2021 Aurora Dialogues Overview: Health Security: Humanitarian Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic

2021 Aurora Dialogues Overview: Health Security: Humanitarian Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic

The Aurora Dialogues Venice discussion titled “Health Security: Humanitarian Impacts of the Covid-19 Pandemic” will take place on October 10, 2021, during the 2021 Aurora Prize events in Italy. During this discussion, the speakers will highlight the connection between the pandemic and the disaster risk drivers, including the lack of international solidarity, poverty, and increased number of conflicts. Participants will also discuss the lessons learned from COVID-19 and the steps necessary to prevent the future pandemics and will explore what lies at the root of sustainable preparedness for health security and resilience. 

The session will be organized in the Main Hall of the Mekhitarist Moorat Rafael College. This Armenian college was established in Venice in 1836 and is located in the Baroque-style Palazzo Ca’ Zenobio, built in 1690. The Mekhitarist order has it owned since 1850. The College is famous for its distinguished alumni, both Armenian and non-Armenian. Over the years, the Moorat Rafael College had been providing education reflecting the highest academic standards and had employed some of the most accomplished educators of the time. The College was closed in 1997, and today, the palace building is a popular location for the Venice Biennale exhibitions and other events.

The discussion will be held in English, with Armenian, Russian, French, Spanish and Italian simultaneous translation available. 

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The 2021 Aurora Prize Ceremony and accompanying events will take place in Venice, Italy, on October 8-10, 2021. This will be the first Ceremony in Europe and it will highlight the extensive connection between Venice, this universally important cultural site, and the spirit of Aurora, with its deeply embedded respect for the human life shared by every Armenian and every member of Aurora global movement alike. It will also be the first offline Aurora Prize Ceremony since the breakout of the global COVID-19 pandemic.


Lord Ara Darzi

Chair, Aurora Prize Selection Committee; Director, Institute of Global Health Innovation at Imperial College London


Fartuun Adan

2020 Aurora Prize Laureate; Executive Director, Elman Peace and Human Rights Center

Noubar Afeyan

Co-Founder, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; Co-Founder and Chairman, Moderna; CEO, Flagship Pioneering

Marguerite Barankitse

2016 Aurora Prize Laureate; Founder, Maison Shalom

Mirza Dinnayi

2019 Aurora Prize Laureate; Co-Founder and Director of Luftbrücke Irak (Air Bridge Iraq)

Shirin Ebadi

Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member; Nobel Laureate; Iranian lawyer, a human rights activist; Founder of Defenders of Human Rights Center in Iran

Paul Farmer

2021 Aurora Humanitarian; Medical Anthropologist; Harvard Professor; Co-Founder and Chief Strategist, Partners In Health (PIH)

Leymah Gbowee

Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member; Nobel Laureate; Founder and President of Gbowee Peace Foundation Africa

Bernard Kouchner

Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member; Co-Founder, Médecins Sans Frontières; Former Health and Foreign Minister of France

Dele Olojede

Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member; Chairman of the Board, Kashim Ibrahim Fellowship; Pulitzer Prize winner

Paul Polman

Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member; Co-Founder and Chair, IMAGINE

Mary Robinson

Aurora Prize Selection Committee Member; Chair of The Elders; Former President of Ireland and Former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights

Ruben Vardanyan

Co-Founder, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; Co-Founder, Noôdome; Impact Investor and Social Entrepreneur

Arman Voskerchyan

Founder and Managing Director, AVC Solutions for Healthcare