Fireside Chat with David Miliband: Brought to you by LIFG
Articles,  Blog

Fireside Chat with David Miliband: Brought to you by LIFG


♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ ♪ Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome to the stage Meg garlingbang. please welcome to the stage Meg Hi, and welcome. I’m Meg Garlinghouse and I lead our social impact efforts here LinkedIn and we are thrilled to be hosting this conversation stay with the IFC and then CEO David Miliband diet LinkedIn’s vision as you know is to create economic opportunity for every member of the global workforce and our refugee work program which we called welcome talent is a trip in thing of this. This is a thing we haven’t 300, Canada, the US, and Sweden. What we do is we connected newly settled refuges to economic opportunity and we do this through partnerships like the one that we have with the IRC and in fact they are biggest and most strategic partner that we have that we could not do the work that we do without them and actually, I recently learned that we also help the IRC source talent which is of course what we do well and they are the lucky beneficiaries a really cool program called recruiting for good. Any recording for good folks in the audience? This is a program where we do pro bono executive searches for nonprofits and help them source world-class talents. So I said it was a conversation, and the other half of the conversation with David Miliband is our very own Tomer Cohen, and I met Tomer a few years ago when he first joined LinkedIn. He is the VP of product here, he is actually managed to most everybody grabbing our platform and he like many of you was really passionate about making sure that we really are democratizing opportunity and that is why he was so interesting and participating in this conversation so with that, please join me in welcoming Tomer and David to the stage. interesting Thank you, Meg. It’s my tremendous pleasure to introduce David Miliband, the president CEO of International Rescue Committee.>>Thank you for inviting me. Looking forward to the conversation.>>So for those of you who are not familiar with David’s background, I can spend a whole day just running through some of the highlights, but I wanted to name a few which are very relevant for this conversation. 1st is David is the former Foreign Secretary of State for the United Kingdom, one of the youngest ever hold that role. He held that role from 2070 2010. He also held multiple international roles in the British Parliament, from education and skills to environment. An environment David actually led some groundbreaking policies fighting climate change. 5 years ago, David resigned from the government and went on to be the president and CEO of International Rescue Committee. On a personal level for me, this talk is really important. As a kid, I was a history geek. Is to be fascinated with world events, but I used to be also hissed off sometimes and frustrated and angry as a kid because I saw many atrocities that happened and I saw countries and people in a way kind of standing aside and even given the cold shoulder, people who were in need, people sent to death Cannot Holocaust. Fast-Forward, I Am in My 30s. The Refugee Crisis Is Bigger Than Ever, This Syrian Civil War Is Happening. Hundreds of Thousands of People Are Killed, Many More Are on the Run, Fleeing for Their Lives and What Am I Doing? I feel powerless. I feel helpless. My whole value system is being challenged, because these are the people used to judge when I was a kid. And I thought this was a government thing, right? Countries need to solve this, what can I do? Until I saw David’s Ted talk and read his book and he gave me hope again. He talks about how this is no not only manageable, but solvable and not only by countries, but by people like us and I would love for you guys to hear this from David directly today. Before we get started, we do have a LinkedIn thing we usually do. We are not going to do a special talent, because I know you have one and it will take all day, but we have a big, public profile obviously and there’s a lot of stuff known about you but I wondered if you could share with the something that is not on your global LinkedIn or non-LinkedIn profile.>>The big secret, will just amongst us, I know this is a very private conversation and none of Uber repeated anywhere else, the big secret is that I am the star bartender at the IRC staff Christmas party every year. The meanest, strongest gin and tonic or Manhattan that is made at that stuff party comes from my fair hands, so that has never appeared on my LinkedIn profile. I’ve never been offered a job as a bartender I am sad to say, but exclusively to you, there is a secret. I have my witnesses, I have witnesses.>>We are going to open a bar in the end but it’s of the test. So David, kind of going directly into your work, I know you talked about it a few times, this is not a job. This is a personal calling, and I think that actually allows us to learn more about you than just a current role and possibilities. So can you share with audience your personal experience to serving to>>will first of all, thank you so much for lying to do this and I look forward to as I said. I think the way to situate this is that when I was thinking about what I wanted to do after being in office, we lost at the 2010 general election, I was a member of Parliament still but I was concerned. I was 45, 47, 48 years old and I was thinking about how to apply my experience, skills I suppose, and the IRC set off a lightbulb in my head for three reasons really. The third of which speaks to the personal background angle. The first was, I do think and I did think then in 2013 and continue to this day, the issues at the border of foreign-policy and humanitarian policy, so how do you get, how do you run medical services for civilians in the midst of war question that is an issue that is on my desk today because of this disgusting, appalling trauma that is going on in Eastern Damascus at the moment, but those issues, how do you get education to girls in Afghanistan, how do you tackle issues of sexual violence in the condo, how do you provide education for people on the move, those are some of the most difficult questions and public policy so intellectually I was interested. 2nd thing I said, and I said these three reasons to the interview panel, the second thing I said was that I thought that IRC had the capacity to go from being a good organization to being a great organization, and part of that was the quality, the definition and the quality of the services that it provided, but part of it was its confidence and its ability to be a leader of the humanitarian sector more generally, that we wouldn’t just do more good by becoming a bigger organization. We’ve gone from a $400 million organization to being a $750 million organization the last few years, but we would have equal or more impact by trying the shift the humanitarian sector, if we could shift the sector by 20°, we will have more impact than growing ourselves by $309 and the organizationally, that is attracted but the third reason was the both my parents were refugees, and I never really advertised it or thought about it. I never kept it quiet obviously, but my dad was born in Belgium and came to Britain in 1940 and my mom was born in Poland and came to Britain as a refugee in 1946. I knew that I wouldn’t be here for that I would not have been there if they hadn’t been allowed to come to the UK. And so I felt, when I saw this IRC job, I felt that there was a way of me, if you like, repaying a debt to people who helped my parents and others in my family. Although today’s global policies are different, and the religion of most of the people who are on the run is different, there was a common element they gave me a personal stake in the addressing of this refugee crisis and I’ve learned a lot of the last few years, the dimensions are quite different which I knew I would never have guessed that the average length of displacement for a refugee is 10 years with though wars. I never would’ve guessed that 60% of the worlds refugees are in urban areas nine camps. It is obvious, but I would not have guessed the half the world refugees and displaced people are under the age of 18. I would not have known it nearly 90% of the world’s displaced people are in poor countries nine rich countries so I’ve learned a lot, but I found that the fact that, if you like, I don’t look like what most people would think a refugee or the child of a refugee looks like and so that I think is kind of counterintuitive sometimes if I’m speaking to audiences and it is an important part of the equation. It may be one of the things is that I discovered living in America, we are a New York-based organization is that it is more important than I realize for people to know what your personal connection is to an issue. I am struck by how many people who work for us and support us have some kind of personal connection.>>You make it sound as if those misconceptions are the things you got the job and you mention the notion of people on the run a few times. I know in your book you talk a lot about there’s a difference between refugee and you really understand it because otherwise we’re getting into Muddy Waters a little bit. And then beyond that, into this rhetoric rhetoric, refugees are sometimes classified as terrorists, potential terrorists, economic liabilities, they will weaken your country not make it stronger, and then you also kind of in a way, you talk about the things in your book. I was wondering if you start with the definition, again I think we need to be armed with facts, not alternative facts and with real knowledge and there is nothing like hearing from the source.>>Yeah, what a refugee is someone what is called has a well-founded fear of persecution. That is a legal recognition, a better with understated is it is not safe for them to go home, and that is the essential difference between a refugee or an asylum seeker and an immigrant.>>Hoping for a better life?>>Yeah, one group of people is linked for their life, the other person is moving for a better life and of course there are %some gray areas, and there are some big debates happening to her we going to move into a world of climate refugees? We can maybe come back to that. Someone is playing a famine and they cross the border, does I make them a refugee or an immigrant? Their gray areas but I think it is very important to maintain the difference. I live and work in the US, I am a British citizen. I’m not exactly in immigrant but I have come to work, I am in a different position from someone who please please the US and is safe to go home and I think that there’s a differet moral obligation for someone who is fling for the wife and someone who seeking a better life. There is a legal different legal obligation because actually countries to sign up for the refugee convention are not allowed to push people back if it is not safe. It is contrary to international commitments that they’ve made and it has different policy consequences as well. Just so people know, their 65 million people displaced by war and persecution around the world. Of that, that is one in every 110 people on the plaintiff that is a lot of people. Of the 65 million, 25 million are refugees. That means they cross the border, they been forcing their home and crossed the border so 5.6 million Syrians have fled the country. There are 7 million Syrians who are internally displaced within the country, they have been moved, their homeless, they been moved from their home to someone else inside Syria. That 65 million figure is different from the 250 million people who are on the move for economic reasons around the world. I think that part of the argument of the refugee crisis is manageable, not insoluble is that there are 25 million refugees not 250 million, and the numbers that are on the move are manageable in a way that resettling 250 million people is a totally different order of magnitude. There are very stark consequences for it. It is totally within the rights of a country to say this is our approach to immigration. We want more, we want less. And respect refugees, I think there is a different categorization because if you sign the refugee convention which 60 countries have done, you are not allowed to send them back. You cannot stop them at the border, and I think it is important to hold onto that distinction because the Baker bomb from their house in Damascus, from their bank bakery in Damascus, the girl chased out of their school in Northeast Nigeria, they’ve a different moral claim than someone who is simply wanting to move from one safe country to another to improve their prospects.>>How would you think about, and some folks might have, have a misconception around entering a refugee into my country, the rules that were established a while back, which is weak in my country.>>That is important because that is not just a theoretical exercise. Remember the President of the United States is said that Syrian refugees are a Trojan horse and you don’t need to know much history to know what popped out of church and horses in mythology, so the truth is, it is mythology, the refugees represent a threat to America. These are victims of terror, they are the people using on your social media over the last 48 hours who have been subject to a chemical weapon attack in Syria and the insurance that Americans have is that they have the toughest betting system for refugees any in the world, it is hard against America as a refugee than any other route so it takes 18 to 24 months, it involves 12 to 15 government agencies, and involves biometric testing and interviews and Europe is catching up. Europe has now got a system where everyone entering European continent gets registered. Everyone he was denied entry also gets registered and everyone who leaves Europe gets registered, and interesting, for the last three or four years, I don’t claim any great foresight on this, but I’ve always said, we are running a humanitarian agency and we are in favor of good security policies. It is not like we are against having effective security because all Beasley the worst thing from our point of view is that someone pretends to be in refugee, Getzen, and does something bad so I have always said it is right to have proper security. It is wrong to have security arrangements that are so bureaucratic that they take 18 to 24 months and run to have bureaucratic procedures that are dressed up as security questions but are infectious and excuse to keep people out, and I think it is really important, an American audience but we are speaking to your offices around the world, the American example to set the standard for refugee resettlement. Remember that figure of 25 million. The Western world takes very few refugees, about 140, hundred 50,000 last year. This year, America which took 90,000 last year, the president said only 45,000 should be allowed, but in fact, the bureaucracy is delivering another 21,000 refugees and so I am sorry to say this, because I would not have said this if the events of the last 48 hours had not happened, more Syrians got killed on Saturday night in Eastern Damascus then have been let into America in the whole of this fiscal year. The fiscal year started on October 1 so six months and seven or eight days and you have a situation where victims of terror around the world who are victims of person tuition can no longer look to America as a place they can come to for sanctuary. There have been 11 Syrians allowed into the bay area this year compared to about 1500 last year, so you can see that the bay area, for a global audience, that means I San Francisco, I think it’s really important to understand how the last four or five years have represented a retrograde retreat from some hard earned, hard rights that the refugees had after the second world war and part of the sort of an assault of people who are different that goes against the most fundamental traditions of the best of the Western world. Still digesting what happened in the last 48 hours. It has been one of those again, it brings me back to when I was a kid and you can’t comprehend how the world is just watching. You talk about solutions, which is great because we are all practical people here and we want to look toward solutions. Before we go into kind of the governments and the people in the companies and what they can do, you talk about how in a way the mindset of the IRC has changed on what is the right solution because it used to be a temporary solution, but one of the things you learned is temporary permanent very soon. Can you share with the new thinking is, stoke>>so the traditional definition of a humanitarian agency as you keep people alive until they can go home, and the puncturing of that assumption is that less than 2% of the worlds refugees went home last year, so actually, keeping people alive is not enough. Once you’ve been a refugees, Sardis or the statistics at you, there will be a test at the end for those of you in the local audience, but once you’ve been a refugee for five years, the average displacement is 21 years, so saying to someone, thank you very much, you have fled your country, we are going to keep you alive for 10, 20 years, but we are not going to let you work, not give your kids education, we’re going to keep you in a refugee camp, I call refugee camps funeral homes for dreams and they were born of good intentions. A temporary haven and so you can go home but they’ve become a kind of present when they become 10, 20 years and you’ve said you watched my Ted talk, it sort of hit me with the force of a 10 ton trunk when I went to what was then the worlds longest refugees camp in Eastern Kenya, it was set up as a temporary refugee camp and 92, 93 for some Molly and refugees and if you think about the situation in East Africa, the canyon, some Molly of border and a lot of, probably six, 700,000 Somalis came over and I went to visit and I met this woman called silo who was sitting outside of her house, which was a wig Wham at shaped structure made of cardboard, corrugated iron, sticks, and she had two or three kids there. One of them had a really dirty, red T-shirt but it said Obama on it so that tells you, globalization, one market globalization and I remember saying to her, so, do you think you’ll ever go home to Somalia? And she sort of looked at me, it was translated, shielded me and said, what you mean go home? I was born here. And this was a refugee camp with 300,000 people living in and I asked they can’t management how many people were born there, and they said 100,000. So it just sort of hit me with the force that just being the health provider or the water and sanitation provider or even education provider with people encamped in this quote unquote temporary shelter was actually not doing them any favors and so we defined our mission as help people survive, recover and gain control their future. So education which is currently 2% of the global humanitarian budget is 15% of our now. Employment, which is a really small part of the global humanitarian effort is now 15% of our efforts. Health is 40%. So we’re trying more and more to be an organization that is about helping people gain control of their lives, not just helping people stay alive, and there is a real challenge and not because the fiction that people are going to go home is comforting for host populations. It is easier if you are the government of a country that has 1 million refugees to say look, I know it is a pain, but these people are going to be going home, and it is easy for donors to think, well, it is a temporary problem that we will just as the money at and it will go away. So this fiction of the temporary displacement is a real snare and I think it is really important that we out this and say we have to get out of this fiction that keeping people alive and so they go home is the answer to the Afghan refugees have been displaced the last 30 years, they do not want to go back. They’ve been born and Pakistan, it’ll only be possible to escape that snare if Pakistan gets a different deal for hosting all of these refugees. Ditto, Kenya, Uganda, all of these countries, Bangladesh, 1 million refugees arrived in the last seven or eight months and they’ve arrived from me and Mark, Burma, Rohingya refugees. English has its own problems and they’re going to need some help if they are to be persuaded that they have done the right thing, the Bangladeshi authorities. They said we will let these people come in, but it’s perfectly legitimate for them to say we need some help in delivering support to these people.>>So if we’re kind of on the same line of thought, if we moved to, you were kind of known for, we can solve this. This is doable.>>We can manage and we can address it and we can help people recover from it.>>And there is some severity specific take was you talk about, things we can actually do to help. If you imagine kind of three concentric circles, the big one, the other one is based in the countries and governments but then you have companies, and then you have people, folks like us. If we start with the outer layer, what are two or three tangible things that they need to focus on duck government is an outer layer. The biggest things for governments is one, you recognize the biggest thing a refugee or a displaced person lacks is cash, so these are people generally in the market economy, and the market economy is a most global now, so rather than thinking, how do I get tends to these people? How to get fleeces to these people, even how do I get food to these people? A better response is, how do I get cash to these people? And make sure I get it to the right person, not the wrong person and I don’t give a jealous person six times and forget about this person, so it is not as simple as it sounds but cash.>>Just the ways being directed a>>is misconceived really, and there’s far more that we could do by empowering people in the market economy and by the way, if you think about the tension that can exist between the refugees and the host population, there are towns across Lebanon and Jordan whose population has doubled as a result of the arrival of the Syrian refugees. We mustn’t condemn the people and say there are hundred thousand of us and then, it’s 2011, there’s 200,000 people living here. We have to work our way through this. If those refugees are coming with cash support, then they are supporting the local economy. Secondly, the education is completely, we should go back to this, it is a scandal. 2%, a completely short changes these kids. I also think that this employment for adults has got to be a win-win, we’ve got to find a way to set it government in Jordan or Pakistan or Bangladesh or Uganda, if you let these people work, we will give you more economic support because we do not wanted to be a zero-sum game between the refugees and your own population and then the fourth part of the equation is about government policy for refugee resettlement. 25 million refugees run the world today, and the UN says that there are million of them who are the most vulnerable who deserve resettlement in the West because they have lived their torture, or widows or they have special medical needs and at the moment, instead of increasing the moment every settlement places they are decreasing and that is a critical safety valve that is needed. That is the core of the recipe of the cover and mental>>know as you go to the middle layer, you named your book I think, Starbucks is a shining example to>>I defend was cervix is dumb but they have announced that they are going to hire 10,000 refugees around the world, which is a good thing until they announced with us there >>Intel’s founder is actually refugee.>>Thousand refugees. They are going to hire, so there is some good practice, we have a nice project with you guys in six US cities to try, including Oakland, to try and help get refugees into employment, so the corporate sector I think, one, do your own job which is to hire people, and their people in the audience or watching who are refugees so hire people and by the way, if you want, it sounds cruel to say, I don’t want it to sound good, but someone who is fled for their life and figure out who to trust and figured out who to help and figured out how to survive, that is a helluva job training program they’ve been through. I say that in all seriousness. But do your own job, use your voice which is important, especially at a time when governments are in retreat, use your skills to help NGOs like ours, but not just us, to be the best that we can be because no %one’s funding a lot of our HR r our tech or our legal costs, a whole range of things so you can be pro bono support and although, I am British so I don’t like talking about money, but the companies that are doing well should financially support charity as well, because 80% of our government is governments but we lose a lot of money on the contracts we deliver because of our commitment to deliver high-quality. There is a big role for the corporate sector I think in and for the individual, the great thing in America is running the IRC will run run across our crisis so I could say all due, 3 miles from here in Oakland you could go and buddy a refugee family. You can make a difference to people who have arrived in this country in the last three or five years, three or five months and so you can volunteer, you can use your voice as a citizen because one of the things that we have lost in the last 10 or 15 years is the idea that it is core to a country like America that does provide haven for people, and also you’ve got, if you’ve got financial capacity, then donate it. So I think there are things individuals can do as well, and you can actually say that if you are running an NGO, if you are an individual making the better world that are one life at a time as a manageable project.>>And there’s a lot of resources built into our site in the IRC site to see how you make a difference. I know when I was looking for places to donate, there are a lot of organizations and this is one of those where you can fill very safe about where you were going to put your money.>>I like to say to people, the MacArthur foundation, they’ve given us $100 million so if they are willing to give us $100 million jointly with the foundation to run refugee education who have suffered the toxic stress of being a refugee, we’re going to do a Sesame workshop, we are developing the world’s largest early childhood development intervention to try and enable kids to be ready to learn, but the point is, they’ve been through the diligence of giving us $100 million, so people can trust the transparency.>>I’m going to asked one last question then we are going to open it up for questions from the audience in the stream, if you guys will line up at the microphone and we have some questions as well. This came up from our UK group, some of our leaders in the UK asked when will you run for office again?>>Well, that is very nice of them, and I’m sure some of them said that some of them may have said the opposite, so tell him to stay in the US, some of them might’ve said, but I am I believe in politics and I think it is too easy for people to knock politics. Think politics is the way countries should make decisions in the assault on politics by money and some media is really dangerous. The idea that liberal democracies have gone from being 20 years ago the assumption of the future of the world to being in retreat with countries who made a democratic transition, countries like Hungary, fear Poland, countries that were in a democratic transition like Turkey, the idea that democracy, not just elections but inpendent judiciary, independent media should be on the back foot is very, very worrying really because the founding idea of democracy is that power is checked by effective rights and voice so I defend politics. Equally, I always want to know that I’m spending my professional life doing, working right can make the most difference and for 20 years, I think I could make the most difference in politics and people can make their own judgment about what I did right and what I did wrong and now I think I’m making the most difference doing the job I’m doing now, and I think that is the best answer to give to your very next question.>>Thank you. Great, we are going to open it up. Questions with the audience, questions from the stream.>>Hi David, things are being here today. When you are listing some of those stats you were giving me goosebumps and no complaints their diet LinkedIn we talk a lot about building cultures of belonging and I wanted to hear more about when you move people from surviving to really building their own futures to control their lives, what are some of the initiatives are how do you approach it or helping refugees really resettle and become part of communities to the point where they feel like they belong with their new community?>>It’s a great question. What would you would you do it LinkedIn?>>Into communications for economic team where we use data to help understand dynamics.>>Interesting. A couple of things come to mind. 1st, one of the most direct ways that we can hope refugees feel like they have a stake in the future is to employ them. We are an employer ourselves, with 17,000 staff and sites and 30 countries run the world and the vast number of our employees are local people including refugees, so there’s nothing like having a job to bring you into a network, and it slightly around ugly me saying this to you here, but first of all, we like to be a good employer and we practice what we preach about refugees, 1st. The second thing that I think is really important about our programs is that we open our heath centers and our childcare centers and her employment centers to host communities as well as to refugees, so when I talk about that what comes to mind in the north of Beirut is a little town called Tripoli, not Tripoli, Lib Libya, but Tripoli, Lebanon and the employments in Iran there, I went there was engineering and there was catering and cookery, there was a cookery class that was actually being run by a man, mill chef but it was all women in the class and some of them were Lebanese and some of them were Syrian and of course, I did not know which was which and I only twitch of this halfway through my conversation with them and instead of saying, where you from? I started asking what do you enjoy about this, what is been the best thing about this question and then saying to them, I cannot guess whether you are a Lebanese or a Syrian and then only afterwards thing, are you Lebanese or are you Syrian? So the second thing is our services are intended to be not exactly melting pots but open to both communities, and then the third thing is I feel quite strongly that refugee camp separates and we work in refugee camps, there are about formally in refugees and refugee camps banner advocacy for effective urban policy towards refugees, I think we’re giving them a chance. I mean, there are perils in urban areas but in some ways, a different, in some ways greater than refugee camps, but the greatest peril in a refugee camp as you get stuck and the greatest hope in an urban area is that you’ve got a chance of making a new future for %yourself, and so I think in the advocacy we are doing something important, and to the extent that when the US and are 26 US cities are having successful integration of refugees with good job training, good butting, good volunteering, good English-language teaching, good important part of the US system is that you get a green card after a year and citizenship after five years, supporting that legal path to citizenship, that’s quite a good model as well.>>Thank you.>>Yeah, thank you.>>Hi, my name is David. Thank you so much for coming in and having this conversation with us. Honestly, seeing your name and this message coming up in the inbox is one of the best things I’ve seen.>>That is very nice of you, thank you.>>I’m going to read the question because I don’t want to butcher it. Earlier in our conversation, you mentioned that showcasing a personal connection to the refugee crisis has helped to provide legitimacy to your work. %But for US someone who was the foreign secretary for the UK and for me personally, as someone who has family who came directly from a concentration camps over to what was then Palestine, our nations have arguably more recently been connected to that of the colonizers than someone who is there to kind of put in and make it for the world. As a person, how do you go about balancing these identities and how do you recommend someone like me going balances identities and the familial ties for someone like Israel with this, with their desire to do good and try to help benefit those in the world who might not necessarily have the strategic advantages that we’ve had growing up. This is something that I’ve definitely struggled with personally and I’m really excited to kind of hear your feedback on something like that the>>things, what’s your job here?>>I work in sales. I’m about start working in sales.>>Great, congratulations on the new job it sounds like. Look, I think the best advice is to just do the good that you talk about. There is nothing like actually doing the volunteering or doing the buddy eating. Sometimes it can be symbolic, sometimes it can be real but you’ll learn from it. You don’t have to abandon your professional commitments but you can live out what you say you believe in and use your voice as a citizen. Are you US citizen?>>Yes.>>Accuse your voices US citizen. Be brave about what you say, make sure you are living up to the best of your ideals and I think they’re so much in the world today that encourages people to just demonize and divide and judge a book by its cover, but you know, how dare someone say that because you’re the descendent of people who are survived a concert concentration camp and you have relatives in Israel that you have no right to a view of about a whole range of issues, how dare they say that? I do not think you should be sort of, arrogant about it. You shouldn’t say you know more than others, but you should speak to your own experience and your own views with the confidence as well as the humility, and I think that you’re right that if you are born in the US, you are relatively privileged, but with the privilege comes response ability and the fact that you are asking the question the way that you did shows that you feel that sense of responsibility in a profound a good way, and you’re trying to apply the historical experience of your own family and what you’ve learned to a wider set of issues, and the most remarkable thing for me in the last four years is that people often say to me, two people say to you, oh, you’re an American NGO so what are you doing here? No one ever says that if there a climate of ours in Northeast Nigeria or in Syria, they’re not interested. They want to know, can I trust this person who says, they may be asking me about some of the most intimate parts of my personal history. You know, I was in Ethiopia and tends a near and February at some of the places that I go, I go to the women’s centers that we run that are helping women who are survivors of sexual and domestic violence, and I never ceases amazed me but they never asked me, how do I know I can tell you this question I am coming with an IRC teacher on, I’m going with people they have learned to trust because they are local workers. They are people who then, our clients tell us the most extraordinary stories of renewal and confidence building and survival and it does not occur to them to say hang on, I am not sure where I should take this from you because you aren’t American organization. They do not care that is given me a bit of confidence to feel, let’s stop apologizing for ourselves. If we’re doing something good then let’s not be arrogant about it, but let’s not apologize for it.>>Thank you.>>I hope that helps.>>High.>>Hi, David. 1st I just wanted to say thank you for the work that you an IRC do. My parents were both refugees and came here in the 70s and if it wasn’t for the United States willingness to take people in, I would not be here today, so thank you for the work that you do, but one of the things that keeps me up at night a lot is the idea that if the Vietnam War was today, my family probably would not be allowed here and this is 40 years ago, 43 years ago. I’m curious your thoughts on what you think has changed culturally and politically to cause such backlash against refugees the>>that is such a good question. I mean, first of all, I do think it is really important to 12 the first part of what you said, because the largest number of refugees who have been admitted to the US are Vietnamese refugees, and that raises a very fundamental point which is, to what extent should countries that make foreign-policy mistakes bear a responsibility for helping the people who are the victims of those mistakes recover from those mistakes? And my argument is, actually, they should take on the responsibility. It is not an accident that the largest amount of refugees it comes to the United States have been the enemy’s refugees, and I think the story that the Vietnamese refugees some of which have told me because they work for us, some of the most moving, extraordinary stories which bear absolute comparison with other stories of trauma from around the world, and so thank you for asking the question, and thank you for putting the question of today’s, it’s a very stark way of putting it. And just to make it worse, we’ve got living examples that are very similar. So just to tell you, the refugee resettlement program partly deals with the most vulnerable, but there are two groups of would be refugees who are not the most vulnerable but are given refugee status nonetheless. They are Afghan and Iraqi civilians who work for the American military or for the American diplomatic service and Afghanistan and a ran and their even what are cults special immigrant visas are P2 visas and essentially, these are people who put themselves and their families on the line and feel that they are not safe in Iraq or Afghanistan because they work for America. They are also being called by the reduction in the number of refugee places today. There are some Iranian refugees who are stuck in Vienna who have been invited by the US to common apply for refugee status and then being stuck. They are innocently different categories but these are Rockies and these Afghans have literally put themselves on the line for the US and they are now being told there is not a slot for them to come in, and so your fear that there would become a was the Jimmy Carter and then Ronald Reagan actually who created these refugee slots for Vietnamese refugees, it’s sometimes surprising when I go talk to Republican members of Congress, when I tell them the president who let in the most refugees is Ronald Reagan, and to be fair, it is in a bipartisan commitment in this country all along. I mean, the Bush administration suspended the refugee resettlement program in 2001 after 9/11, but from the first day, went out of its way to say this is temporary and we are going to lift this as soon as possible. Within two months they lifted the ban on refugees that were being put in place after 9/11. What’s caused it? I think there are two things that I could suggest that might speak for, sorry for the length of the answer, by the way. 2 points very briefly. One is we’ve not argued or corner. I don’t want to just put you in the spotlight but I think that we have to think about our failure to make the story of the Vietnamese refugees, the Cuban refugees, the Arabian refugees, also the Soviet area from pre-war, victors of prosecution, we failed to tell their story. There’s a most in such a focus on making a successful life here that we have failed to tell the story of what it meant to come here and I think that it’s been a mistake. There’s been a deficit. The second reason why I think we’re in a mess on refugee now is that the refugee issue in the immigration issue of gotten combined. The whole business of the 11 million undocumented, the Syrian refugees, I mean, the UK, the debate against migration within Europe and the way that affected the Brexit referendum, the allegations of they wanted to come in as a result, that confusion has really entered the argument about the refugee question, so the failure to get a sense of goal refugee policy have spilled over into the refugee issue.>>You talk about strangers, and how us excepting strangers, do you see a trend?>>You and LinkedIn represent the connected world, yet, the connected world has never been more divided, and I do think that is a great danger that the world has never been more connected but it’s never been more divided I think that is part of it. Look, there are other things that come to mind. There is a fear of Muslims that is part of this and I was point out to people, two thirds of the American public didn’t want any Jews to come to America in 1940. You can see the Washington Post poll that reveals it, so we’ve seen this movie before, but nonetheless, there is a fear of Islam that is part of the story, so there are other planks to this but I do think those two are important part of it actually. Thanks a lot for sharing your story. The man in the white shirt has been very patient.>>Hey David, how are you?>>I’m good, thanks.>>Things were coming. My question actually surrounds technology and the role that technology can play. You mentioned how the industry of technology could help, I think it’s fantastic like companies like Intel and other companies around here in the Silicon Valley are making commitments to hiring refugees. What kind of role have you seen actual technology itself play already and then the potential it has in the future?>>Yeah, thinks Raskin, short answer is the technological revolution hasn’t had the humanitarian sector properly yet. Hasn’t benefited the humanitarian sector yet. There are some outstanding things, so for example, we created with Google something called refugee.info because what is the first thing and refugee do when they arrived in Greece. They plot their mobile phone and they want to know where MI. What I learned MI on? Would like a service quest I think the figure is 100,000 people have used the service that we’ve created. But that is a big of an out a bit of an outlier, so the first thing it city was we haven’t had the full benefit of the technological revolution yet. The other side of it is a lot of the people places we work, we have to be aware of a techno file a. We shouldn’t be technophobe, but we should be technophiles either. Quite a lot of what we do is more amenable to a low-tech solution than a high-tech solution, just the example a our always use is a lot of the health workers who work for us are illiterate and actually, when it comes to diagnosing pneumonia, which means you need to count the number of breast that a child takes and if they are taking too many, that means the best way of doing that is to actually not give out fancy technology. It is turned out to give out a necklace of beads and the parent just moves the bead along every time they feel a breath of the child and the beads change color when they reach the danger zone and so that is a really low-tech intervention that actually is going to do more good than something, so we’ve got to be aware’s and not just, education, actually what the kids that we are dealing with suffer from most is best addressed through human contact rather than a tablet. And so yes, we can use a tablet for teacher training, but the first thing we need is actually to get some contact between that kid and a trusted adult. We run a program for street kids in Beirut. What they need to learn is which adults they can trust in which they can trust. It is more important than any online learning they can do. I don’t want to knock online learning, but the flipside to saying we haven’t yet yielded the full benefits of technological revolution, she’s our chief education officer, we would love to works with some people in this community to build some new technological capacity to help our clients, but equally, I don’t want to fall into the trap of saying there is a technological solution for all the problems that exist. Thanks for the question. One last question for the session.>>For our last question, would really like to show one that we have had from her audience that didn’t have the opportunity to be in the room with us today. From the stream, the question is: from your experience, defend the governments around the world estimate the impact of their decisions in terms of refugees? For instance, would you anticipate this was a factor in the US decision to invade Iraq in 2000 and request a>>I don’t think it was and I think the truth is that some governments do and some don’t, so if you are the Ugandan government and 1 million refugees arrive from South Sudan, you are on it. It is in your calculus. If you are the Jordanian government, is in your calculus. If you are the Bangladesh government now, it could become the swing issue in the election campaign this year so it is on your radar in a big way. If you are the German government it is on your radar in the big way, if you are the sweetest government is on your radar in a big way. Jermaine he and Sweden take a lot of large amount of refugees in the past few years that could be an issue in the Swedish election, which is later this year. But for a lot of other governments, it is not. But you don’t necessarily wanted to be the issue, but I think that as we think about the really serious dilemmas and Syria at the moment, one issue needs to be what is the pressure of the refugee flows into the neighboring states? One has to presume it was his chemical weapon attack, we look for more information, the war in Syria is not over and it needs to be in the calculus of the Security Council today. If we don’t act in Syria, how much worse is a going to get, and what is the consequence for that? Consequence of being allies of the US interim Jordan alternates being born in Europe too. I think it is really important that in foreign policy probably it needs to be taken more seriously even though it is not a directing for an individual state like the US which probably does have to think about Fiji flows from Central America. I mean, the collapse in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras is got potentially big implications for Mexico and for the US but I think that is already on the agenda and some countries that are dealing with the largest element of refugee flow.>>I think we’re out of time. David, I wanted to end where we started a new kind of mentioned one of the questions that privilege is also responsible the. It was something you said, I’m not sure if it was the Ted talk of the book that struck me and I quoted it because it was the refugee crisis is as much a trial for us as and who we are as it is for the refugees, and I think people find the book a very tactical ways that we can help and be empowered and hopeful about how we can help this problem be more manageable and more sellable in the future, so want to thank you for that.>>Thank you. Thank you very much.>>Thank you. I didn’t know I looked that young, I must say, I’ve aged.>>Well, thank you so much stuff everyone who attended and Tomer and David for the really insightful conversation. My name is Kevin Celesta, I hope to lead the revenue Tiger team here in seven we wanted Libby not only inspired but with some action items for those that are watching online and those in the audience can act and really externalize what we’ve learned here today. So the first of course, which David mentioned as a volunteer, to use your voice, but finally, to donate. LinkedIn Gives gives 100% of donations Ellington employees gifted IRC so I encourage you to leverage the tool and beyond that, if you’re interested in %getting involved with the refugee Tiger team by me afterward. You can also go to go/LIFG and see what we are currently doing involved. David has generously agreed to stick around for a few minutes to send some books if you would like your book fine, just go ahead and line up here by the table but again, thank you for coming in to give a for the conversation

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *