Humanitarian Diplomacy Lab: Open Situation Room

Join the International Committee of the Red Cross in an “Open Situation Room” workshop to co-create solutions aiming to better reunite families separated by armed conflicts.

Event Details


swissnex San Francisco
Pier 17, Suite 800, San Francisco, California 94111 United States


March 22, 2017 from 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm


Registration is closed.

This event is co-organized by foraus.

How can technology help people reunite with missing family members during conflicts and crises?

This question is at the heart of our “Open Situation Room” workshop, led by Nicola Forster of the Swiss foreign policy think tank, foraus. We invite applications for participants to this exclusive event, which will gather leading technologists, creatives, and policy experts to collaborate on tackling a challenge defined and presented by Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, Director of Communications and Information Management at the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

The workshop is part of the Humanitarian Diplomacy Lab global series. A presentation of solutions from a network of global teams is open to the public during our Global Pitch Night event.

Humanitarian Diplomacy Lab

A grand experiment in humanitarian diplomacy, the Humanitarian Diplomacy Lab is a global series of workshops that explore new and inclusive forms of diplomacy to tackle urgent humanitarian challenges. Led by members of the Swiss foreign policy think tank foraus and the Global Diplomacy Lab, the workshops bring people together from various backgrounds and disciplines in a format called the “Open Situation Room.” The model is a contemporary interpretation of the situation room, created by US President John F. Kennedy to discuss acute crisis situations in the 1960s.

Nine teams, from San Francisco but also Kathmandu, Mumbai, Montreal, Bogota, Medellin, and Geneva [flyerare hosting open situation rooms on humanitarian challenges related to their respective countries on March 21-22. The final Global Pitch Night is held on March 22 at swissnex San Francisco.

As part of the Everyone a Humanitarian event series, the Humanitarian Diplomacy Lab is a joint initiative of the Swiss foreign policy think tank foraus, the Global Diplomacy Lab, the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco, and swissnex San Francisco.


2:00pm – Doors open

2:30pm – Welcome

2:35pm – Challenge presentation (Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet, ICRC)

3:00pm – Open Situation Room (facilitated by Nicola Forster, foraus)

5:15pm – Wrap-up & closing

5:30pm – Networking & snacks


Nicola Forster


Nicola Forster is the founding president of the Swiss grassroots foreign policy think tank foraus (Forum Aussenpolitik) as well as a serial social entrepreneur in public sector innovation. He is an Ashoka Fellow and Founding Curator of the Global Shapers Bern Hub (WEF), and advises different foundations, international think tanks as well as foreign ministries as the German Federal Foreign Office on creative formats and strategic innovation. Nicola sits on the boards of Fondation Science et Cité (as vice president), Global Diplomacy Lab as well as Fondation Jean Monnet pour l’Europe. He has been ranked among the Top 99 foreign policy leaders under 33 by The Diplomatic Courier. He regularly contributes to Swiss and international media and is a frequent keynote speaker, panelist and moderator.

Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet

Charlotte Lindsey-Curtet is the Director of communication and information management for the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC). She has a degree in business studies and a master’s degree in communication. She began her career at the British Red Cross as information and marketing officer and subsequently as head of project before joining the ICRC in 1993. She worked in the field for five years as delegate, coordinator and head of sub-delegation. She has since held a number of posts at headquarters including head of the “women and war” project, deputy head of division, and deputy director of communication.

Photo: Eleven children from the Central African Republic, who had sought refuge in Chad, are reunited with their families. Photo Ronald Kradjeyo courtesy of the ICRC. 

Event Photos