IMHU: The Oxford Workshop

Wednesday, August 10th and Thursday 11th, 2016 8:30-17:00
Venue: Quaker Meeting House, Oxford


Improv for Humanity was established in 2014 at the Applied Improvisation Network Conference in Austin by a small group of members who were interested in creating a forum for people to discuss how improvisation is being applied to address the vast array of challenges facing us––from refugee crises and climate change, to disaster preparedness and working with vulnerable populations. This year at the AIN conference we will be partnering with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre to organize a specially-convened professional workshop. The workshop will bring together members of AIN, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, those working in the humanitarian sector, and others interested in using applied improvisation pro-social impact and innovation.

Workshop Overview

With the increase in both natural and human driven disasters, the need to tackle some of our most entrenched humanitarian issues is growing. In a world characterized by increasing complexity and uncertainty, there is a need for new and creative ways to increase our capacity to positively impact communities at risk. Humanitarians are often seeking different ways of responding to our most serious issues, hoping to more successfully anticipate, absorb and adapt to the range of events around us. One innovative method, increasingly used in non-governmental organisations, community settings, academia, private industry, and governmental sectors is called Applied Improvisation.

To increase awareness of and capacity in this dynamic methodology, Improv for Humanity, in collaboration with the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and the Applied Improvisation Network invite you to a specially-convened professional workshop to explore how you and your organisation can become more adaptable, flexible, spontaneous and resilient and can use these new tools and strategies for increasing these capacities in the communities with whom you work. A wide range of humanitarian contexts will be explored and there will be a particular focus on linking the humanitarian sphere with the climate resilience agenda.

Workshop objectives include:

  • Developing a common understanding of the humanitarian context and the benefits and challenges of using applied improvisation techniques,
  • Exploring how improvisation techniques can build resilience amongst humanitarian workers, and affected communities, before, during, and after disasters,
  • Designing and implementing creative and dynamic activities that engage communities and partners and illuminate even the most serious issue,
  • Learning facilitation tips, tricks, techniques relevant for engaging diverse groups within and beyond humanitarian sector,
  • Applying improvisation techniques in facilitation, capacity building and training, monitoring and evaluation, and learning events.

The workshop will also include a Design Lab, where you can bring actual, real-world situations and issues to see how improvisation techniques might be helpful. You will interact with other professionals from the humanitarian sector and experts in creativity and applied improvisation.

Keywords: humanitarian, pro-social, climate change, innovation

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