From the dry lands of Somali region to the Adriatic Sea : Design14

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The glory of being a researcher must be things like these; being invited to present your paper at a conference center by the Adriatic sea in late May. Flowers blooming, wonderful UNESCO towns, great food and wine.  In a few minutes I will be presenting my paper on ethical conduct following our trips to Kebri Beyah refugee camp.

The contrast though, could not’ve been much larger. From an experience of people with no clean water access, medicine, work or educational possibilities in a situation they cannot get out of, and this Design14 conference in a 5 star hotel resort in Cavtat, Croatia . Some months back we were in the dry lands of the Somali region; here, where the researchers are, the funding for research that end up as lists of titles in Google Scholar seems endless.

Here we are, 500 researchers or so presenting our little 6 pages articles….those millions of refugees stuck in limbo… Oh well at least I have a 20 minute powerpoint.


About Brita Fladvad Nielsen

I'm a Postdoctoral researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. My focus is on Smart Energy Communities in urban settings as well as design of energy-devices for emergency settings and design for humanitarian markets, especially for refugee camps in rural areas of Africa. I blog about my research approach Design Thinking on and about humanitarian design at . I am also a mother of a child who is deaf, and I blog about her language development on
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