Tanya Acconeís career has focused on helping international public and private sector organizations understand how to amplify their impact through the convergence of people, ecosystems and innovation. She is committed to applying innovation for social impact and as a public good, especially with and for young people.
Accone has been at the forefront of advocating for and leading ground-breaking initiatives at the United Nations Childrenís Fund (UNICEF). As Senior Advisor on Innovation at Scale, she has led UNICEFís Global Innovation Centre to support 90 countries to identify, adopt and adapt innovative solutions that have changed the lives of 130 million children and their communities.
Among these initiatives are U-Report, a youth engagement and empowerment platform that facilitates 7 million young people in 57 countries to speak out on development issues, support child rights and improve their communities. And UPSHIFT, an initiative that empowers youth to build skills and opportunities through social innovation and entrepreneurship.
Accone joined UNICEF to design the organizationís first internet strategy and led its implementation in more than 100 countries. UNICEF received the internet-equivalent of an Oscar -- a Webby Award -- from The International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences in recognition of the excellence of part of this work. She went on to establish and lead the organizationís human capital futures and analytics portfolio.
Prior to joining UNICEF, Accone worked in the private sector. She was part of the team that first took The Washington Post digital, and has launched technology businesses across sub-Saharan Africa.
Accone is a Fulbright Fellow with multiple graduate degrees including in Studies of the Future. She is the fourth-generation of her Chinese family to be born in South Africa, where she spent her childhood on the outskirts of Tshwane. She tweets at @accone