Baobab Summit 2020

Baobab Goes Global  #Resilience 

This event is completed.

The Baobab Summit is an annual signature event that brings together Mastercard Foundation Scholars for  three days of fellowship, learningand mentorship. While a global pandemic has upended plans to host the Summit in Rwanda, we are excited by the unique opportunity COVID-19 has presented: to host the first ever virtual Baobab Summit, an interactive experience that Scholars can enjoy from the comfort of their own computer screens 

Opening Remarks from Reeta Roy, President and CEO

Resilience: A Marathon Not A Sprint

The Summit kicked off on Friday, August 21, with a Facebook Live session with Mastercard Foundation President and CEO, Reeta Roy and three-time Olympic champion Eliud Kipchoge — Resilience: A Marathon Not a Sprint.

Watch the session.


Mastercard Foundation Scholars have a deep personal commitment to changing the world around them and improving the lives of their families, communities, and countries. It is fitting then, that the theme this year is resilience. Defined as “the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress”, resilience involves both “bouncing back from these difficult experiences…[and] profound personal growth”. Resilience is needed now, more than ever as Scholars navigate an uncertain landscape radically different from the they knew 

Grounded in the values of transformative leadership and inspired by the Scholars Program’s new targets to engage more young people with disabilities, refugees, and those who have been displaced, resilience offers participants an opportunity to explore the intersection between personal growth, inclusion and social transformation. As we discuss resilience and its building blocks:  connection, adaption, compassion, innovation and purpose Baobab 2020 is an opportunity to learn from each other and build the critical thinking, grit and entrepreneurial skills needed to re-think challenges and forge new solutions. 

Our Roving Reporters

Two Scholars, Sandra Kalua and Mahmoud Kanso, will be reporting from the Summit, sharing their thoughts and experiences on our Facebook and Instagram channels. Follow them for updates from the event.

See highlights from #Baobab2020 Day 1.

See highlights from #Baobab2020 Day 2.

See highlights from #Baobab2020 Day 3.

This Year’s Plenary Speakers

The Virtual Space

Due to COVID-19, this year’s summit is virtual:


Speak Your Mind

Every year, Mastercard Foundation Scholars have a chance to enter the Speak Your Mind content, where they share personal insights around the theme of the Baobab Summit. This year’s resilience theme is one that resonates strongly with Scholars for obvious reasons, and garnered more than 200 submissions.  From spoken word to speeches, from dance to videos, each piece is poignant, compelling and deeply personal. Here are some of the winners.