GHIC 2021: Global Health & Innovation Conference
April 8-11, 2021
A Virtual Event

Present a Pitch in the Social Impact Labs

Do you have an organization, program, or idea that is less than six years old? Receive mentoring from an esteemed panel of experts, while also making connections and receiving guidance from the conference audience. GHIC 2021 includes two categories of Social Impact Labs: Early Stage (idea, program, or organization is less than 3 years old, and ideas in the brainstorming stage are also eligible) and Established Program (program or organization is 3-6 years old). A newer program (0-6 years old) that is within an established (7+ year old) organization qualifies for the Social Impact Lab category as well.

Selected participants will present their new idea, program, or organization in the format of a 5-minute social impact pitch. Following the pitch, there is a 15-minute period for discussion with two expert conference speakers, questions and answers, and feedback from the audience. This will provide participants with an opportunity to formulate and present their program, collaborate with others interested in their idea, and receive feedback, ideas, and mentoring from expert speakers and from other conference participants. Professionals and students are eligible to submit a social impact pitch.

Social Impact Pitch Categories and Eligibility

GHIC 2021 includes two categories of Social Impact Labs, and there are therefore two pitch abstract submission options:

The social impact pitch should be program-focused and can be targeted for any country or countries worldwide. The non-profit or for-profit idea, program, or organization can be related to any field within health, development, education, or entrepreneurship. Themes include, but are not limited to, public health, social innovation and entrepreneurship, development, education, energy, environment, and technology. Professionals and students are eligible to submit a social impact lab abstract and to participate in the Social Impact Labs at the Global Health & Innovation Conference.

Instructions For Submitting Social Impact Pitch Abstracts

What is a Social Impact Pitch?

The social impact pitch sessions ("Social Impact Labs") at the Global Health & Innovation Conference are a unique opportunity for the innovators and entrepreneurs to present their ideas in the format of a 5-minute pitch. Following each presenter’s 5-minute pitch, there is a 15-minute period for discussion and mentoring with two expert speakers, questions, answers, and feedback from the audience.  The goal is a dynamic session in which participants and speakers will network and collaborate about the innovative ideas, programs, and organizations.

"In pitching Clean Life Corps at the Global Health & Innovation Conference, I felt as though it was the first time I had a room full of people who were truly listening to what we have to say… and to the novice ‘phil-entrepreneur’, that support and grounded feedback mean everything."--Trevor Thunell, Engineer, Pitch Presenter

What is the difference between the Social Impact Lab and the Oral and Poster Presentation Abstract Category?

The Social Impact Lab is an opportunity to pitch a program to the audience, and to receive mentoring and feedback from experts and from the audience. As detailed in the Social Impact Lab selection criteria, applicants to the Social Impact Lab must highlight the evidence basis for the program, as well as include a specific plan to collect data and measure outcomes to prove effectiveness.

In contrast, the Oral and Poster Presentation Abstract offers an opportunity to present the results and data from a program or organization, or from research studies.

Social Impact Lab Expert Panelists:

Each Social Impact Lab session will include four social impact pitch presenters and two expert panelists. The expert panelists will offer guidance, advice, and mentoring to the pitch presenters.

Deadlines, Abstract Review, and Selection

The first submission deadline will be September 30, 2020.

Qualified submissions will be invited for video submission, and the highest quality video submitters will be selected for presentation at the conference.

Social enterprise pitches will likely continue being accepted after the second round review. Abstracts will be accepted on a rolling basis until all of the presentation slots are filled to capacity.

How to Apply

First, register for the 18th annual Global Health & Innovation Conference using the Conference Registration Page. At the time that you register to attend the conference, you will be invited to thereafter submit your abstract. You must register for the conference first in order to submit an abstract for review. If your registration and payment do not transmit properly, please review the page to be sure that you have filled in all of the required fields on the form.

Second, submit a 5-minute video: The highest quality abstracts will be invited to submit a 5-minute video of their proposed pitch. The 2021 conference's social impact pitch presenters will be selected based on the quality of the video application submissions.

Submission Topics

We welcome submissions pertaining to all fields relevant to global health, international development, and social entrepreneurship. You may view the 2020 GHIC social impact pitches at and the 2019 GHIC social impact pitches at

Conference Registration is Required

Submitting an abstract represents a commitment to attend the 2021 Global Health & Innovation Conference, irrespective of acceptance of an abstract. The opportunity to submit an abstract for consideration is available only to those who plan to attend the conference for educational and networking purposes, and not to those who wish to attend exclusively for the opportunity to present. Therefore, all persons submitting an abstract must register and submit payment to attend the conference at the time that they submit the abstract.

Abstract Submission Format and Selection Criteria

Before submitting a pitch abstract, please first review the pitch abstract instructions and examples.

Abstract: 250 word maximum (longer abstracts will not be reviewed and will be automatically rejected)

Format: The abstract must be formatted to include problem, solution, innovation, based in evidence, expected impact, management and financing, stage of idea, and your "ask". Please include the headers (i.e. problem, solution, innovation, based in evidence, expected impact, management and financing, stage of idea, your "ask"). The headers do not count towards the word count.

Selection Criteria: The pitch abstract must exactly adhere to the published format, and all sections must be included. If any sections are omitted, the abstract will be disqualified and rejected. The pitch abstract will be evaluated based on the level of innovation, the expected impact and description of metrics, and the details that indicate that it is evidence-based and will be effective. As highlighted above, in order to be accepted for presentation, the pitch must discuss expected or current outcomes, and how the outcomes have been, or will be measured. The submission must be well-written and demonstrate thought and attention to detail. Avoid jargon and be sure that your audience understands exactly what you are proposing or describing.

Video Submission Format (Part 2 of Application Process)

The video submission opportunity is available only to those who are invited, based on the quality of their written abstract, to submit the video presentation for consideration. The video submission must be no longer than 5 minutes, and all of the content required in the abstract must be included in the video presentation. The video will also be evaluated based on the quality of the presentation and by the presenter's ability to effectively and clearly communicate the pitch. If selected for presentation at the conference, the presenter would convey the content of the 5-minute video in their 5-minute pitch presentation on April 8-11, 2021. Video submissions that are longer than 5 minutes, omit any of the required content, or read from a script, will be automatically disqualified. You must also be directly seen in the video for the duration of your application, and the presentation should not be combined video segments from multiple video attempts. In order to be accepted for presentation, the video must demonstrate and confirm that the pitch describes a locally-developed and locally-responsible program or organization.

The video will be evaluated exclusively based on the quality of the presentation, and not based on the quality of the videotaping. Simply videotaping on a mobile device (iphone, ipad, etc.), for example, will be suitable. Videos that are any longer than 5 minutes will be automatically disqualified. Those who are invited to submit the video (step 2 of the application process) will receive instructions for submission.

Co-authors and Co-founders

The conference participant who will be in attendance and presenting the pitch must submit the abstract under their name. If both authors will be in attendance, then either of you may submit the pitch, but the pitch must be submitted only once for consideration. The author submitting the pitch must be the presenter at the conference, and this author will also receive all communication from Unite For Sight. Other authors are encouraged to attend the conference, but the other authors may not present the pitch at the conference.

Abstract Acceptance, Next Steps, and Presentations

If my social impact pitch is accepted for oral presentation, what are the next steps?

What should be included in the social impact pitch presentation at the conference?

If you are accepted to present at the conference, you should include all of the important items in your abstract: problem, solution, innovation, evidence-base, impact, management and financing as well as the stage of your idea and your "ask". When you are creating and practicing your presentation, you should consider what you hope to learn from the experience. What type of ideas/plans and obstacles are you currently working through?  What type of people do you hope to connect with at the conference and during your session? The answers to these questions may help you to highlight certain aspect of your pitch and de-emphasize others.

The most effective presentations will explain your innovation in a way that is immediately understood by the audience.  By the end of the presentation, the audience should understand why the idea is needed, how the idea will be implemented, and how the impact will occur.  In general, it is best to avoid using jargon or abstract ideas.  Instead, the pitch should provide concrete examples and real-life stories to illustrate the plan.  While you will have 5 minutes for your presentation, the more succinctly you are able to communicate your idea, the better.  Therefore, you should practice your social impact pitch in advance to ensure that it is no more than 5 minutes.  A bell will ring to conclude your presentation at 5 minutes. 

What presentations have been accepted for presentation in the GHIC 2021 Social Impact Labs?


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