On 16 October 2019, at the Economist Magazine’s Third Sustainability Summit for south-east Europe and the Mediterranean in Athens, Dr. Kälin was invited to give a speech about the current refugee crisis and the role of public-private partnerships in helping to tackle the problem. Speaking in his capacity as Chairman of the Andan Foundation, his response was as follows: that we need to move away from the antiquated notion of refugees as ‘objects of care’ and start empowering them. We need new forms of collaboration if we are to transform the global refugee crisis into a sustainable development opportunity. To that end, Dr. Kälin proposed the concept of ‘Refugee Cities’. The core idea is simple: to expand opportunities for displaced people by creating secure, self-governing communities in which people can settle and build a future. They can engage in work, start businesses, gain independence, and rebuild their lives.
Watch the full speech here