About The Speaker
Simon Van Melick
Simon van Melick has been working with SPARK since 2012 as Head of Communication and Programme manager, focusing on youth employment and engagement in fragile and conflict affected states. He is the organiser of the annual IGNITE Conference which focuses on job creation for youth, women and refugees. Before SPARK Simon worked in the private sector for campaign and communication agencies. Simon studied history at the University of Amsterdam and the New School for Social Research in New York City. Since 1994 SPARK supports higher education and entrepreneurship development for youth in fragile and conflict affected states in the Middle East and Africa. Currently SPARK is operative in 12 countries and regions such as Burundi, South Sudan, Turkey, Lebanon and Jordan. SPARK provided scholarships to over 10.000 Syrian refugees and vulnerable youth in hosting communities. SPARK also supported thousands of entrepreneurs to start or grow their businesses in the most challenging circumstances.