IPA Partner Network

Making change happen


Disruptive technology in conflict zones to improve human rights for both refugees and host communities

ROW (Refugee Open Ware) seeks to attenuate the immediate effects of conflict while driving long-term economic development, productivity growth, venture creation and employment generation. ROW is a humanitarian innovation consortium developing open hardware innovation ecosystems, fueled by co-creation between refugees, host communities, and the best global resources in the world.


IPA | switxboard and Refugee Open Ware (ROW) are two organizations having partnered  taking an entrepreneurial approach to humanitarian innovation through partnerships and advanced technology. IPA is a pioneer of open innovation in the humanitarian space, democratizing access to global knowhow and matching it with the needs of the disadvantaged. ROW is a global humanitarian innovation consortium, which leverages the democratization of production and advanced technology to improve basic needs provision in conflict-affected areas – technologies such as 3D printing, robotics, artificial intelligence, the internet of things, brain-computer interface and virtual reality.


Innovative architecture and social design concepts for humanitarian needs

More Than Shelters aims to create a humane habitat for refugees and residents of informal settlements and encourage those concerned to actively shape their own future. The objective is to create an individual home for people who have been forced into an emergency situation and give them the opportunity to help themselves – for a dignified life, even in situations of crisis.


A tech community response to the European refugee crisis

Techfugees was created as a tech community response to the European refugee crisis, involving a network of concerned individuals and organizations. They act as the conduit to tech companies, investors, and NGOs – bridging the gap between the agility and innovation of tech sector to the expertise of ngo’s on the ground.



An arts initiative for children and youth involving children & youth in art and culture

CHILD OF PLAY promotes UN principles through educational and creative projects, and communicates human and ethical values through art. No matter what their living conditions may be, all children and young people in this world have the right and should have the opportunity to take part in cultural life, art and play – irreplaceable tools for promoting the healthy spiritual development of every child.


A project for peace and reconstruction in Syria

The Habesha Project is a neutral, not-for-profit, non-political, and non-faith based international Mexican-led humanitarian initiative. It makes it possible for Syrian students, who have fled the conflict, to travel to Mexico to pursue higher education. The Habesha Project proposes a model that views Syrian students as an asset and opportunity to promote an intercultural dialogue that fosters an international culture of peace.


SPARK’s mission is to develop entrepreneurship and higher education so that young ambitious people are empowered to lead their post-conflict societies into prosperity. SPARK works closely with a range of local partners including chambers of commerce, universities, vocational schools, governments (both local and foreign), business institutions and civil society organisations to build cooperative, locally sustainable networks of support for promising entrepreneurs.


An independent, international think tank

The International Peace Institute (IPI) is an independent, international not-for-profit think tank dedicated to managing risk and building resilience to promote peace, security, and sustainable development. With staff from more than twenty countries and a broad range of academic fields, IPI has offices facing UN headquarters in New York and offices in Vienna and Manama.


The largest network of social entrepreneurs putting their system changing ideas into practice on a global scale

Ashoka has provided start-up financing, professional support services, and connections to a global network across the business and social sectors, and a platform for people dedicated to changing the world. Ashoka launched the field of social entrepreneurship and has activated multi-sector partners across the world who increasingly look to entrepreneurial talent and new ideas to solve social problems. With nearly 3,000 Ashoka Fellows in 70 countries.

Agency for Economic Cooperation and Development

The Austrian platform for the economy and the public administration.

The Agency for Economic Cooperation and Developement promotes sustainable international relations, advises donor institutions as well as beneficiaries and is recognized partner for the implementation of internationals projects.


Helping refugees arrive at their destination safely

Refugees on Planes or ROP is a consortium of international NGOs and civil society set-up to provide efficient and immediate humanitarian protection to refugees affected by war in the Middle East and Turkey. The long-term aim is to stop illegal migration over time- that puts lives at risk- and replace it with a controlled and safe movement of refugees to Europe by plane.


Providing remote management solutions to humanitarian and development organizations

in 14 countries. It has helped dozens of organizations adopt technology and adapt processes to ensure that their response in difficult to access areas is based on evidence.


Refugee cities present a pragmatic and feasible next-step solution to the problem refugees face.

Refugee cities offer refugees the opportunity to develop their potential in a defined space now, while displaced, and in the midst of the political standstills over nationwide integration efforts rather than waiting to see if will be allowed to work anywhere,


The core focus to help companies set up the right product configuration space brought cyLEDGE worldwide recognition.

cyLEDGE is Austria’s leading research-driven digital agency.
It has created the world’s largest knowledge platform for digital interaction design, the Configurator Database, which contains now more than 1000 different online product configurators. We made it to our mission to understand the mechanisms behind these interactive tools.

Configurator Knowledge, Scientific Research, Social Media, IT Innovations, Creativitiy, Strategy & Concept, Usability & Content Analysis

Most specifically we would like to express our gratitude to our digital partner cyLEDGE Media for their pro bono support.


“Rebooting the lives of refugees // Freedom through Knowledge”

RBK operates within Jordan to offer intensive computer science training to refugees.

RBK’s curriculum includes training in technical and soft skills – leadership, team building, creative problem solving, collaboration methods and ethics. RBK focuses on high-demand skills in the tech world – the latest web programming languages of Javascript and HTML/CSS, as well as graphic design software, such as Photoshop.

The boot camps will be hosted inside of a facility called a “ZatLAB”, which will be of a portable, durable, and comfortable learning environment that contains an ample supply of laptop computers and other tech equipment.

Iraq Re:Coded

Technology and entrepreneurship to catalyze social change

Re:Coded uses a program adapted from The Flatiron School’s Web Development Immersive to train refugees and displaced youth in Iraq in web and mobile development.

The program offers 8 weeks of English language training, followed by 22 weeks of intensive skills training. Three months into the program, fellows are able to work with Re:Coded private sector partners to generate a living wage.


Enable Digital Impact

Linkando simplifies digital transformation and allows for digital impact. This makes Linkando a unique technology choice for any organization on its path of digital transformation choosing Crowd Collaboration as the Future of Work.


Collaborating to develop and support systems for game-changing social change

Startupboat provides a digital tool and offline mentorship for founders who want to start their own project under extreme conditions.

Together for Better Days

Where people come together to create something beautiful

Together for Better Days, a Greek-Swiss registered non-governmental organization formally founded in January 2016, supports innovative independent projects designed as alternative responses to the refugee crisis.


Prosper has created an app that centralizes refugee crisis initiatives so you can easily find a project that meets your needs

“We are designers, developers, data scientists, aid workers, and refugees—all driven by a shared belief that when refugees prosper, we all prosper”.

Prosper emerged as John Ellison‘s response to the human suffering of the refugee crisis in Europe. Since launching an experimental landing page in October 2015, a global community of skilled digital workers has centralized around a single mission:

To transform the refugee crisis into an opportunity to foster an integrated society where every person is cherished and prosperity abounds.


A world in which everyone
has the equal chance to access
and succeed in higher education

Vincent Zimmer and Markus Kreßler came up with the idea for Kiron during a refugee conference in the summer of 2014, where they discussed their visions of a “university 2.0.” This idea aims to use technological progress to concentrate more on each individual student. At the time, Zimmer and Kreßler both worked as volunteers with refugees: Markus with a psycho-social consultancy for refugees, and Vincent with “Study without borders,” which supports students in crisis situations. Both were enthusiastic about the possibilities that this new approach to university education offered refugees, who previously did not have direct access to education. This led them to begin talking to online course providers, universities and decision-makers in politics and the economy. Markus and Vincent discovered that there were solutions to every single barrier refugees faced – except when they tried to access a university education. As a result, in March 2015, they founded the social startup “Kiron Open Higher Education,” which aims to give refugees around the world access to a university education and additional related options. In this way, Kiron supports refugees in facing the challenges of fleeing from their home countries and starting over elsewhere.


For development & aid

At the end of the year 2011, the youth initiative Sawa4Syria was founded as a reaction to the dire gap in fulfilling the needs of Syrian refugees in Lebanon. Sawa was among the first initiatives on the ground, encompassing a big number of students, individuals, professionals, academics, and business men, Syrian, Lebanese, and of diverse nationalities and multiple backgrounds, united by a common aim: that humanitarian relief and development is a matter of social justice, and to raise the living standards of Syrian refugees particularly, and the families in need from all nationalities more generally, to the basic standards of a dignified life.

All efforts done by volunteers and those who supported the initiative (both materially and morally) helped Sawa4Syria to expand and become a non profit organization (Sawa for Development and Aid), to work in different areas, including but beyond relief, in projects that transform the individual from beneficiary to an independent agent in society.

Karam Foundation

We develop Innovative Education programs for Syrian refugee youth, distribute
Smart Aid to Syrian families, and fund Sustainable Development
projects initiated by Syrians for Syrians

Karam Foundation was founded in 2007 in Chicago — a small, non-profit organization determined to do big things. Karam means generosity in Arabic — our simple vision was to give what was needed to those who needed it anywhere around the world. Ten years ago, we started with
a food drive on the south-side of Chicago. Today, our impact expands across Syria, Turkey, Lebanon, and Jordan, building a better future for thousands of Syrian families.

Play the City

Play the City uses gaming to engage multiple stakeholders in resolving complex urban challenges

Dynamic urban development “is” the 21st century. As master planning falls out of favor, city makers are calling for more effective and collaborative methods. Play the City consults governments and companies through our physical Gaming method. A game is a model, a simplified version of reality. Complex issues can be made accessible to a large number of people; both experts and non-experts.
Their Games accelerate consensus amongst multiple stakeholders, support informed decision making and resolve conflicts. Stakeholders have fun and engage in the process genuinely.

Play the City tailor their Games according to each specific case. With over five years experience worldwide, Play the City have worked on urban projects of all scales as well as on refugee camps, violence prevention and other multi-stakeholder challenges.


We support refugee entrepreneurs access interest free micro financial services

Alternative/ Collaborative / Informal / Peer to Peer Finance as a phenomena allows the global supporter of refugees to engage with them.  It helps the refugees feel part of the global community.  It also helps the refugees tap into global support in their hour of need.  These relationships nurture life long friendships as well.

​UNHCR has been working on offering Refugees Micro Finance since 2000. They feel it is a self sustaining way of supporting refugees become self reliant.


Innovations for a free, resilient, and generous world

Openworld uses virtual catalysts such as microscholarships to directly assist grassroots self-help ventures that are interested in freedom and in awakening new assets for sustainability. Additional resources can be provided to communities in cases where public authorities agree to remove obstacles that now hold back business and social ventures.

World Building Institute

No boundaries. No borders. New world.

The World Building Institute is a cutting edge USC non-profit Organized Research Unit dedicated to the dissemination, education, and appreciation of the future of narrative media through World Building.

World Building designates a narrative practice in which the design of a world precedes the telling of a story; the richly detailed world becomes a container for narrative, producing stories that emerge logically and organically from its well-designed core.

World Building is founded on three beliefs, namely that storytelling is the most powerful system for the advancement of human capability due to its ability to allow the human imagination to precede the realization of thought; that all stories emerge logically and intuitively from the worlds that create them; and that new technologies powerfully enable us to sculpt the imagination into existence.

The World Building Institute is the world’s leading World Building collective. Their network of preeminent World Builders transcends borders and boundaries in film, animation, fashion, gaming, theatre, television, music, architecture, science, interactive media and more.

Through the newly cemented partnership with USC School of Cinematic Arts, the World Building Institute is evolving into an unmatched connector between the next generation of young and undiscovered creators traversing the bleeding edge of innovation and companies who want to be at the frontlines of the new media landscape.

African Clean Energy

Our mission is to enable clean cooking and sustainable energy for Sub-Saharan Africa and beyond.

African Clean Energy (ACE) is the producer of the ACE 1 solar biomass energy system: an advanced cookstove which reduces smoke emissions to negligible levels. The ACE 1 is among the cleanest and most high-tech stoves currently available, providing clean cooking with a range of biomass fuels as well as offering solar electricity for mobile phone charging and LED lighting.