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Living through Innovation: A Talk by Hayat Sindi

October 21, 2015 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm

Hayat Sindi is a leading biotechnologist and a champion of science and technology in the Middle East. At a young age, inspired by great scientists and thinkers, Sindi convinced her family to allow her to travel alone to England to pursue her higher education, a rare permission for a young Saudi Arabian woman. She went on to earn a degree in pharmacology from King’s College London in 1995. Five years later, Sindi became the first woman from the Gulf to obtain a PhD in biotechnology from Cambridge.

Driven by her desire to more closely link science with social impact, she co-founded a non-profit organization with a team at Harvard called Diagnostics for All, which creates innovative, inexpensive, point-of-care diagnostic devices for people in impoverished regions.

Sindi has also invented a machine combining the effects of light and ultra-sound for use in biotechnology. Along with her scientific activities, she participated in numerous events aimed at raising the awareness of science amongst women, particularly in Saudi Arabia and the Muslim world. She is also interested in the problem of brain drain. At the heart of Sindi’s innovations is a passion to develop an entrepreneurial ecosystem in the Middle East that would transcend existing gaps between education and opportunity.

In 2011, she launched i2, the Institute for Imagination and Ingenuity, to encourage innovation among the youth specifically male and female scientists, technologists and engineers. Through fellowships, trainings and mentorships, i2 seeks to empower and inspire the next generation of innovators so that they may realize their dreams, and ultimately contribute to Saudi Arabia’s growing economy.

Sindi was one of the first women to be appointed to Saudi Arabia’s highest consultative body, the Shura Council, and is one of 26 global experts selected by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki Moon to be a member of the UN Scientific Advisory Board. This group will provide advice to the UN’s leadership on science, technology and innovation for sustainable development. Sindi is also a Goodwill Ambassador for Sciences at UNESCO.

In 2012, Sindi was named one of Newsweek’s “150 women who shake the world.” Most recently, she was named by Forbes number two most powerful Arab women in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Last year, Hayat Sindi received the Clinton Global Citizen Awards Leadership in Civil Society for her work to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among young people in the Middle East. Sindi was also invited by the UN Environment Program to be an Honorary Advisor for the 2015 Eye on Earth Summit.

RSVP: e-mail: [email protected]


October 21, 2015
6:30 pm - 8:00 pm
Event Category:


Columbia Global Centers | Middle East (CUMERC)
+9626 577 7955


Columbia Global Centers | Middle East (CUMERC)
5 Moh’d Al Sa’d Al-Batayneh Street, Amman, 11814 Jordan
+9626 577 7955

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