GHR Foundation Announces BridgeBuilder™ Top Ideas to Help Migrants, Refugees, and Displaced People

Wednesday, December 11, 2019 Lifestyle News
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Five Top Ideas will share $1 million in seed funding and receive mentorship

MINNEAPOLIS, Dec. 11, 2019 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ -- - Five Top Ideas will share $1 million in seed funding and receive mentorship

  • Voices, perspectives and ideas of people on the move at the heart of the Challenge which engaged those with displacement experience as innovators, experts and reviewers
  • Winners include initiatives helping migrants in the US access community services and providing economic opportunities for refugees worldwide
GHR Foundation today announces the winners of its BridgeBuilder global innovation challenge, awarding $1 million to the best ideas that address urgent global issues relating to 'People on the Move'.

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 (Mosul & Baghdad, 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 new neighbors
  • Talent Beyond Boundaries (Jordan, Lebanon & 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."

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About GHR Foundation

GHR Foundation is an independent philanthropy of service to people and their limitless potential for good. Alongside its partners around the world, GHR reimagines what's possible when pursuing impact on issues related to Children in Families, Education, Alzheimer's Disease and more. The Foundation designed BridgeBuilder to be a powerful movement for good—a unifier and lever for social change, and a driver for bridging between people, issues, networks, and resources.

About OpenIDEO

As IDEO's open innovation practice, OpenIDEO enables people worldwide to come together and build solutions for today's toughest societal problems. Online and around the globe, OpenIDEO works with world-class partners to convene diverse communities that collectively develop ideas and accelerate social innovation. OpenIDEO's platform expands on the power of crowdsourcing, equipping participants with resources, connections, and design tools to create real impact. After tackling over 50 topics ranging from food waste to girls' education to Ebola, people everywhere are designing a better future with OpenIDEO.

BridgeBuilder 2019 Top Ideas

Top Manta Barcelona, Spain Activating a migrant-led streetwear movement for opportunity and solidarity Launched by Senegalese 'manteros' (street vendors) in Spain, the Popular Labor Union of Street Vendors of Barcelona improves the lives of migrants by expanding their possibilities for self-employment and solidarity. The BridgeBuilder Top Idea, Top Manta, is an ethical streetwear brand that will activate a social fashion movement—shining a light on the capabilities and imagination of migrants eager to contribute to the local and global economy through legal work.

Five One Labs Mosul & Baghdad, Iraq Incubating the post-conflict potential of youth- and women-founded start-ups Five One Labs is a startup incubator in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq that equips displaced and conflict-affected entrepreneurs with the training, mentorship, and financing to rebuild their lives with dignity. The BridgeBuilder Top Idea will strengthen and expand the entrepreneur support programs of Five One Labs for youth- and women-led start-ups in the Kurdistan region for expansion into Mosul and Baghdad.

SAMA for All Paris, France Transforming cultural exchanges by training newcomers as art interpreters Founded by a Syrian refugee and two French citizens, SAMA for All creates unique employment opportunities for refugees and migrants in the cultural sector while facilitating meaningful interactions and shifting perceptions. The BridgeBuilder Top Idea will expand its specialized training in art mediation—enhancing skills of newcomers to serve as interpreters at Paris art museums while positioning them as leaders in cultural spaces in additional cities.

FaithAction United States Reimagining the I.D. card to foster trust and safety among new neighbors FaithAction works to build greater understanding, trust, and cooperation between the diverse newcomer community and local law enforcement, health centers, schools, and city agencies across the United States. The BridgeBuilder Top Idea is a one-of-a-kind I.D. card program that will improve the safety and well-being of tens of thousands of newcomers without access to government-issued identification in ten U.S. cities and internationally, while creating more inclusive and united communities for all.

Talent Beyond Boundaries Jordan, Lebanon & Canada Unlocking global pathways to international employment and safety for refugees Talent Beyond Boundaries is the first organization to connect the skills and experience of refugees and displaced persons to international job opportunities—opening labor mobility as a complementary solution to traditional refugee resettlement. The BridgeBuilder Top Idea will match refugees from Jordan and Lebanon with international jobs and migration in Canada to open pathways toward restored self-reliance and safety.

BridgeBuilder Challenge Process

During the Ideas Phase, BridgeBuilder called on the global community to share approaches that bring people together to address urgent challenges faced by people on the move. The proposals did not need to be perfect or fully polished—in fact, early entry in the Ideas phase will allow teams to iterate and improve an idea through community engagement. Throughout this Phase, participants were encouraged to include voices of people with experience of displacement in their communities to design ideas and provide feedback.

Currently and previously displaced people helped to select a shortlist of submitted ideas to move into the Expert Feedback Phase, where teams were matched with experts with lived experience and from various fields to gather feedback and additional insights. After expert feedback, the Improve Phase gave each team three weeks to apply the expert feedback to their proposal, finalize and resubmit it along with a project budget.

Top Ideas will receive seed funding and post-Challenge support from GHR, as well as connection opportunities with other BridgeBuilders and OpenIDEO.

Selected top ideas will:

  • Receive a share of $1 million in seed funding from GHR Foundation
  • Join a BridgeBuilder cohort of innovative organizations working to address urgent needs
  • Take part in a kick-off workshop, during which they will meet other social innovators and further design and build their approaches with tools and expertise from GHR and OpenIDEO
  • Receive ongoing partnership support from GHR, potential connection to other funder networks, and media exposure
Submission Guidelines

Ideas were invited from individuals and teams currently or previously experiencing displacement as well as registered non-profit, civil society, community-based, and for-profit organizations working anywhere in the world.

  • Actionable and tangible: Idea must be actionable and build tangible results in the community of focus, rather than research, convenings, policy development, or advocacy.
  • Within scope: Idea must be implemented within a 36-month timeline and within a budget up to US$200,000.
  • Representative: Idea must show evidence that the voice and perspective of a person currently or previously experiencing displacement is part of the ideation, process, and project.

SOURCE GHR Foundation

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