More than Shelters

Daniel Kerber (Jordan)



THE HUMAN IMPACT: People who have fled conflict find themselves powerless in unsanitary, dangerous refugee camps. More Than Shelters involves them in creating sustainable solutions and creating dignified spaces where they can plan the next, positive phase of their lives through ‘integrated humanitarian design.’

THE NUMBERS: A displaced person spends an average of twelve years in a refugee camp, originally designed to house people on the move for no more than a year. More Than Shelters operates in Jordan, Greece, Nepal, and now Germany. Through their innovation planning efforts they have developed innovation incubators that promote the talents of 1 million participants in Jordan, the MENA region, and Europe.

HOW DOES IT WORK? With More Than Shelters, Daniel Kerber transforms refugee shelters into dignified places, full of opportunity. Daniel’s goal is to stop looking at refugee camps as short-term problems and transform the most miserable places on this earth into sustainable and innovative ecosystems. A survival space can be turned into a living space, which takes into account individual needs, safety, security and privacy. When given a chance to actively shape their surroundings people change from victims to participants. It creates humanitarian and sustain¬able housing solutions for people whose realities are determined by crisis and conflict situations. They include those affected as experts, offering participatory, empowering, and cost-effective assistance for people in need. They provide modular accommodation, integrated design, social space, counseling and sup¬port from a single source, and have developed complete concepts for rooms and open spaces. More Than Shelters has three ‘innovation units’: the Planning Office, which develops projects for refugee camps and arrival centers that are based on contemporary urban design methods integrating the needs of all stakeholders involved; Humanitarian Innovation, developing and implementing sector-changing innovations; and Products, a design department which develops technical innovations such as their DOMO Shelter System or a solar lamp in partnership with refugee communities, NGOs and universities.

WHO LEADS IT? Daniel Kerber Daniel is the founder and CEO of MORE THAN SHELTERS which aims to push creative technologies and methods to their limits to scale for social impact. For over 15 years Daniel has worked and researched at the interface between architecture, design and art, dealing with informal architecture and social design in slums and refugee camps. He wants to implement his international expertise in Europe and throughout the places where people on the move pass through, in order to provide dignified accommodation for refugees.

HOW HELLO EUROPE IS HELPING: Their internationally tested concepts can provide significant added value in Europe for municipalities, accommodation providers, and the refugees. By raising visibility around their work, Hello Europe is connecting them with our European network and scaling expertise, as well as with other social entrepreneurs that have applicable solutions for refugee camps. Daniel Kerber has also been selected as an Ashoka Fellow after the Hello Europe experience, giving him access to a world-class global network of leading social entrepreneurs and other potential partners. WHAT THEY NEED NOW: MTS is looking to connect with political decision makers from the European city associations and large humanitarian organizations.