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Spring Meetings webcasts feature Michelle Obama, Bill Gates, John Kerry, economy, climate change, and more

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2016 Spring Meetings Live Events

U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama and Microsoft founder Bill Gates are among the featured speakers at the first major gathering of the world’s finance and development leaders in 2016 – the Spring Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and World Bank Group.

The global economy, climate change, refugees, and the digital divide are just a few of the topics on the agenda in the lead-up to the meetings the week of April 11. We’re webcasting 19 events in multiple languages featuring government ministers, experts, and CEOs.

Tune in Wednesday for a special event with Obama on educating adolescent girls. Later, the World Bank’s top economists will weigh in on economic growth in turbulent times, and Margaret Chan of the World Health Organization co-hosts a session on bringing mental health issues out of the shadows. 

On Thursday, World Bank Group President Jim Yong Kim, Canada Environment and Climate Minister Catherine McKenna and other officials will talk about how to turn the Paris climate change agreement into action. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry convenes a meeting of the Global Connect Initative and will urge international development banks to recognize the Internet as an essential element of every country’s infrastructure – as the World Bank has already done.

On Friday, Queen Rania of Jordan and United National Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon discuss one of the world’s most pressing challenges — forced displacement of people. Ban and leaders of the multilateral development banks gather Saturday on the need for more investment in infrastructure to close big gaps in electricity, water, and sanitation access. On Sunday, Gates takes part in a session on the need to invest in the future.

The following is a selection of web-streamed events. See more at World Bank Live. Download the Spring Meetings app: Apple devices; Android smartphones

Tuesday, April 12

Innovations to Prevent Gender-Based Violence
Nine teams from around the world are honored for their work. 12-1:30 p.m. ET/16:00-17:30 GMT.  #GBVsolutions




Wednesday, April 13

Let Girls LearnLet Girls Learn, Featuring Michelle Obama
U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama leads a call to action in support of educating and empowering adolescent girls. 11 a.m. ET/15:00 GMT. #LetGirlsLearn




Chief Economists RoundtableChief Economists Roundtable: Growth and Inclusion in Turbulent Times
World Bank chief economists weigh in on the current slowdown in global growth. 12:30 -2 p.m. ET/16:30-18:00 GMT. #WBLive




Future of FoodFuture of Food: Why Healthy, Safe, and Sustainable Food Is a Basic Necessity
NBC News food analyst Sam Kass is among the experts exploring ways to create a better food system. 2-3:30 p.m. ET/18:00-19:30 GMT.  #Food4All




Out of the ShadowsMaking Mental Health a Global Development Priority
World Bank-WHO co-host an event on the need to bring mental health issues out of the shadows and into the global development agenda. 4-5:30 p.m. ET/20:00-21:30 GMT.  #MentalHealthNow



Thursday, April 14

Jim Yong KimSpring Meetings Opening Press Conference
Kim addresses the media. 8:45-9:15 a.m. ET/12:45-13:15 GMT.  #WBLive




Global Connect InitiativeGlobal Connect Initiative, with U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
Kerry convenes a meeting of the Initiative seeking to bring 1.5 billion people online by 2020. 11 a.m.-1 p.m. ET/15:00-17:00 GMT. #onlineby2020




Turning Paris Agreement into ActionTurning the Paris Climate Agreement into Action
Kim and other global leaders discuss the actions needed to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.  1-2 p.m. ET/17:00-18:00 GMT.  #Paris2Action 




Investing in ForestsWhy Investing in Forests is the Next Big Thing
Join WRI President Andrew Steer and others for a spirited discussion on how to help forests and the people who depend on them. 2:30-4 p.m. ET/18:30-20:00 GMT.  #ThinkForests



Early Childhood DevelopmentEarly Childhood Development: A Smart Beginning for Economies on the Rise
Kim, UNICEF’s Anthony Lake and other experts launch a global movement to ensure children everywhere can thrive. 4:30-6 p.m. ET/20:30-22:00 GMT.  #KidsFirst




Friday, April 15

Private Sector Solutions in Challenging MarketsPrivate Sector Solutions in Challenging Markets
Panelists from the private and public sectors discuss how to spur investment to create jobs, generate revenue, and finance essential services. 9-10:30 a.m. ET; 13:00-14:30 GMT.  #solutions4dev



Forced DisplacementForced Displacement: A Global Development Challenge
A high-level panel including Queen Rania of Jordan confronts the issue of historically high levels of refugees and displaced people. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET/15:00-16:30 GMT. #dev4peace



Digital Dividends for East Asia PacificDigital Dividends for East Asia Pacific - Faster Growth, More Jobs and Better Governance?
Panelists from government, business and civil society discuss how East Asia and Pacific countries can take advantage of the opportunities – and offset the risks – of the digital economy. 12:30 p.m. - 2:00 p.m. ET / 16:30 - 18:00 GMT. #digitalEAP



Competition PolicyCompetition Policy in Developing Countries: Helping Markets Perform Better
This World Bank Group-OECD event brings together policymakers and experts on policies that increase competition and benefit consumers. 2-3:30 p.m. ET / 18:00-17:30 GMT. #competition4dev​




Powering Up GrowthPowering Up Growth: Ideas for Beating the Slowdown
Government ministers from Bolivia, Angola, Pakistan and Ukraine discuss how to reignite inclusive growth. 4-5:30 p.m. ET/20:00 – 21:30 GMT. #inclusivegrowth 




Saturday, April 16

Global Infrastructure Forum
Global Infrastructure Forum 2016
Kim, Ban, and the heads of multilateral development banks highlight opportunities for sustainable infrastructure development. 10-11:30 a.m. ET/ 14:00-15:30 GMT. #InvestInInfra


State of Africa RegionState of the Africa Region
Tune in for an analysis of the trends shaping the economic development of Africa today by the World Bank’s chief economist for the region. 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. ET/15:00-16:30 GMT.  #AfricaSOR



Sunday, April 17

New Vision for Financing DevelopmentA New Vision for Financing Development, Featuring Bill Gates
Join Gates and other top development and finance leaders on the trends that are reshaping the development landscape. 10-11 a.m. ET/14:00-15:00 GMT. #vision4dev

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