| Willy Brandt School of Public Policy

Espresso Talks: Humanitarian Innovations

As part of the Espresso talks series Georg Höhne (Innovation Aid) provided insights into how humanitarian innovations are being utilized to combat urban poverty and the scarcity of adequate housing.

poverty housing
Kowloon Walled City

Innovation Aid's primary focus is on topics relating to urban (housing) poverty globally. Substandard housing is still a major policy challenge across the globe, and it poses a challenge for humanitarian intervention in contexts where local or national governments do not have the will or the capacity to act. Georg Höhne gave examples from his own work experience in marginalized housing communities such as Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong or slums in India. He also worked in refugee camps on the Greek island in which even basic facilities such as electricity, water and heat are often non-existant.

Under such circumstances, Georg Höhne's work focuses on a community-centred approach which puts human dignity and human needs in the centre. On a practical level he tries to develop simple solutions such as upcycling for specific communal purposes, ranging from simple heaters to simple water filters for homeless people or refugees.