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RLI Talks

Innovation by Refugees, for Refugees!


Eshita Sharma

Margaret Chen

Clare Hackwith


“RLI Talks” is a refugee-led talk series designed to promote innovation within the UNHCR organization. Using an innovation framework, the talks go through the problem-solving process from problem definition to implementation of a solution. Hearing about successful innovation projects by refugees, for refugees, will allow all people within UNHCR to understand the impact of innovation and learn how to incorporate an innovation framework into their everyday practice. Thus, creating a culture of innovation one talk at a time.


Over the past 4 months, we have worked on designing a method that can help the UNHCR Innovation Service to promote Innovation and the work they do with colleagues within the organization. Our challenges included refining our primary research by asking questions with the team. These questions then turned into ideas where the biggest challenge was to find a clear direction and narrowing our overall topic. From starting the basic ideation to creating a line up for our talks, we had to research not only internally but also internally within the organization. Therefore, our biggest challenge was choosing the right product idea that can be the most beneficial for our client.


The product outcome was to create a change in the lives of the current and future refugees by motivating and inspiring people within the organization to understand the need of innovation. Through learning directly by people who have faced these challenges and are using them as a source of inspiration to make a change in the lives of millions. Refugees are increasing in the world with the rising problems of falling economies and rising environmental challenges. Therefore, to create for the people we need to learn from those people and thus, these talks are a source of inspiration to promote innovative problem-solving.

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