Communities of Humanitarian Thought: The Case for Change in a Time of Crisis

On 5 May The British Red Cross and Demos held the launch of “Communities of Humanitarian Thought: The Case for Change in a Time of Crisis” an essay collection bringing together leading thinkers from political and civil society to mark the British Red Cross’ 150th year and to outline a vision for the future.

As we find ourselves collectively at a moment of reflection, we must take this opportunity to ask – what is the case for change in the face of crisis? Disasters and emergencies, health inequalities and displacement and migration are increasingly urgent humanitarian challenges facing the world. The question of how the UK should respond to these challenges at home and overseas has become even more pressing since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Contributors to the collection offered their reflections, including Nimco Ali OBE, Co-founder and CEO of The Five Foundation, and the independent Tackling Violence Against Women and Girls adviser to the UK Government, and Professor Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts; alongside the CEO of the British Red Cross, Mike Adamson for a panel event chaired by Polly Mackenzie, Chief Executive of Demos.

The essay collection aims to prompt a greater discussion of how to answer these questions and, crucially, what the authors and the British Red Cross see as the opportunities for change: with contributions from the authors detailed below as well as the voices of British Red Cross staff and volunteers. The collection covers topics from supporting refugees, investing in young people’s mental health, and tackling loneliness, to ending modern slavery and Britain’s place on the world stage. Together, the collection builds on our vision for a more resilient future to respond and recover from humanitarian crises, with concluding recommendations from the British Red Cross advocating for change.

Download the collection here, and watch the event below