Refugees & Innovation: looking for smart solutions for big problems

Social innovation, using present skills and techniques for the good. That’s what we love at The Innovation Station, a videoplatform on social and technological innovation. That’s why we are very enthusiastic about all the worldwide initiatives to bring together people ‘to adress the refugee crisis in ways where the technology world can bring its considerable firepower.’ Looking for smart solutions for big problems.

We make media. That’s what we are good at. That’s why as TIS we chose the theme Refugees (innovation for and by refugees) to focus on in februari. To inspire and inform. At the moment we’re building a collection of the best videos on the subject. Have a look and add your own videos! It’s our goal to give an overview of initiatives, tools and project on refugees & innovation. So are you an organiser of a hackathon, are you behind a cool initiative, did you build a useful app or tool? Drop me a line at erwblo (at) gmail (dot) com and i’ll get in touch to interview you for The Innovation Station.

So what are we gonna do?

  • Build a collection of the best videos on refugees & innovation. We already started. Have a look and add your own.
  • Do a weekly video roundtable. Starting next tuesday on the subject of the innovative power of hackathons. Details to come. Follow us at Twitter: @tistv
  • Do interviews. Get in touch if you have a story to tell!
  • We will aggregate what’s happening around the globe. For example we’ll syndicate next thursday’s Live Aid for Refugee Tech by our friends of Techfugees in London.
  • Livecast events. We will go to the places where it’s happening. Next week’s Refugee Hackathon in Amsterdam will be our place to be.
  • Refugee PopupTV. We want to end the month of februari with Refugee PopupTV, a day of video. A day of information, inspiration and problem solving.

That’s what we’ve lined up for now. Do you have a story to tell? Do you have ideas for us to follow up? Get in touch! erwblo (at) gmail (dot) com is the adress.

And wanna know about all the initiatives going on? Check the Techfugee Hackpad!

Let’s have a look at some of the videos we’ve already collected. Watch the whole collection here.

Technical solution for refugees: Techfugees

Mike Butcher is editor at large at the renowned technology blog TechCrunch. In view of the current refugee crisis in the Middle East and Europe, he felt the tech community needed to come up with a proper response. So he started the initiative Techfugees (tech for refugees). His goal is to create a series of non-profit “Techfugee” conferences, hackathons, and work with a global network of collaborators to come up withinnovations to help.

We heart Techfugees and trust you do too. Below the video report of the first Techfugee Hackathon with a great number of refreshing ideas.

Helping the refugees helping themselves

Whereas Mike wants the tech scene to come up with much needed innovations, Alexander Betts has a very inspiring and compelling case about looking at the refugees themselves for innovations. Use their ideas, brains and knowledge and give them the opportunity to do something useful!

The connected refugee camp: DadaabNet

Communication is probably one of the main issues for a refugee. From best countries to go to, best roads to travel on, to informing relatives and friends; without a mobile phone or access to computer a rather difficult task to comply.
Dadaab in Kenya is one of the largest and oldest refugee camps in the world housing over 300 thousand people. In such a place, almost a city, connectivity is vital. Cisco, Microsoft, Inveneo, GBI and NetHope worked together in creating DadaabNet, a network to provide just that.

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