Asylum homes burn, radical parties thrive and borders close: While Europe struggles with the so-called refugee crisis, we risk to fall back into a dark age of isolated nation states. „Refugee Open Cities“ tells a different story: This toolkit for crisis communities worldwide unlocks the vast potential of migrants and turns the negative picture around. Let´s move from anxiety to action, turn bunk bed halls into makerspaces and create communities envisioned by refugees and locals alike.
People escaping from wars arrive at our doorsteps today - globalization is getting personal and immediate. Germany alone is hosting about one million new migrants and 3,6 million more are expected to arrive until 2020. Regardless of our opinions on migration, it is reality - and it won´t stop soon. Now it’s on us to leapfrog beyond the emergency mode of migrant camps, nationalistic rhetorics and slow bureaucracy. ROC21 aims to be a blueprint for dignity, diversity and human development.
ROC21 is an open-source, adaptable toolkit to turn crisis camps into thriving environments full of opportunities, personal growth and participation. We will collect the best ideas from social architecture and community governance, learn from digital communities and maker spaces and facilitate open spaces among refugees and locals. Business and NGO partners will be integrated into our 9-months-curriculum for inclusion and our team takes care of strong media attention and political lobbying.
Research: To gather first hand infos, we will visit refugee camps in Germany, Austria, Turkey and lead interviews with field experts and social innovators.
Production: After several concept sprints and iterations, we’ll present our findings at a ROC21hackathon to co-develop all content, design and programming.
Prototyping: We will offer and test selected methods of the ROC21 toolkit at actual refugee camps to challenge and refine our assumptions.
Roll-out: Our team will embed and engage itself long-term into a refugee camp situation while the toolkit is published and can be adapted and improved across the world.
Circular Impact: Migrants are supposed to be educated and trained for the rebuilding of their home countries, in jobs such as engineering, community organizing, law, education etc.
Crisis and refugee camp managers worldwide can use our toolkit and implement methods for themselves. Once rolled out, refugees profit from a much faster inclusion, access to the language, education and jobs. Local citizens will get to know refugees on a deeper level and take away a positive experience they can retell; with the help of media spreading to an overall better image from a crisis to a challenge. Finally, politicians can reduce structural stress and present a roadmap to their citizens.
What makes this crisis so dangerous is that it overwhelms volunteer citizens, NGOs and nation leaders on their respective levels. And actions either focus on emergency (“do our best to help”) or singular issues such as health or education (“do what we´re used to do”). We think it now needs an innovative, interconnected approach - a complex solution to a complex problem. Our team is among the few to facilitate and host the most innovative partners and connect their solutions holistically.
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Research: Interviews & Travel Costs ca. 8.000 € Production: Concept Sprints & Events ca. 15.000 € Programming & Design ca. 20.000 € Prototyping: Team implements methods ca. 25.000€
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Asylum homes burn, radical parties thrive and borders are closed: while Europe struggles with the so-called refugee crisis, “Refugee Open Cities” tells a different story. A toolkit co-produced by refugees, refugee organisations and innovators will gather together experiences, knowledge and tools and, in doing so, unlock and showcase the vast potential of migrants. The ultimate aim of the project, whose testing ground is a refugee shelter in Berlin-Neukölln, is to create a community space, envisioned by refugees and locals alike, which can be transferred to other places, spaces and countries in Europe and beyond.