Refugee and migrants brainstorm

Ink Strategy helped design and facilitate a large group session to optimise impact in creating new European policies regarding inclusion of migrants and refugees.

Ink Strategy worked with the municipality of Amsterdam, in partnership with several European cities and funded by the European commission, to put the Syrian refugee crisis, named as the largest humanitarian crisis of our time by the United Nations Human Rights Commission, on centre stage. Ink Strategy helped design and facilitate a large group session to optimise impact in creating new European policies regarding inclusion of migrants and refugees.

150 people, ranging from migrants to refugees to policy makers were flown into Amsterdam to join the brainstorm. Most participants were status holders or policy makers with varying levels of experience in the journey of a migrant into urban inclusion.



A Unique Approach

A progressive approach was taken by inviting Syrian refugees to the event. The one-on-one contact with policy makers themselves is a more evolved form of co-creation. In most instances at the European level the actual target audience is rarely contacted. This approach was not only appreciated by the participants but was extremely effective in its outcome.

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The topics touched on during this full day session were focused around the journey of a migrant:

  1. Reception
  2. Housing
  3. Education
  4. Work

We used visualisation to structure the discussion, gaining insights into the top problems identified by the participants per theme. Eight Ink Strategists facilitated a brainstorm around the topics, redefining and analysing problems to help participants identify practical solutions




Our work didn’t stop when the session closed. Ink Strategy went further to create new insights based upon the information gleaned during the session. We presented this back to the Municipality of Amsterdam and are working to get some of these initiatives off the ground. Our team is working on finding partnerships and opportunities to pilot simple practical ideas to address the most pressing issues. Our main ideas can be seen here. Anyone interested in partnering or knowing more please contact us! We fully believe the way forward is in bridging the gap between refugees with experience in the field and the policy makers who have the mandate to make changes.

Lack of social network Build a digital ‘buddy system’ connecting ex-refugees with new refugees to share knowledge and experience
Language barriers making integration impossible Broad European support for non-formal language education events making it easier for all groups to learn the language
Lack of information during reception One stop shop; design a refugee journey map with all essential information upon reception in Europe including all relevant documents and files needed per region explained visually. 
Citizens perceive refugees as aliens Starting a wide spread refugee and migrant awareness campaign. 
Refugees don’t have a voice A refugee and migrant event agenda facilitated by municipalities where specific topics are discussed