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Why the Innovation Fair on Conflict and Fragility Matters

Egbe Osifo-Dawodu's picture

Egbe OfisoIn case you are wondering why a busy person -- like you -- should take some time off to offer ideas for the Innovation Fair on moving beyond conflict in Cape Town in April -- well, here's a story...

Today, I learnt that a high school classmate was burnt to death by rampaging youths during a violent crisis in an African country. I keep imagining  what she was thinking about the last few minutes of her life. I remember us talking about growing old, having children and grandchildren -- the dreams of youth.  Those dreams will never come through for her, and mine for as long as I have them would always be scarred. Now if this was a rare and unusual incident, we could dismiss it as an unfortunate tragedy and move on. Yet on daily basis, thousands of people in various parts of the world have to face and live with such tragedies -- losing sisters, brothers, daughters, sons, parents, cousins, and friends. 

With  a significant proportion of the world living under conflict conditions or under the fear of a potential conflict, we live in extraordinary times.  The  need for intellectual exchange, thinking outside the box, and cooperation has never been greater.  Armed conflict, crime, and violence spill over borders -- no one is immune.   How we handle these challenges will determine the world's fate for generations to come.  To address these issues can we continue business as usual?  The answer should be clear: We can not.

Do you have a big idea that can help address Conflict and Fragility? Submit your idea now...

Boris Weber's picture

Innovation Fair - Moving Beyond Conflict

Call for Proposals - Feb. 15 – March 2 NOW EXTENDED March 7 - Now Accepting Proposals

Soliciting Innovative Approaches and Research to be presented during the Conflict and Fragility Week in Cape Town, South Africa, April 12-15, 2010

Necessity is the mother of invention. Many times, people living and working under the most difficult and challenging conditions, with minimal tools and capacity, have come up with creative and even innovative solutions to the enormous challenges they face. Organizations and researchers around the world have been equally creative working with communities living in situations of fragility and conflict to find solutions to ensure delivery of basic services, improve governance and create jobs.

Innovation Fair: Moving beyond Conflict

This Innovation Fair, organized by the World Bank Group, is seeking to identify such high-impact approaches to working in fragile and conflict-affected states in order to share and, if possible, scale them up. The Fair will convene international experts on conflict and fragility, development researchers and practitioners, software developers, donors and private sector to exchange experience, establish new collaboration, and forge longer-term partnerships.