LET'S TURN EMERGENCY SHELTERS INTO THRIVING ENVIRONMENTS

REFUGEE
OPEN CITIES

THE CHALLENGE

Asylum homes burn, borders close and radical parties thrive. While Europe struggles with the so-called refugee crisis, we risk to fall back into a dark age of isolated nation states.

Germany alone is hosting more than a million newcomers and 3,6 million more are expected to arrive until 2020. Regardless of our opinions on migration, it is a reality that won´t stop soon.

NOW IT’S ON US TO LEAPFROG BEYOND THE EMERGENCY MODE OF CRISIS CAMPS, NATIONALISTIC RHETORICS AND SLOW BUREAUCRACY!

OUR SOLUTION

Refugee Open Cities (ROC21) aims to turn emergency shelters into thriving environments, enabling empowerment and community-driven solutions.
Our goal is to unlock the vast potential of newcomers and welcoming locals alike. A holistic, sensitive approach involving the opinion, needs and skills of the migrant community is often missing.

This is why we facilitate open innovation processes to improve living conditions fast and inspire collective responsibility. We believe that change starts in the heads, but becomes a reality when it´s experienced at heart and realized with your own hands.
Therefore, participants will be provided opportunities to change the space they´re living in, leading to collaborative results.

IT BEGINS IN BERLIN

We´ve started our project in the midst of Berlin-Neukölln: About 600 newcomers, 1/4 of them kids, live there in an abandoned fashion warehouse on four vast floors. Similar to many of these emergency accommodations, the living conditions are basic; with eight people

sharing one room, often divided by language and religious beliefs. Waiting for their papers for six months and more, they hope to find a regular job, a home to call their own and getting their families over to Germany.

OUR VISION

2017 and beyond

Our first round of interviews with shelter inhabitants and the managing team have led to a multitude of opinions, challenges and potential - from quick fixing the WIFI to installing a community kitchen to changing the role pattern of women and men inside the community. Whatever the challenge ahead will be, we make sure to share our solutions and methods open source and make them accessible for others.

In 2017 we´ll take our experiences to new places and premises. We will implement our best-practices on one hand and keep learning with our partners, refugees and locals on the other. Among the goals set for next year are:

HELPING BOTH NEWCOMERS AND WELCOMING CITIZENS TO CREATE LONG-TERM BONDS AS THE FASTEST WAY FOR TRUE INCLUSION AND LEARNING THE LOCAL LANGUAGE
CONNECTING REFUGEES TO THE MAKER MOVEMENT AND PRODUCE SUSTAINABLE OPEN-SOURCE TECH HAND IN HAND WITH OUR EXISTING POC21 COMMUNITY
ASSESSING AND REACTIVATING THE SOPHISTICATED SKILLS OF MIGRANTS AND CONNECTING THEM TO THE JOB MARKET (WE´VE ALREADY MET E.G. ARCHITECTS, ELECTRICIANS, SCULPTORS)
BENEFICIARIES ARE SUPPOSED TO BE TRAINED FOR THE REBUILDING OF THEIR HOME COUNTRIES, IN JOBS SUCH AS ENGINEERING, COMMUNITY ORGANIZING, LAW OR EDUCATION

OUR PARTNERS

Advocate Europe Germany
Advocate Europe is an idea challenge implemented by MitOst, in cooperation with Liquid Democracy, and funded by Stiftung Mercator.

Malteser Hilfsdienst e.V. Germany
Manage our “prototype” shelter in Berlin, potentially a countrywide partner

Anstiftung & Ertomis Germany
Finances, connects and researches infrastructures for intercultural encounter, repair cafés and open-source projects

Ashoka Innovationsfonds Integration Germany
Financing long-term solutions with real impact

BMW Stiftung Herbert Quandt Germany
Corporate Foundation that drives social innovation

Politglott Germany
Social enterprise aiming at enhancing political participation

Earthship Biotecture worldwide
The “radically sustainable buildings” network supports us in construction

Quatorze France
Builder´s community providing infrastructure and trainings for refugees

Universität der Künste Germany
We partner up with students for room hacks and design thinking sessions

morethanshelters Germany
Well-renowned experts on social architecture and crisis shelters

Freifunk Germany
Noncommercial organization supporting free and open wifi systems

Tiny House University Germany
A world where residency is a human right. Everywhere. For everybody.

Bildungswerk in Kreuzberg Germany
Professional and lingual qualification for migrants and socially marginalized groups of people

OUR TEAM

Open State walks the talk to the circular, collaborative economy we need. Based in Berlin and connected with international communities, we create safe spaces for collective innovation, empowering organizations and individuals to join the urgent transition. Our founding project was called POC21, an innovation camp with

300 makers, designers, scientists and geeks, located in a castle near Paris. It´s been a wide success with 25 million media contacts, 500.000 downloads of product construction plans and 50 international partners. Please browse our report or watch the film.