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Igniting Change Podcast Season 3: Episode 12

Isabelle Smith, Chief Information Officer at All Hands and Hearts, joins us to discuss how she went from volunteering in the Philippines to her role as a CIO of a global organisation that helps communities recover from disasters.


S2 blogpost episode 12

Every year there are about 354 natural disasters globally, and of those disasters, about 210 million people are affected. Which is just a staggering number! Made even more so by the fact that an average of 68,000 people lose their lives in disasters every single year.

That number is heartbreaking in itself, but the good news is, that number is reducing! Throughout history, statistics show that the number has been steadily decreasing in the last century. It’s no coincidence that this is happening at the same time that technology is advancing. We can’t stop this high-impact, low-frequency events from happening, but we can minimise the number of people that lose their lives because of them.

As climate change has rapidly become one of the world’s biggest problems, global organisations, passionate individuals and sustainable nations have all come together to combat our negative impact on our environment. This is why disaster relief is so vital now more than ever.

But what exactly is disaster relief and why is it so important? Science Direct describes it best by describing it as:

The first and most important form of relief in the period immediately following a disaster is the provision of basic needs (food, water, clothes, and shelter) to those most seriously impacted.

This is why the concept of disaster relief is so vital now more than ever and why we wanted to sit down with Isabelle Smith from All Hands and Hearts on this week’s episode of Igniting Change to talk about the life-saving work her organisation does around the world.

Meet Izzy

Izzy first heard of All Hands and Hearts through a friend, made a spontaneous decision to head out to the Philippines in April 2015 and has never left. She spent time working in operations before transitioning to our data and IT team.

Since joining the IT team, she has worked in a variety of roles and projects – recently leading our Salesforce implementation. Having stepped into the role of CIO, Izzy is leading the strategic direction of their technology – underpinned by the tagline of “Beyond Spreadsheets”.

Izzy graduated from Cambridge University with a degree in Natural Sciences.


About All Hands and Hearts

When a natural disaster strikes, All Hands and Hearts arrive early and stay late to address the immediate and long-term needs of affected communities. They work alongside the local residents and deploy our unique volunteer model to enable direct impact — helping families and communities recover by building safe, resilient schools, homes, and other community infrastructure.

The communities they serve are not only vulnerable in terms of natural disasters but also financially. By building in a disaster-resilient way, All Hands and Hearts better prepare them for future events.

Thanks to passionate volunteers, donors, and partners, AHAH provided nearly 15 years of disaster relief support to over 1.2 million people and we have active programs around the world today.

Listen to the full episode here

To hear more of the conversation with Izzy listen now using the links below!

For more things tech for good, stay tuned to our blog or shout us a holla to get in touch with us, we would love to hear from you 💚

Published on May 31, 2023, last updated on May 31, 2023

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