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While away on her work term, Jennifer Kinnunen and her colleagues entered the What Design Can Do 2016 Refugee Challenge. On July 1st it was publicly announced that their project Eat&Meet has been selected as one of the five winning projects to be launched by WDCD, the UNHCR and IKEA Foundation in the European refugee crisis.

The What Design Can Do Refugee Challenge is a global design competition in search for game-changing ideas for accommodating, connecting, integrating and helping the personal development of refugees. The challenge specifically focuses on refugees in urban areas, as nearly 60 percent of the world’s 20 million refugees now live in urban areas.

The international jury met in Amsterdam to determine the 5 winning projects who will now receive 10,000 euros of funding each and expert guidance to turn their ideas into reality.

The ultimate goal of this ‘Accelerate’ phase, which ends on 2 October 2016, is to build a viable and sustainable start-up around each winner’s concept. By realising five exemplifying cases in close collaboration with key stakeholders, the aim is to inspire governments, NGOs, and businesses to harness the power of creativity.

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Eat & Meet
Entrants: Jennifer Kinnunen (Dalhousie MArch student), Marie Legleye, Camille Marshall, Elias Sougrati, Camille Marshall – Brazil

Eat & Meet uses food to foster relationships and warm hearts, presenting refugees as an indispensable part of modernity. The project turns renovated city buses into food trucks where refugees can cook and sell food from their culinary tradition, with proceeds going to the workers as well as integration projects. The jury remarked: “This multidimensional plan taps in on the age-old natural law that eating a stranger’s food is the first form of intercultural trust. The concept has great potential for scaling, and it also offers lots of opportunities, especially to women.”