FREEDOM BUSINESS FORUM
5-9 May | Pattaya, Thailand
ABOUT THE EVENT
The Freedom Business FORUM serves as a catalyst for connection, collaboration, and collective learning.
The Freedom Business Forum offers a unique and valuable opportunity for organizations, businesses and individuals with a shared interest in the economic empowerment of survivors of human trafficking and those at-risk to come together. The central goal of the conference is to foster connections among these stakeholders, promoting collaboration and mutual learning.
- Networking and Collaboration: Bringing together diverse entities invested in survivor empowerment encourages networking and collaboration. Organizations, businesses and individuals forge partnerships, share resources and brainstorm innovative solutions to complex challenges.
- Knowledge Sharing: The conference provides a platform to exchange insights, experiences, and knowledge. Participants share successful strategies and lessons learned in their efforts to support survivors’ economic independence.
- Cross-Sector Learning: The conference gathers stakeholders from various sectors, including NGOs, corporations and academia. This interdisciplinary environment promotes cross-sector learning, encouraging the adaptation of successful strategies from one context to another.
- Awareness and Advocacy: The collective power of a conference can elevate awareness about the need for safe and sustainable jobs to create opportunities for freedom and flourishing for survivors. By sharing success stories and challenges, attendees advocate for increased support and identify opportunities for collaboration that amplifies the message.
- Innovation: Connecting diverse stakeholders spurs innovation in addressing survivor empowerment. Fresh perspectives and novel ideas emerge through cross-pollination of experiences and expertise.
- Best Practices: The conference provides a platform to discuss and learn Freedom Business best practices. This understanding is crucial for creating safe, supportive, and healing-centered workplaces that facilitate survivors’ recovery and growth.
…AND MUCH MUCH MORE!
Register now to receive a link to more than 60% off your hotel stay at Hard Rock Hotel, Pattaya!
WHO SHOULD ATTEND?
… with a vested interest in economic justice for survivors of trafficking and those at-risk
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Dr. Lauren PinksTon
Dr. Lauren Pinkston is a public academic, teaching through published writing, executive coaching, online courses, and a newly released podcast. She holds a PhD in International Family and Community Studies. Previous to working in academia, Lauren lived in Southeast Asia researching the human trafficking crisis and starting businesses to employ survivors. She now consults for anti-trafficking organizations and small business startups, helping them institute trauma policies into their healing-centered workplaces.
Lauren is the President of Kindred Exchange, a non-profit focused on supporting entrepreneurs and expanding jobs in the Global South. Lauren enjoys traveling with her husband and four kids, cooking up a mean curry, and learning to be a good neighbor.
In 2014, Shandra participated in the first US Federal Survivor Forum Listening Session and was appointed by President Barack Obama to be a Member of the first United States Advisory Council on Human Trafficking. As a survivor leader, she has testified before the United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations Ending Modern Slavery, and served as an expert witness in human trafficking. She has consulted with numerous governmental bodies in the United States, Indonesia, Mexico, including UN- ICAT, UN-Women, UNODC, WHO and the OSCE-ODIHR.
Shandra is the Founder and CEO of Mentari Human Trafficking Survivor Empowerment Program and the author of a cookbook called Taste of Freedom, Recipes for Resilience. Shandra lives in New York City with her family.
Dr. Vanessa Bouché
Dr. Vanessa Bouché is an award-winning thought-leader and scholar whose published work on human trafficking has taken her all over the world, sharing her expertise through consulting and speaking for dozens of organizations including the U.S. State Department, UN Office on Drugs & Crime, the U.S. Agency for International Development, Polaris, McCain Institute, and Thorn.
Bouché is a social entrepreneur who develops innovative solutions to social problems. The lack of publicly available, valid and reliable data on human trafficking in the U.S. led her to create HumanTraffickingData.org , the largest open-access searchable web application of human trafficking in the U.S. And the barriers that trafficking survivors face to secure sustainable, living-wage employment catalyzed her to found Savhera, a natural wellness company that provides jobs to trafficking survivors.
Helen Avadiar-Nimbalker, a passionate human rights advocate and trauma therapist, serves as the Executive Director of The Whispering Willow in Northern Thailand. A survivor empowerment champion, Helen leads a dedicated team of women in the fight against exploitation and human trafficking in Asia. Committed to survivor-inclusive strategies, Helen actively promotes trauma-informed approaches through advocacy, training, and speaking engagements. Her impactful training modules contribute to the implementation of Trauma-informed Care, Design & Structures in various organizations and businesses. In addition to her advocacy work, Helen is an entrepreneur who has founded several Freedom Businesses. These ventures not only provide employment opportunities but also offer training, fostering economic empowerment and creating a sustainable healing centered environment that encourages resilience and independence.
Dr. Stephen Morse
Dr. Stephen Morse is the CEO of Unchained Solutions Pty Ltd, a Sydney-based consultancy that equips Australian organisations to comply with the Australian Modern Slavery Act. Stephen has over 25 years’ experience in entrepreneurial leadership in the not-for-profit and private sectors, both in Australia and overseas. He’s a seasoned public speaker, thought leader and strategist who brings an engaging and refreshing perspective to the fight against modern slavery and its impact on supply chains. Stephen obtained his Doctorate in Human Trafficking Intervention through Fuller Theological Seminary in 2016, and MBA through University of Technology Sydney in 2020. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the Freedom Business Alliance, the Ethics Committee of the Australasian Supply Chain Institute, and the Communications Working Group of the Commonwealth 8.7 Network.
Samuel Verbi is the Co-Founder of Eido Research, an organisation dedicated to helping Christian businesses and nonprofits in mapping, measuring, and improving their social, economic, spiritual impact. Through a comprehensive suite of services encompassing impact strategy, evaluation, and learning, he has engaged with clients globally. Samuel specializes in business program impact evaluation, spiritual impact assessment, and qualitative research methodologies. His expertise has been instrumental in developing evaluation frameworks for notable organizations such as The Market Project, ICM, and Alpha International. Before establishing Eido Research, Samuel amassed four years of experience as a monitoring and evaluation consultant, coupled with five years of intensive research while obtaining his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Sociology.
NUR Cholidah (Ida)
Ida is the co-founder of House of Diamonds, a textile manufacturing company based in East Java Indonesia. House of Diamonds creates opportunities for freedom and flourishing by providing textile training & employment for Indonesian women that empowers them to rise above difficult circumstances. Ida is a leader in the Indonesian social entrepreneurship movement – inspiring and training young Indonesians to use their potential to create positive change in the way business is done across her home country. She believes that business can profit for people, not from them and has seen first hand the power of a good job in transforming lives and communities.
Ida lives in Malang, Indonesia with her sister and father. When she is not working she likes watching movies with friends and singing.
Dr. Courtney Skiera-Vaughn
Dr. Courtney Skiera-Vaughn holds a Ph.D in health psychology with an emphasis on how culture affects behavior with a research focus around stress and trauma.
She has worked in the counter-trafficking sector for over a decade and as the Executive Director of Free The Girls for the last 8 years, speaking on platforms around the world on issues of reintegration and cultural understandings surrounding trauma, healing, and resiliency.
Courtney currently lives with her family in Tennessee. She loves being outside with her four young children and always has at least four books she’s in the middle of reading.
Claudette Ogilvie and Maarten Pansier
Claudette and Maarten, both clinical psychologists, passionately pursue social justice and humanitarian efforts. Their expertise lies in all things trauma and recovery, particularly in aiding frontline workers and organizations in fostering trauma-informed practices through their consultancy business Victorious Minds. They translate the latest research on trauma, healing, and mental health into accessible, practical applications for anyone to understand. Known for their dynamic, engaging, and interactive workshops, they collaborate with clients worldwide. Residing in Melbourne, Australia, in their spare time you’ll find this married duo enjoying great coffee and food, and exploring the outdoors with their border collie dog.
Lucy is passionate about preventing abuse and exploitation before it happens in a holistic way. In her role as CEO of The Freedom Story, an organization preventing child trafficking in Northern Thailand, Lucy helps connect those with a passion to prevent children from experiencing exploitation with those who are vulnerable and in need of support. She is also passionate about ethical storytelling and learning how to do good, better.
Lucy holds a Master’s degree in Development Studies from the London School of Economics and a MA in English Literature and History from the University of Edinburgh. When she isn’t working, Lucy enjoys hiking with her dog, reading and eating great food with friends.
Amy founded Batik Boutique (BB), an award-winning social enterprise empowering artisans in Malaysia by producing gifts, accessories, and apparel. Her company has been recognized as a regional model for pioneering business with the triple bottom line of people, profit, and planet.
In addition to retail, Amy leads her team as one of the few Malaysian batik companies to manufacture for international brands and labels, as well as being a market leader in Malaysia. Due to her strength in merging cultural heritage with retail and corporate demand, BB continues to grow annually. As Amy overcomes obstacles and challenges of social business amongst marginalized communities, her story of influencing purpose inspires many.
Bill moved to China in 1987 at the age of 39. In February 1988, Bill was able to start the first of several companies in Xiamen, China. Knowing that he did not know how to run a business there, he planned to stay very small and make many mistakes. The Lord revealed technical, financial, personnel, manufacturing, and marketing solutions. Over the years, Bill has launched nine different product lines in three companies. All these companies are still operating.
Today, Bill is most interested in encouraging entrepreneurs and business operators to explore the practical meaning of “steward” regarding their businesses and business ideas. After traveling worldwide, visiting people starting and operating businesses for the Kingdom, Bill believes we have more to learn about the “easy yoke” Jesus offers. He hopes to help people discover how to experience this offer. Everywhere he goes, he finds people burdened with their load.
Aaron Bower is a digital marketing and advertising expert with over 15 years of dedicated experience. His journey began in media production across South East Asia, where he spent eight years honing his craft. However, it was Aaron’s passion for making a positive impact that truly set him apart. Over the years, Aaron has channeled his extensive marketing expertise toward supporting charities and nonprofit organizations. He firmly believes in the power of the human touch in the digital world. This unique perspective has driven remarkable success for his clients, as he bridges the gap between technology and genuine human connection. Aaron’s commitment to impactful work led him to razeup, a groundbreaking tech startup that’s redefining charity support through innovative AI-driven marketing and donor services. As Head of Marketing at razeup, Aaron spearheads a talented team dedicated to empowering charities. They leverage cutting-edge technology, allowing nonprofits to focus on what truly matters: making a lasting impact.
Katie is passionate about learning to see the individual gifts that each person brings to the table. She has been involved in Thai Village on the ground in Thailand since 2007 and now serves as the Operations Director. She enjoys being a part of a team that is involved in the lives of local people in Northern Thailand and connecting others to their work. Katie has a BA in Psychology and Music and maintains work life balance through running, harmonizing and friendships.
CJ is the Director of Joyya. Joyya exists to spark good in communities impacted by human trafficking and modern-day slavery. Joyya makes custom printed bags, apparel and accessories for businesses around the work, employing ~150 women across four at-risk communities in West Bengal, India. Joyya regularly receives the highest scores in ethical supply chain report cards such Good On You.
CJ believes we can address the seemingly intractable problems of poverty, systemic injustice, violence and addiction that impact our world if we find the best potential within each of ourselves. Whether it is finding the kernel of potential within an aspiring consultant, an overwhelmed CEO or a young mother holding her first job, he wants to be a part of bringing the best out in everyone.
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FREEDOM BUSINESS Alliance
We exist to scale the Freedom Business Movement.