By Australian Red Cross staff writers
During the formal opening of the General Assembly and Council of Delegates, a panel of thought leaders examined the readiness of the movement to be the future face of humanitarian action.
Tadateru Konoé, president of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Peter Maurer, president of the International Committee of the Red Cross, set the context of the challenges the world is facing.
“In the last two decades our work has become faster, more complex and it is more fundamental that we are there,” said Mr Konoé.
Facilitated by journalist Leigh Sales, the panel featured crowd sourcing and technology developer Juliana Rotich, Cheryl Kernot from the Centre for Social Impact, Dr Robert Muggah, international specialist in security and development, Samah Hadid, an Australian youth representative to the United Nations, and internet entrepreneur Ben Huh.
Speakers examined innovative ways of approaching humanitarian action, including social entrepreneurship, the implications of changing technology, and harnessing new tools such as crowdsourcing.
“Even nerds want to be humanitarians,” said Juliana Rotich. “Their expertise can expand the movement’s universality.”
“Information technology is becoming easier and more accessible each day. It should be central rather than an add on,” said Dr Muggah.