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‘They need to feel it to get it’: World Economic Forum attendees can spend ‘a day in the life of a refugee’

‘They need to feel it to get it’: World Economic Forum attendees can spend ‘a day in the life of a refugee’
World
For the past 10 years, attendees of the World Economic Forum have had the option to take part in a simulation that attempts to recreate the refugee experience in 75 minutes.

The Crossroads Foundation has hosted A Day in the Life of a Refugee at the World Economic Forum in Davos since 2009, and 2019 is no exception. The program involves a cast and crew of volunteers comprised entirely of former refugees to recreate for the participants the experience of displaced people.

Over 500 attendees signed up to take part in the simulation last year, and Crossroads director David Begbie says the results are always consistent.

“If you want people to engage with an issue, statistics will typically not do that at a sustained level. It needs to be internal; they need to own it. They need to feel it to get it, and the amazing thing about these programs is the deep empathy that comes through the participants going through these programs,” he explained.

Top executives and diplomats have taken part in the simulation over the years, including UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales and president of UPS International Dan Brutto.
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