Conference Paper

Engineering Innovation for Global Challenges : Peacebuilding in Refugee Camps: Creating Innovators and Witnesses

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The global population of refugees as recorded by UNHCR is at an all-time high of over 90 million people forced to find new homes in a foreign land. Starting a new life can be unsettling for refugees and asylum seekers during the resettling process in their host countries, particularly when it comes to gaining financial independence. This paper used an interview-based study to engage with fifteen refugees and asylum seekers to learn how they achieve entrepreneurial success as they navigate refugee specific barriers in a new economy. The insights showed refugee entrepreneur specific barriers that align with resettlement challenges and the technical and social resourcefulness of this under-resourced community. Our contributions to the CSCW research community are an understanding of how low-socioeconomic entrepreneurs such as refugees, function in their ecosystem and design implications for developing technology to further the efforts of refugee entrepreneurs.
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Grand challenges are complex problems that are common to much of society, affect large populations, and may have several possible solutions. Incorporation of grand challenges into higher education courses can facilitate the development of collaborative problem-solving skills while providing relevant and practical opportunities to experience the dynamics involved in real-world work. Although grand challenges are becoming more commonly used in higher education, to date, there has been no synthesis of how grand challenges are incorporated and the learning outcomes of engaging in grand challenge work. In this scoping review, we examined and mapped the state of evidence for the use of grand challenges in higher education. We conducted the review according to the Johanna Briggs Institute methodology for scoping reviews and considered quantitative, qualitative, and mixed-methods studies as well as literature reviews, program descriptions, and opinion papers published in English without limitations on year of publication. We used a data extraction tool to synthesize and present our findings in a tabular form with accompanying narrative summaries. The results reveal a growing global interest in the use of grand challenges in higher education while highlighting a lack of rigorous empirical evidence on the impact on student learning.
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