There are currently more than 70.8 million men, women and children who are forcibly displaced worldwide – more than at any time in the past 70 years – and there is an urgent need for radical, innovative solutions.
This year’s BridgeBuilder Challenge saw social innovators, including currently or previously displaced persons, design approaches that will improve conditions for those displaced or better support host communities.
The top five Ideas have been selected for their promise to promote meaningful engagement, greater social cohesion and sustainable, community-led change. They will each receive a share of $1 million in seed funding from GHR Foundation and will join a cohort of innovative organisations working to address urgent needs.
The BridgeBuilder 2019 Top Ideas are as follows:
• Top Manta (Barcelona, Spain) – Activating a migrant-led streetwear movement for opportunity and solidarity
• Five One Labs (Kurdistan Region, Iraq) – Incubating the post-conflict potential of youth- and women-founded start-ups
• SAMA for All (Paris, France) – Transforming cultural exchanges by training newcomers as art interpreters
• FaithAction (United States) – Reimagining the i.d. card to foster trust and safety among newneighbors
• Talent Beyond Boundaries (MENA, Australia & Canada) – Unlocking global pathways to international employment and safety for refugees
Minneapolis-based GHR Foundation runs the annual Challenge in collaboration with OpenIDEO, the open innovation practice from global design firm IDEO. In its third year, BridgeBuilder gathered over 450 ideas from 30,000 participants in 165 countries. Materials were translated into 11 languages resulting in 71 ideas submitted by people who are currently or have previously experienced displacement.
Submissions were collaborative, principles-based, community-rooted and people-centered – all building bridges in unique, innovative ways.
Amy Goldman, chief executive officer and chair of GHR Foundation, said:
“For our third BridgeBuilder, People on the Move was a natural focus. We wanted to spotlight and support ideas that are desperately needed to improve the lives of migrants and refugees. More than that, though, we wanted to help change the narrative – to elevate the status of those who have experienced displacement as skilled and creative innovators themselves.”
Jason Rissman, managing director of OpenIDEO, added:
"We’ve been so inspired by the global response to BridgeBuilder this year. Yet again, all of the ideas submitted were bold, creative and full of potential. We are especially delighted to count people with firsthand experience amongst our winners – and we’re confident that this cohort will continue to build on their successes to date, creating genuine impact for this often underserved and overlooked community."
Watch the video to learn more about this year's BridgeBuilders.