Reda Sadki is a chief executive with lifelong experience in forging multi-disciplinary teams to invent and execute new ways to lead change.
He is the founder and president of the Geneva Learning Foundation, a Swiss non-profit research-and-development organization and ”think-and-do” tank. He also serves as the Chief Learning Officer of Learning Strategies International (LSi.io), one of the first startups to join the Swiss EdTech Collider, Switzerland’s first collaborative space dedicated to transforming education and learning, located in the innovation park of EPFL, the country’s leading school of engineering.
Reda Sadki’s research and practice over the last two decades have explored the significance of learning and leadership in order to achieve impact, driven by his conviction that education is a powerful philosophy for change in the Digital Age.
Over a decade ago, at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), Reda recognized that the digital transformation was an opportunity to invent new ways to learn. He partnered with global learning leaders to explore how to transform digital learning for IFRC’s 13 million volunteers and 500,000 staff in 190 countries.
Starting in 2016, Reda led the development of what had become, by January 2019, the world’s largest and fastest-growing digital health network of immunization professionals. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, this digital health infrastructure enabled the development of the COVID-19 Peer Hub to support rapid response and collaboration across health system levels and borders by professionals in 90 countries to mitigate the shock of the pandemic on immunization services, to respond to root causes of vaccine hesitancy, and to strengthen resilience for service recovery.
Reda’s vision today is that the COVID-19 pandemic has created an opportunity for a digital-first Renaissance in global health. He believes that the next 20 years of public health are likely to be about harnessing digital transformation through hybrid networks, fusing digital and physical in ways that can help not only deliver knowledge, not only deliver health, but actually transform health outcomes. Learning how to develop people by digital means is a vital investment for the promise of digital health to be realized.
A lifetime of learning to do new things in new ways
In the past, Reda has worked for the United Nations, primarily for the World Health Organization, and at the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC), the world’s largest humanitarian network, responsible first for the design and production of IFRC’s publications and then for its learning systems.
“Everything I have done in the last two decades”, across many different roles, organisations, and contexts, he explains, “has been about figuring out how the digital transformation of knowledge, learning, and education can improve both process and results in humanitarian, development, and global health work.“
“Most of what I know and do was too new to be taught anywhere when I first learned to do it.” First came the digitization of publishing in the mid 1980s, then the World Wide Web. Next, the pedagogical affordances of educational technology began to “transform the economy of effort both inside and outside of traditional institutions of learning”.
Reda’s conviction now is that “learning is the final frontier of the digital transformation”. In a knowledge-based society, how we come to know is the key to our ability to survive, sustain and thrive. New approaches for learning, talent and leadership are vital to shape humanity and society for the better.
A profound commitment to racial justice, equality, and dignity in health
Parallel to his professional career, Reda was for 18 years an HIV educator, advocate and activist, starting in 1995 to produce over 500 weekly editions of Survivre au sida (Surviving AIDS), the only community-based radio show by and for families struggling to survive poverty, racism, and the pandemic – and training people living with HIV and those who love them how to do radio. In 2003, he founded the Comité Maghreb-Afrique des familles pour survivre au sida (the ‘Committee of Families’), the first multi-racial family-based organization to advocate for equality in health care and dignity for moms, dads, and kids infected or affected by the virus. Many of Reda’s deepest convictions about the ability of people to learn in order to both survive and grow are rooted in this experience. Click below to listen to an audio clip in English about this experience.