Welcome to Inspired: your window into innovation at the ICRC.

For us, innovation is much more than a buzzword. It is an opportunity to change for the better: for the populations we serve, for our organization, and for our partners. It is about building on a 150-year tradition of working in some of the world’s most complex environments. It is about taking risks, learning and sharing, driving improvements, and, sometimes, transforming.

Here you will find an initial set of stories about how we work. Many more exist – from Bangkok to Beirut, from Geneva to Goma – and will be published frequently. Through these stories, you can explore our innovations, from pioneering digitalization and data protection, to incremental improvements in the field and new ways of collaborating with others.

We invite you to come and discover with us.

Adapting how we assist and protect people

Our goal is to give the best possible assistance and protection to populations in conflict and crisis. This means finding new and improved ways of responding to 21st century challenges and putting crisis-affected populations at the center of solutions.

We work in some of the world’s most difficult operating environments, dealing with unexpected emergencies and protracted conflicts, against a backdrop of global instability, a changing climate, state fragility, and people on the move. We do so guided by International Humanitarian Law and principles.

Innovation is one of the ways we adapt to this changing world. It is essential if we are to meet growing humanitarian needs and achieve better results with and for affected populations. But innovation is not new to the ICRC. It can be traced back to the Geneva Conventions, which are as relevant and unique today as when they were established in 1949. These standards remain the foundation of everything we do.

Staying ahead of the curve

For us, innovation means many things. It means applauding creativity and learning from experience; harnessing technological advancements, re-designed products, and improved processes; and engaging in new types of partnerships and financing.

Each ICRC innovation is unique, yet all are guided by a common set of principles:

  • Impactful: responds to a clearly identified need of a community or the organization and has the potential to create meaningful value
  • People-centric: Puts users – affected populations, ICRC staff, local municipalities, etc. – at the center of developing solutions
  • Future-focused: anticipates and plans for future challenges, disruptions, and opportunities

We continue to look for ways to identify, facilitate, and accelerate the best ideas and most powerful solutions across the ICRC.

Digitalization is a big part of our transformation – adapting our operational response using digital technology and data, and enhancing ‘digital proximity’ to affected populations. We are also anticipating and leveraging technologies, such as virtual reality, artificial intelligence, and drones, while mitigating the associated risks. New financing models are another exciting development, attracting investors and capital to allow new kinds of humanitarian interventions, with different types of partnerships and a longer-term vision.

So, welcome to Inspired. Discover ICRC innovation across multiple programs and varied contexts, follow the pathways of the different initiatives, and listen to diverse voices telling their stories. We look forward to soon showcasing inspiring innovations from our partners and colleagues in the humanitarian field.

Feeling inspired?

This is what innovation means to us. What does it mean to you?