The Hague Humanity Hub was opened on 2 January this year. A community of innovators in peace, justice and humanitarian action. An interview with Jill Wilkinson, Managing Director of the Humanity Hub. The dream: “In 5 years, innovations from this community have had a tangible impact in the world. It would be an honor to be able to tell our stories at the World Economic Forum. ”
After a versatile career at Siemens, Capgemini and the Dutch National Police, Jill found an inspiring challenge in the Humanity Hub. For the interview we met in this new location in the in the governmental district of the Hague, the city of Peace and Justice. One can immediately notice that the attention has been given to the beautiful environment with a design allowing natural light and transparency, providing a sense of openness and inspiring interaction. “This is the place for innovators for peace, justice and humanitarian action to make the needed new alliances to accelerate impact.”
Why The Hague Humanity Hub?
Today’s global humanitarian crises are larger and more complex than they have ever been. Mass migration, terrorism, armed conflict, food shortages, the depletion of natural resources, the consequences of climate change, pollution, social injustice – there are many challenges to peace and justice in our world. One in 50 people on the planet needs humanitarian protection or assistance, and the average amount of time that people spend as refugees is now 17 years (WEF January 2017). The enormity and longevity of these crises means that traditional systems and solutions are no longer sufficient. In fact, experts agree that today’s global humanitarian challenges require solutions that can only come through cross-sectoral partnerships to incorporate best practices, apply the latest technology, and share the available knowledge.
An independent foundation originally initiated by the municipality of the Hague, The Hague Humanity Hub is a unique platform where an inclusive and diverse community of organizations and people can meet, connect and co-create solutions to our most pressing problems.
Director general of the ICRC Yves Daccord at the Hub sharing his thoughts on the future of humanitarian aid
What are the activities that are taking place?
The Hub is more than a physical space in the heart of The Hague. It offers different kinds of memberships designed to enable chance encounters, new alliances and inspirational collaborations. On its three floors, members of the community don’t just share a workspace or a lunch in the cafeteria, but also co-create the programming of projects and events, and increase the reach of their impact by combining their networks. Jill sees this collaboration as the key to success: “Now that we have the first ingredients in place, our next step is to unleash the potential of our community. Together, we can combine our expertise to find better solutions.”
But who is part of this community of changemakers? Within 3 months of opening, the Hub already has more than 30 members organizations, ranging from nonprofits and social enterprises to academical institutions, (intra)governmental bodies and commercial enterprises. These include among others the UN OCHA center for humanitarian data, the World Resources Institute, HumanityX, and the University Groningen/Campus Fryslan, with each bringing in their unique perspective and skills to contribute to the mission of the Hub.
In other words, the Hub is a unique ecosystem full of creativity and aspiration for a better future. Jill shares these ambitions: “My hope is that The Hague Humanity Hub will be an incubator for innovation where we all have the chance to grow and develop in a warm and safe environment. On behalf of our community, I invite you to interact with us, find inspiration, and offer your talents. Join us in this journey”.