From Refugee Crisis to Refugee Economies: on social-economic perspective for refugees

Next Salon #2 is about how refugees can be integrated in our economies, here and elsewhere. This urgent issue brings home the larger and more structural global challenge of how to integrate economic migrants into the Next Economy.
Recently, the main guest, Dutch Government Architect Floris Alkemade, in cooperation with the Central Agency for the Reception of Asylum Seekers launched the competition “A Home Away from Home” with the design assignment of finding new architectural solutions for housing asylum seekers. What’s his vision? And what ideas and new insights did the competition yield? What strategic options are there?

Tamira Combrink, chairwoman of ‘Stichting Noodzaak’ (literally: Foundation of Necessity), explains how the Foundation not only transforms vacant buildings into full-fledged housing for refugees, but also makes accomplishes that living expenses are covered by creating smart links with small local entrepreneurs and refugees are no longer dependent on subsidies. An independent home for refugees.

Housing refugees is an urgent task, but just as urgent is the need for new ideas and viable methods for socioeconomic integration. There are hardly any success stories as refugees are being excluded from the labor market as a rule and become dependent on social assistance benefits. Are there initiatives that manage to support refugees finding a job or providing them with the perspective of meaningful employment and at least a basic income? And what role can spatial design play?
Femke Bijlsma from Refugee Company will join the conversation and explain the working method of this innovative foundation, which provides refugees with meaningful work.

After highlighting the situtaion in the Netherlands, the conversation takes on a more international perspective. Merve Bedir is involved in projects that provide refugees with socio-economic perspective and that change their role and perception in society from being guest to becoming host and hostess. Like 'MATBAKH | MUTFAK ': an integrated garden, kitchen and restaurant run by refugees and producing food for the inhabitants of Gaziantep in Eastern Turkey.

Sociologist, writer and filmmaker Shervin Nekuee, who emigrated from Iran at the age of 19, will present a spoken column. And Amer Shanati, who emigrated from Syria to the Netherlands in 2014, will play the oud.

Time: 2.30 - 4 p.m.
Location: Fenixloods II, Paul Nijghkade 19, Rotterdam
Language: English
Admission fee: none, provided you can produce a valid exhibition ticket.
A reservation in advance is highly recommended and can be made here.

On four Sunday afternoons, Dutch and international guests will join Maarten Hajer in a relaxed setting as he – informed by columns and (film) images – zooms in on current events that have an impact on the debate on the Next Economy.