Humanitarian Innovation: "Move Fast and Break Things...?"

Humanitarian Innovation: "Move fast and Break Things...?"
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Thursday 09 September 2021

10:30 AM - 12:00 PM


Zoom (registration required to be sent joining instructions)




This event forms part of Coventry University & HEED's three-part live webinar series and coffee mornings, which are designed to challenge and engage multi-level actor’s central to solving the humanitarian energy access challenge.


Innovation is widely recognised as a driver of societal change. Since the early 20th century, Joseph’s Schumpeter’s idea of “Creative Destruction” has been central to how innovation is understood by many, and raises questions regarding the nature of this change in light of 21st 21st-century challenges; what is innovative, who has the power and desire to create, and why? And what gets “destroyed” in the process? Ideas of innovation have been enacted in a wide range of contexts, including the humanitarian sector. However, the sociotechnical and environmental landscapes of refugee hosting countries appear to create major barriers to humanitarian energy innovation for and with displaced populations. In this webinar, we look to explore what “responsibility” means in the context of humanitarian energy innovation, and if the sector can remain responsible in for its innovation. What is the role of private sector partners in relation to challenges of community- design and the “destruction” which can result from innovation? What skills, resources, and approaches do those working in the humanitarian energy sector need to participate in “responsible” innovation? What understandings of innovation feel most useful for the humanitarian energy sector; is innovation even an appropriate goal to strive for in these settings? And what practical approaches can be adopted to ensure values of care are embedded in activities striving to be innovative? These questions, amongst others, will be discussed in our panel session with a range of humanitarian sector leaders working on the frontiers of sustainable humanitarian innovation.

Discover HEED's supporting opinion piece 'Innovation in humanitarian energy: what you think is what you get' by Sam Unsworth ahead of this event. 

Event speakers