanitarian Foundation.

Workshops, a startup competition and networking at IGNITE

The one-day conference offers over a dozen workshops on a range of subjects, including:

  • Green entrepreneurship
  • Digital skills for refugees
  • Fintech for financial inclusion
  • Digitalisation for SMEs
  • Remote work
  • Gender-inclusive entrepreneurship
  • Localisation

A live startup competition will see 10 entrepreneurs from Palestine, Iraq and Lebanon pitch on stage for the chance to win up to 10.000 euros to start their businesses. This conference is open to people from all walks of life and attendees will have plenty of opportunities to network with other guests coming from at least 25 different countries. 

Fostering sustainable economic development for young people

In order to advocate for more inclusive and sustainable economic development for the future, the IGNITE conference makes a strong effort to provide youth and local organisations with a platform to share their opinions and experiences directly with key policy-makers, NGOs and donors. 

Get your tickets and attend IGNITE Conference 2022

For full details about the IGNITE conference and to register for tickets, visit the IGNITE Conference website. If you can't make it to the conference, you can watch the live-streamed version on the IGNITE Conference Youtube channel.



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