IPA – a right for life “beyond survival” based on humanitarian principles

By Denise Nanni and Milena Rampoldi, ProMosaik. In the following our interview with Isabella of IPA, the Innovation and Planning Agency, connection solutions, resources, and technologies to support disadvantaged people all over the world. On the website of IPA it says: The scope, scale and complexity of challenges facing the dispossessed require more efficient and innovative approaches. Would like to thank Isabella for her time and answers. 


A picture of Kilian Kleinschmidt – and a teenager – when he was still “Mayor” (manager) of Zaatari in Jordan, one of the world’s biggest refugee camps. Copyright: robert poecksteiner / peter pfund www.dontpanicproduction.com


How was IPA founded and what are its main objectives?
Kilian Kleinschmidt, the founder and CEO of IPA, is an international networker, humanitarian and refugee expert with over 25 years of experience in a wide range of countries as United Nations official and aid worker. He came to see the way the aid sector functions and is managed by the international institutions not appropriate anymore. He now wants to change the narrative in the humanitarian aid to provide the poor with a life that means more than just surviving. He says, it is about time to move away from keeping people hostage to a humanitarian unsustainable logic and move into a new way of connecting the millions of poor and disadvantaged with relevant and under-utilized recourses and modern technologies of the 21st century.  IPA aims to replace the traditional humanitarian and charitable system with more effective decentralized structures for a sustainable and quality of life improving development.
How do you select the regions/communities where you intervene?
So far, IPA is still in the process of developing different concepts with different partners, and finding investors. Actual full implementations of projects are still to come. Therefore I would like to introduce two projects, which are currently being worked on:
·   Humanity Artist Jam Network
It is an idea jointly created by Kilian Kleinschmidt and Thomas Hankel  (CEO and creative director of torpedo), and it is based on the principle, that people are connected by arts and culture. Arts and culture are those essential components which define the fabric of our society. Through the Humanity Artist Jam concept, artists, artistic creators and pioneers will be connected through mentors and sponsorships to a specific Artist Jam project. Artists from “our” countries will be connected with groups in “emerging” markets and developing countries to initiate Artist Jam projects. The outcome will be art  – in every kind, like small and big collective works and workshops, working groups, events, concerts, media events, publications, permanent and temporary art and art works. Through these projects, a sense for creativity and initiative will be supported, emotional intelligence, critical reflections, a sense for independence, for freedom of thoughts and actions will be developed. The social backgrounds, the culture and the needs of the local community are part and parcel of every project.
 ·   Beyond Survival
Another campaign, which was founded by Kilian Kleinschmidt and where IPA is involved is the Beyond Survivals campaign. The book “Beyond Survival” is the starting point of the fundraising and social community campaign “beyondsurvivals”. The book, written by Kilian Kleinschmidt and Jenny Schuckardt (journalist and author), portrays the stories of 12 children and teenagers, who had to flee, left everything behind and who impress through their courage, cheerfulness, and curiosity for knowledge. The book brings greater awareness to the rights of children, a right for life “beyond survival” based on humanitarian principles. The online platform “beyondsurvivals” is a cooperation of different partners and enables investment in innovative and creative projects, which help children and teenagers gain access to the modern world, in which education, arts, culture and technology are fixed components of their lives. (Link to the homepage: http://www.beyondsurvivals.com/de/ )
What are the main features of your innovative approach?
IPA identifies the relevant resources, and matches them with the needs of the population in the crises regions with a focus on the socio-economic development. Through the use of innovative technology the economic and social system will be stimulated. International available, efficient new technology solutions and best practices, which are often not accessible for crises areas and “lost” markets can solve demands much more effectively than “traditional” methods. IPA’s approach always involves the local authorities and local communities – this includes the development of meaningful partnerships in the chosen regions. The local population is part of every project to develop regional capacities. Refugees and migrants are seen as new opportunities for further development, through which local capacity will be strengthened.