Resources 2017-03-21T12:30:06+00:00


The body of work on SI is growing. The following resources are essential reading in understanding what makes this community led approach so unique.

‘This Churchill Fellowship Report: Humanitarian Symbiotic Innovation explores world’s best practice in service user led humanitarian innovation. It is a significant extension of my previous work on the Humanitarian Symbiotic Innovation (SI) model. The Churchill Fellowship enabled me to achieve a profound shift in my understanding of the practical applications and possibilities of SI as a legitimate alternative to current humanitarian and development approaches. The report begins with an explanation of the SI theory and the 8 principles of practice. Beneath each principle there is a section “Methodology of Practice – learnings from the Churchill Fellowship” where I detail the relative methods of practice used by the organisations I visited.’

– Gavin Ackerly, Founder, Humanitarian Symbiotic Innovation

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Summary of Oxford University’s Refugee Studies Centre report on Humanitarian Symbiotic Innovation. The full report ‘presents an in-depth case study of the new Innovation Hub at the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre (ASRC) in Melbourne, Australia, where a radical approach to humanitarian innovation has been developed and is in the process of being adopted. The ‘Symbiotic Innovation’ (SI) concept encapsulates a new way of conceiving of the organisation-beneficiary relationship. SI fundamentally challenges the mindset of the traditional humanitarian organisation and establishes an environment for co-creating solutions with people seeking asylum (the ASRC’s target population) rather than on behalf of them. This case-study documents the evolution of SI at the ASRC.’ – Refugee Studies Centre, Oxford University, UK.

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Gavin Ackerly writes about the birth of the Humanitarian Symbiotic Innovation model.

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“For every refugee who experiences long term unemployment or under employment, is one person who is unable to utilize their fullest potential for the betterment of Australia.”

Gavin Ackerly contributes to an UNHCR Innovation article written by MOULID HUJALE on the concept of successful settlement.

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‘Bringing the Right Stuff’ Gavin Ackerly speaks to The Age Newspaper about the development of the ASRC Innovation Hub.

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“Being a citizen is not about whether you belong. It’s about what belongs to you”
Zrinka Bralo, The Forum, UK
“There is no systemic solution to a systemic challenge.”
Josh Harvey, UNICEF Innovation
“We want to reverse the approach and we want to start from what already exists, instead of building up something ourselves.”
Sonia Ben Ali, Urban Refugee, Paris
‘”What can we do next?” was a common discussion we would have.’
Robert Hakiza, YARID, Uganda
Innovation that does not involve the people it is meant to assist is not innovation – it is, in fact, part of the problem.
Gavin Ackerly