Paris, France: 2 March 2019

Notes from UNESCO:

What a week! It started with the President of Iraq visiting UNESCO. I was so close to Barham Salih, I could have reached out and touched him, too bad a velvet rope stood in my way and of course the fear of being tackled by his military escort. I believe his visit was concerning the restoration work UNESCO has been doing in Mosul. Olivia and I had a fun time taking photos and videos of it.

President of Iraq, Barham Salih, visiting UNESCO
Ida and Olivia UNESCO photo shoot


The week prior, Olivia and I were tapped on the shoulder by Chief of Media Services, George Papagiannis to work on producing podcasts and videos for the Principles for AI: Global Conference on the 4th of March.

George broke down the list of things that we’d be responsible for such as selecting, researching, scheduling, writing bios and questions. And most importantly, making sure he has everything he needs to have successful interviews.

On Tuesday, we started to compile a list of potential interviewees. The contact list included titles such as his Excellency, CEO, President (INC), and many more international leaders in Artificial Intelligence. It was hard to choose from such a talented list of experts.

On Wednesday, we sent off emails inviting people to participate in 15-20 minute podcasts and 2-minute videos. I was a little concerned about participation due to the tight timeframe but people started getting back to us promptly. We had a 90 percent response rate, just proof of the popularity of George Papagiannis.

By Thursday the guest list was finalized. Now it was time for Olivia and me to start a deep research dive. We split up the list and started to find anything available online about each of these leaders in artificial intelligence: company website, Linkedin, podcasts, Ted Talks, Twitter, Instagram, you get my point.

After compiling our research we started to generate questions that related to their perspective fields, UNESCO and artificial intelligence. George will be interviewing 10 people over two days. We need to make sure he has good notes to reference, so we standardized the format making it easy to pull from.

Before leaving Thursday evening we have a great time of trying to figure out names for the podcast with George. After some funny stories and entertaining jokes about the names, we settled on Olivia’s wonderful suggestion of Many Voices, One World.

On Friday, we had some pretty fancy reference sheets full of helpful information and questions.

Friday Bonus! A project Olivia and I worked on a week prior was now hanging on the outward facing fence of UNESCO. We wrote short bios for over 20 amazing women scientists. UNESCO created posters out of them with a picture of the scientist with the bios below. It was pretty amazing to see our project on display.  

Notes from the Field:

After a long week of work, Ryann and I headed out for pizza on Friday night. We went to this cute little pizza place about five blocks from our house. The owner was super friendly and the environment was cozy. Just after taking a sip of wine, Ryann and I heard this beautiful voice radiate from upstairs. We both looked at each other and smiled. There was a woman singing opera. We don’t normally listen to opera music but we felt at peace sitting are our small table with a glass of wine and homemade pizza on a lovely end to the week.


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