Christopher Fabian co-created and has co-lead UNICEF’s Innovation Unit in New York since 2007. Working with UNICEF’s 135 country offices, the Innovation Unit’s research and development priorities focus on near-term challenges in the world’s most difficult operating environments. The Unit also crafts strategic options for innovation on a three-to-five year horizon. The Unit’s accomplishments have garnered global recognition, notably: Top 50 Innovations of 2011 from Time Magazine, and, in 2012, gold and silver IDSA awards, and Redhat prize for being one of the three top open source projects.
Christopher believes that technology is not the end-product of innovation, but a principal driver of new ways of thinking about development problems. The Unit’s commitment to open source engagements, determination to learn from failure, and realization that local talent must be front-and-center in creating successful local solutions has positioned UNICEF as a global leader in innovation for development.
Christopher is most proud of his work identifying, mentoring, and promotion local leaders, designers, and innovators around the world. Convinced that global, authentic, and humble engagement among academia, the private sector and civil society can, together, leverage technology-driven innovation for development, he has co-created and taught the “Design for UNICEF” course at New York University with Clay Shirky. Christopher has taught and lectured at Columbia University, Harvard University, and IIT Delhi.
Prior to joining UNICEF in 2006, Christopher taught in Lebanon and launched start-ups in East Africa and Egypt. He holds degrees in Philosophy from American University in Cairo, and in Media Studies form the New School in New York. In 2013, he was recognized as one of TIME Magazine’s 100 most influential people.