UNICEF Kosovo invited me to establish technology programs that furthered the organization’s strategic interests. I designed the UNICEF Innovations Lab Kosovo—everything from layout to activities —taking inspiration from the open innovation ethos of participatory design and innovations spaces such as iHub in Kenya. I managed the Lab during its first 5 months. The Lab began with two major components: “By Youth For Youth” projects, and the “Design Center”, which is a technology arm to support UNICEF’s programmatic needs. Since I left, the Lab has added a new “Youth Advocacy Program,” and supported many empowering activities including: Social Innovations Camps, UN’s POST 2015 debate, and “iInnovate” events in various Kosovo municipalities.
The Lab’s “By Youth For Youth” projects enable young people to address societal problems themselves. Since Jan 2011, the program has supported 79 projects, involving more than 61,000 youth.