Better Lives Now: Leveraging Refugees’ Talents


On 20 September, RefugePoint and the Women’s Refugee Commission in cooperation with the Aurora Humanitarian Initiative organized Better Lives Now: Leveraging Refugees’ Talents, a side event to the UN General Assembly, to launch the Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative. The event was also produced in partnership with Club de Madrid, Mercy Corps, The B TeamRefugees Deeply and The Government of Canada.

Better Lives Now refers to the belief that refugees should not have to wait years or decades for formal solutions to live the dignified lives they desire. This event was built on and responded to the Global Compact on Refugees, which was considered for adoption by member states during the 73rd session of the UN General Assembly.

Speakers included: Noubar Afeyan, Founder and CEO, Flagship Pioneering, Co-Founder, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; Kellie Leeson, Lead, Refugee Self-Reliance Initiative; Kim Campbell, Former Prime Minister of Canada, Member of WLA-Club de Madrid; Vartan Gregorian, President, Carnegie Corporation New York, Co-Founder, Aurora Humanitarian Initiative; Robert Hakiza, Co-Founder, YARID; Per Heggenes, CEO, IKEA Foundation; Maria Stavropoulou, Deputy Director UNHCR Liaison Office, New York. Heba Aly, Director, IRIN News, moderated the discussion.

Watch the full event below.