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UN Refugee Agency Uses Mindjet to Crowdsource Innovative Solutions

SAN FRANCISCO and LONDON, January 28, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --

UNHCR launches challenge to overcome language barriers for refugees around the world using enterprise innovation management platform

Mindjet, the leading innovation management and collaborative project management platform, and the Innovation Unit of the UN Refugee Agency (UNHCR) today announced their continuing partnership to solve a key challenge for the year ahead: overcoming language as a roadblock to quality education for refugees around the world.

Language barriers can pose a significant challenge for refugees around the world - creating obstacles when accessing information and services, engaging with host communities, accessing livelihoods opportunities - and - importantly for this challenge, obtaining an education. This is a strategic priority of UNHCR, as education can enhance protection by enabling displaced people to develop the skills, knowledge and tolerance necessary to support integration with host communities and to rebuild communities on return home. This Challenge was selected by UNHCR Innovation and the UNHCR Education Unit to find new and improved solutions for UNHCR, the leading agency providing refugees and others of concern with protection and humanitarian assistance world-wide.

This seven-week challenge- directed at the over 850 UNHCR staff members, partner organizations, and refugee communities that are participants on the site -- is part of the wider UNHCR Ideas initiative that is hosted by UNHCR Innovation and powered by Mindjet's SpigitEngage platform. Those helping to solve the challenge will use the platform to share ideas and solutions to the question "How can better opportunities be provided for refugees to learn and use a new language, both in school and their daily lives?" Experts from inside and outside UNHCR will then evaluate the top ideas and help participants clarify and strengthen their proposals. The winning idea will be piloted in 2014 in partnership with UNHCR Innovation and the UNHCR Education Unit.

"With many ongoing crises happening right now like in Syria and South Sudan, the need to overcome the short and long-term problems caused by language barriers in education is urgent. Millions of people have been displaced from their home countries because of conflicts and are struggling to maintain any form of normality," explains Olivier Delarue, UNHCR Innovation. "By having UNHCR Ideas powered by the Mindjet's SpigitEngage platform we're able to better foster collaboration and harvest creativity from all UNHCR stakeholders across the globe to find innovative solutions to this challenge."

Mindjet's SpigitEngage is the innovation engine that drives growth, helping organizations unleash the creativity of its employees, partners and customers. Leveraging crowdsourcing, game mechanics and big data analytics, Mindjet works with the world's leading brands to spark ideas on a scale otherwise impossible, accelerating the rate of innovation.

"Developing innovative new products, services and solutions is of paramount importance to both private, public and humanitarian organisations this year as they struggle to meet various rapidly changing challenges, " said Andy Horn, RVP EMEA and International at Mindjet. "But developing and implementing truly innovative ideas which bring about positive change is easier said than done. With Mindjet SpigitEngage we help to amplify the knowledge of the crowd without the noise, select the best ideas and transform them into quantifiable impact. For us, there is no greater impact than the work UNHCR does to transform lives around the world."

For further information on the UNHCR Ideas, please visit the UNHCR Innovation Facebook page here and follow UNHCR Innovation on Twitter here.

About Mindjet

Mindjet is committed to enterprise innovation excellence. We provide the first software platform with the capability to drive repeatable business innovation at scale. Our enterprise-ready innovation management suite, featuring SpigitEngage, MindManager, and ProjectDirector, is used by millions and over 83% of the Fortune 100. We enable the world's leading brands to build and manage sustainable innovation programs with social dynamics, purposeful collaboration, crowd science, and analytics to surface and develop the best ideas then bring them to market. Mindjet is headquartered in San Francisco with offices throughout the US, UK, France, Germany, Japan, and Australia.

About UNHCR and UNHCR Innovation

The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees was established on December 14, 1950 by the United Nations General Assembly. The agency is mandated to lead and co-ordinate international action to protect refugees and resolve refugee problems worldwide. Its primary purpose is to safeguard the rights and well-being of refugees. It strives to ensure that everyone can exercise the right to seek asylum and find safe refuge in another State, with the option to return home voluntarily, integrate locally or to resettle in a third country. It also has a mandate to help stateless people.

UNHCR Ideas is managed by UNHCR Innovation - a multi-year inter-departmental initiative, established in 2012 under the leadership of the UNHCR Deputy High Commissioner that looks for more efficient, effective and creative solutions to challenges that refugees are faced with across UNHCR operations worldwide. In line with UNHCR's mandate, the ultimate goal of UNHCR Innovation is refugee protection, self-reliance, empowerment, dignity and education. To fulfill its mandate, UNHCR Innovation engages staff members to re-thinks the way UNHCR works; the way it involves refugees in the design of the programs and the way it looks at good practices in the humanitarian and private sector world.

For further information on the UNHCR Ideas, please visit UNHCR Innovation Facebook page here and follow UNHCR Innovation on Twitter here.

SpigitEngage, Mindjet, MindManager and ProjectDirector are registered trademarks of Mindjet, which may be registered in the U.S. and other countries. FORTUNE 100 is a registered trademark of the FORTUNE magazine division of Time Inc.  Other products and company names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

For further information please contact:

For Mindjet
Sarah Ryan/Tom Knock
[email protected]

For UNHCR Innovation:
Olivier Delarue
[email protected] I 1160 Battery St. 4th Floor I San Francisco, CA 94110

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