DAY 2 – Tuesday 3 May – 14:00-15:30
Swiss Tech | Room 3C | Level Garden
Stanford University, United States
A PhD candidate at Stanford University, Michelle Reddy’s research interests center on innovation in peacebuilding, development and humanitarian aid, as well as organizations, entrepreneurship, and civil society networks. Prior to Stanford, she co-launched the Paris School of International Affairs at Sciences Po Paris, and served as Assistant Dean. Michelle has worked on research, communications and program design and management for universities, NGOs, and the United Nations for 7 years in Paris, Dakar, and New York.
Organizations are increasingly adopting innovation spaces and innovation labs as a means to operationalize innovation in humanitarian situations, utilizing techniques of design-thinking whether through entrepreneurship, product design, peacebuilding, and more. Yet, how do they determine “what works” for diverse, mobile, refugee populations?
This session aims to examine how organizations design and “innovate” existing models of innovation spaces across contexts, and in some instances, create “travelling models.” While some innovation spaces are virtual, and others physical – each model is unique according to context. Yet, refugees are increasingly mobile, connected, and changing context, moving from one country to the next. The notion of an innovation space should not be limited to the bounds of a refugee camp; indeed, open-source approaches and innovation spaces should accompany refugees on their journey. The panel is also interested in examining how organizations and stakeholders might solicit feedback from refugees in the design and use of innovation labs and open source technologies.
How do organizations construct new models of innovation spaces for various migrating constituencies, and in different emergency contexts and degrees of emergency? The session aims to discuss how organizations working with refugees can improve upon existing models of service provision and humanitarian innovation, and facilitate travelling models of innovation spaces, particularly for mobile refugee populations. Additionally, how are innovations introduced and diffused among organizations working in emergency contexts, and how does this differ from long-term protracted emergency contests? Through discussion as well of open-source technology, the session will explore a model of humanitarian assistance beyond service provision and in consideration of refugee social and economic livelihoods, with room for discussion on social network facilitation. How can we best conceptualize, and co-create, the physical and virtual innovation spaces that provide the best environment for refugee innovation to flourish?
Stephanie Bengtsson, Institute of Development Studies, United Kingdom, The School Bus Project: Mobile Education for Refugees [PDF Full Paper]
Both the UNHCR and governments around the world talk about three ‘durable solutions’ to addressing rising refugee populations: voluntary repatriation to the country of origin, local integration into the asylum country, or resettlement to a third country. However, these solutions are rarely realized and refugees instead find themselves in unstable, unsafe situations of displacement, with limited access to basic services. Up until now, the priority for many volunteers responding to the crisis has been on improving access to water, health, nutrition, and shelter, however, there is a strong argument for including education as part of the basic level response. Not only is education an enabling right, recent research demonstrates it is a priority for refugees themselves, who see it as a driver for change that they own. The objective of this case study is to support the development of innovative and inclusive educational spaces for Calais refugees that are responsive to their needs and capacities and to the changing dynamics of the camp. Using an action research approach, our innovation is to convert a bus into a mobile school that not only houses classrooms, but also serves as a basecamp for storage and recharging of ‘pop-up schools’ and ‘lessons-in-a-box’ that can be transported to different camp sections, digital technology resources that open up individual virtual learning spaces, and an access point for resources needed by the existing schools in camp. At the heart of this innovation is our commitment to improving the quality of teaching and learning within these educational spaces by staffing the school with trained volunteers who share in the School Bus Project vision. Our approach goes beyond understanding education as a unidirectional transfer of knowledge from an ‘expert’ to a ‘novice’ to seeing it as a process by which knowledge is co-constructed and shared by all participants.
Barbara Moser-Mercer, Université de Genève, Switzerland, Higher Education Spaces and Protracted Displacement: How Learner-Centered Pedagogies and Human-Centered Design Can Unleash Refugee Innovation [PDF Full Paper]
Within the larger methodological framework of a case study this paper presents an incremental empirical approach to designing HE spaces in fragile contexts within the framework of humanitarian principles. Using the case of the Kakuma InZone HE Space the authors pool qualitative data collected across different refugee camp settings and explore the potential of collaborative pedagogies to address protracted conflict; analyse the contribution of open learning materials to building 21st century skills; investigate the value of tutoring and mentoring models for learning outcomes, learner retention and the provision of language and subject matter support; and explore the technologies, including learning technologies, that best mediate higher-level learning in fragile contexts. Variables such as sustainability, operability, equal access, cultural and linguistic ownership, livelihoods and context relevance will be used to analyse available evidence in an effort to inform optimal design and scalability of such learning spaces, as well as their potential use in migrant refugee contexts. We conclude that human-centered design is central to both pedagogical and technological development in fragile contexts; protracted displacement settings can differ considerably from one another, there is thus no substitute for adopting a bottom-up approach and developing learning spaces that allow for both intellectual and artistic expression. Traditional HE programs are usually geared to specific degrees, offer little flexibility and seldom cater to alternative learning pathways. The authors emphasize the importance of refugee ownership and empowerment as vectors for ensuring the sustainability of HE spaces in fragile contexts and for fostering creativity and innovation.
Darelle van Greunen, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa, The Faceless Mobile Youth of Africa Drive Change [PDF Full Paper]
Over decades millions of rands and countless volunteer hours were used to attack the problems facing youth across the nation. Yet, by most standards, problems have worsened. There are no simple answers as the obstacles that today’s youth have to overcome, are many and formidable. It is the aim of this project to create a concentrated effort in the Gelvandale area using mobile technology to address a number of the challenges faced by at-risk-youth in this area. The primary aim of the research is to determine and develop best practices and strategies for overcoming challenges and creating successful leadership experience for youth from the Gelvandale area. A secondary objective of the research is to determine how Information Communication Technology and then specifically mobile technologies can be used to achieve the primary aim without excluding human participation. This paper will discuss the approach taken to the exploratory study, outline the objectives, and highlight not only the impact achieved to date but also the lessons learnt.