Ideate for impact: Supporting livelihoods of refugees through empathy, design and innovation

Presented by OpenIDEO, The Radcliffe Foundation and WISE In collaboration with Ideas Box, Burners Without Borders and The Ascend Initiative
Refugies camp
Today, the world is more closely connected than ever before. At the same time we are also witnessing the highest levels of human displacement on record: 65.3 million people forced to leave their homes in 2016, 22 million of whom are refugees, half under the age of 18. Combined, these stateless people would make up one of the largest countries in the UN with one of the fastest growing populations as approximately 34,000 people are forced to leave their homes every day. The sheer scale of this issue has governments, individuals, media and private companies on edge, fully realizing that what happens halfway around the world can hit home in a very real way.

Participants at C2 come from over 50 countries and represent over 20 industries. They attend to meet interesting people, engage with new ideas and enrich their own point of view with respect to how they themselves can have a greater impact on their business and the world around them. We are tapping into this promise, and our innate empathy as we challenge participants to come up with ways to support the livelihood of our new neighbours.
The outcome we are looking for is not for individuals or companies to write cheques. We are aiming to have business leaders recognize the impact they can have by leveraging their core competencies. There’s also a pretty solid business case to be made for mobilizing the skills and expertise of refugees in this global context.

We’ve partnered with OpenIDEO, The Radcliffe Foundation and WISE Initiative to develop a 3-day program within C2 focused on building new livelihoods for refugees and displaced populations. The workshops are designed by OpenIDEO and developed in collaboration with resettled refugees, on the ground experts, NGOs and business leaders leading successful initiatives. Participants will reflect on the role they can play, both on an individual level and within their institutions. Together they will guide participants towards engaging their creativity towards impact and commitment.

Who needs to be there?

Everyone. You don’t have to be an expert in refugees or humanitarian issues: very few people are and that’s okay. If you want to do good work, then get to work. And start here.

What can participants expect?

Expect to be inspired by business leader and C2 speaker Frank Giustra, who is dedicated to having a meaningful, long-term impact on the livelihood of refugees, and mobilizing a global private sector ecosystem to make it happen.

Also expect a program of hands-on workshops (1 per day) where participants will get the facts directly from experts on the ground, identify the core competencies they can tap into, ideate ways in which they can contribute and commit to impactful initiatives.

The workshops will explore case studies of projects that haven’t worked to help us avoid the pitfalls, as well as examples of what companies are doing now and how that’s having a real impact. Expect to understand that it doesn’t take millions to make a difference – it can start with you.

Refugee sessions programming

The following workshops are designed by OpenIDEO and the content will be delivered by the expert partner organizations, including The Radcliffe Foundation, WISE Initiative and Ideas Box.

Day 1: Journey & Exploration

Workshop, May 24 at 11:30 – 1:00: “Lead with empathy”
  • Presented by the Executive Director of The Ascend Initiative, Kirpatrick Day, and resettled refugees who will share their insights. Participants will join them in mapping out the existing state of affairs and key players to understand where they can have an impact.
  • Successful initiatives from private companies as well as local projects being led by refugees who are resettled in Montréal.
  • Learning from what hasn’t worked: dive into case studies and build on lessons learned.
  • Engage with: Ideas Box and Burners Without Borders.

Keynote: Inspiring keynote from Frank Giustra, who is putting together a coalition of private sector companies in Greece to fill the gaps in humanitarian aid. The keynote takes place in the 360 Big Top – the C2 main stage – Wednesday, May 24, in the afternoon.

Day 2: Brainstorming & Ideation

Workshop, May 25 at 9:30 – 11:00: “Framing opportunities and prototyping ideas”
  • Participants will work to identify their business’s core competencies:
    • Match these to the fundamentals of building livelihoods for refugees.
  • Ideate possible contributions.
  • Conceptualize initiatives to fill the gaps in the system and move towards action.
Private C2 lab
  • Program participants will dive into an atypical C2 lab that physically challenges them to open their minds to new solutions related to impact (think brainstorming while taking risks).

Day 3: Build & Commit

Workshop, May 26 at 9:30 – 11:00: “Looking forward: Building a community of practice”
  • Prototype the best ideas to have a meaningful impact on the ground and receive feedback from experts.
  • Bringing it into reality: What ecosystems do I need to make this happen? Who are my partners, collaborators? Whose buy-in do I need within my company? What commitment am I personally making once I leave C2?

How to sign up:

With a capacity of 25 people for the Ideate for Impact program, all of whom will do all the workshops over 3 days, space is limited and you will need to register for the very first session through klik.

In addition to the Ideate for Impact program, make sure to check out these workshops in the C2 public programming:

May 24: “What if a multimedia box could help tell the stories that would move the world?” presented by Ideas Box
May 25: “Venture philanthropy: Mobilizing core competencies toward impacting the livelihood of refugees,” presented by The Radcliffe Foundation
May 26: “Designing for impact: Education and learning solutions for mobile populations,” presented by WISE

Any questions, write to us:

We know we’re not going to solve this thing in three days, but we’re sure as hell going to try. And we hope you’ll join us.