UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency and Transformator Design are gathering designers, entrepreneurs, students and individuals from the private and public sectors for a workshop open to anyone interested in using a design-based approach to solving problems based on refugee’s needs in Northern Europe. Over 12 hours, participants will learn about service design, interview refugees and come up with bold new ideas to improve refugees’ lives.
More people are displaced now than at any point since the Second World War. With over 60 million people forced to flee their homes, it is clear that we need new and inspiring solutions to receive and integrate so many refugees.
“Everyone who flees from war, violence or persecution deserves shelter, respect and solidarity. UNHCR has engaged Transformator Design to help us arrange a 12-hour workshop open to anyone who feels they want to contribute to the refugee challenge,” said Karolina Lindholm Billing, Deputy Regional Representative for UNHCR Northern Europe.
The workshop will facilitate ideas for the global design competition led by the What Design Can Do platform, UNHCR Innovation, and the IKEA Foundation. The What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge contains five briefs, each addressing major issues such bringing refugee and host communities together and how Europe can maximize the potential of refugees. It is not necessary to enter the challenge if you participate in the workshop, but it is encouraged.
“We don’t think you need to be a designer to be creative. All we ask of participants is that they have an open mind, are curious and show empathy. We will guide them through a design-based approach and help them to come up with their ideas. We also think that the best innovations are based on the users’ needs. We will visit refugee centres in Stockholm to make sure that the ideas are based on the experiences and needs of refugees in Northern Europe today,” said Martin Hanberger, Senior Service Designer, Transformator Design.
The UNHCR workshop is held at Transformator Design in Södermalm, Stockholm, and invites anyone who would like to contribute to the refugee challenge. The day starts with UNHCR explaining the refugee challenge and a briefing about how UNHCR protects the rights of refugees. Transformator Design will then teach you problem solving through service design and innovating on real needs. You will be divided into teams and try to come up with new ideas by using the service design method in a hands-on setting. At the end of the day you will present your idea for UNHCR’s Innovation team, UNHCR Northern Europe and Transformator Design.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, is a global organization dedicated to saving lives, protecting rights and building a better future for refugees, forcibly displaced communities and stateless people. Everything we do helps to protect people forced to flee their homes.
UNHCR Innovation is a multi-departmental unit established within UNHCR to work collaboratively with refugees, academia and the private sector to creatively address the challenges faced by uprooted or stateless people worldwide.
Transformator Design is a Swedish service design agency. They are experts in customer experience and help organizations become customer-centric.