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ICRC partners with IMD to boost innovation and business knowledge

Recent humanitarian innovation event at IMD highlights ICRC’s commitment to executive learning
March 2016


“Unfortunately war is becoming an acceptable extension of diplomacy and this is heavily destabilizing societies,” said Peter Maurer, President of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), which just wrapped up an event at IMD called “Global Partnerships for Humanitarian Impact and Innovation”, or GPHI2 for short.

“We need a completely different way to interact with the academic sector, businesses and other partners in the field,” continued Maurer, discussing his organization’s motivation for holding GPHI2.

Sparking innovation

The recent event was the second instalment in a series of events organized by the ICRC at IMD aimed increasing innovation and encouraging more partnerships with the business world.

According to Maurer, there is a growing gap between the high-tech e-care healthcare environment in the developed world and the low-tech, sometimes war-torn, environments in which the ICRC operates. Events like GPHI2 are a step toward discussion about how to bridge that gap, he said.

“We want to create common motivation between the private sector and the humanitarian sector. Fragility also influences the way companies do business.”

Exploring partnerships

“The ICRC is here at GPHI2 to explore solutions to increase innovation for providing healthcare in fragile environments with a number of other humanitarian, academic and business institutions,” said Yves Daccord, Director-General of the ICRC at the event.

Professors from IMD provided input to the discussions, with Prof. Carlos Braga moderating the two-day session, and presentations and moderation from professors Howard Yu, Bill Fischer and IMD Management Team Member James Henderson focusing on innovation in the non-profit world.

GPHI2 is just one of the many ways IMD and ICRC work together to provide executive learning to the humanitarian organization.

Continuously updated knowledge

The ICRC has been a member of IMD’s Corporate Learning Network (CLN) since 2012. CLN members have access to IMD’s online-based Global Leadership in the Cloud courses, regular discovery events on pressing business topics and more.

As part of the partnership, a number of ICRC executives also complete IMD’s open-enrolment programs, such as the Executive MBA.

“We became members of the Corporate Learning Network to expose the ICRC – with our humanitarian and non-profit background – to the cutting-edge business knowledge of what’s being created in the world. This is what IMD delivers,” said Feena May, ICRC’s Head of Learning and Development.

While IMD is best-known for its work with for-profit companies, its learning is relevant to an even wider range of sectors.

Business as usual

“The ICRC is a hugely important organization that provides crucial help to those in need in some of the most challenging areas around the world. A range of IMD’s focuses like leadership, strategy, digital transformation, finance, just to name a few, are needed at all types of organizations: companies, governments, and non-profits alike,” said Paul Hunter, Director of IMD’s Corporate Learning Network. “IMD is proud to support the work of the ICRC.”

Find out more about the ICRC’s Global Partnerships for Humanitarian Impact and Innovation (GPHI2)

Find out more about IMD’s Corporate Learning Network (CLN)