The Aurora Dialogues is a platform for the world’s leading humanitarians, academics, philanthropists, business leaders, and civil society to come together for a series of insightful discussions about some of today’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. In keeping with the spirit of the Aurora Prize for Awakening Humanity, the Aurora Dialogues shine a light on the people who are working to address today’s issues in a real and substantial manner and seek to identify ideas that will deliver tangible change. Due to the limitations imposed by the global outbreak of COVID-19 some of the Aurora Dialogues events are still held online.
The event titled “Global and Regional Crisis Management” was organized on February 26, 2021. The first offline panel discussion of the year focused on improving the management of public health issues in communities at risk and affected by crises. The discussion featured internationally renowned humanitarian and physician Bernard Kouchner, co-founder of Médecins Sans Frontières, former French Foreign Minister and member of the Aurora Prize Selection Committee, alongside with humanitarians Alain Boinet, founder of Solidarités International, and Patrice Franceschi, former Chairman of the Société des Explorateurs Français.
On March 9, 2021, the Aurora Dialogues Online event titled “Working in a Warzone,” organized in cooperation with the Futures Studio discussion platform, focused on the mental, physical and psychological challenges the doctors on the frontline faced during the Nagorno-Karabakh war. Four participants from different parts of the world came together to take part in the discussion: Shagen Danielian, thoracic surgeon from Moscow; Gevorg Grigoryan, general surgeon from Yerevan; Gregory Khatchatourov, cardio-vascular surgeon from Geneva, and Armen Hagopjanian, podiatric surgeon from Los Angeles. All of them were amongst dozens of selfless physicians who volunteered to work on the frontline during the war in Artsakh (Nagorno-Karabakh) in autumn of 2020.
The 2021 Aurora Dialogues Online event titled “Conversation with the 2020 Aurora Prize Laureates” took place on April 19, 2021. The discussion, organized in cooperation with the Futures Studio platform and moderated by Susannah A. Friedman, Associate Director of Humanitarian Policy Focus Area at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, brought together 2020 Aurora Prize Laureates Fartuun Adan and Ilwad Elman who lead The Elman Peace and Human Rights Center in Somalia; 2018 Aurora Humanitarian Sunitha Krishnan, founder of Prajwala; Dae Eriksson, Executive Director of Love Does, and Emily Warne, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications at Panzi Hospital & Foundations.
On May 2, 2021, the Aurora Dialogues event titled “Partnership for Artsakh” was held in UWC Dilijan. The Aurora Humanitarian Initiative had brought together the partners of the Aurora for Artsakh program, local and Diaspora organizations, foundations, government agencies and mass media representatives to address the humanitarian crisis caused by the 2020 Artsakh war, to analyze the primary needs of the affected people, to exchange the best practices of acting in an emergency and to join forces for an efficient partnership.
On June 5, the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative held an Aurora Dialogues Online event titled “Vartan Gregorian. The Aurora Co-Founder,” focused on Vartan Gregorian’s extraordinary life as humanitarian, educator and mentor. The tribute was moderated by David Ignatius, Associate Editor and Columnist for the Washington Post, with speakers including Aurora Co-Founders, Aurora Prize Selection Committee members and Aurora Prize Laureates. The viewers also had a chance to watch several videos featuring Vartan Gregorian over the years and hear him speak about the issues closest to his heart.