Migration Summit

Education and Workforce Development in Displacement

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Key Dates

Proposal submission: February 10, 2022

Summit: April 1-30, 2022


The Migration Summit 2022, organized by the MIT Refugee Action Hub (ReACT), Na’amal, and Paper Airplanes, is a month-long global convening designed to build bridges between diverse communities of displaced learners, universities, companies, nonprofits and NGOs, social enterprises, foundations, philanthropists, researchers, policy makers, employers and governments around the key challenges and opportunities for refugee and migrant communities.  The Migration Summit in April 2022 will explore this year’s theme “Education and Workforce Development in Displacement” through virtual and in-person events hosted by participating partners around the world.

Only 5% of refugees have access to higher education, far below the global average of 39% higher education enrollment among non-refugees (UNHCR 2020). Around 258 million children and youth are out of school globally (UNESCO 2018). 85% of refugees are hosted in developing countries, with scarce resources and economic opportunity (Alleviate-Poverty.org). For displaced communities across the Middle East, Africa, Asia, North and South America, access to education and workforce development can be a life changer. The goal of the Summit is to create new spaces of collaboration and risk-taking, share best practices and deepen cross-institutional connections in order to address these critical gaps and challenges in education and livelihood for displaced communities.  We seek to build community and capacity among conveners to establish new ways of working collaboratively together to yield new practice and research spaces in the area of refugee education and livelihoods. We aim to bridge the gaps that perpetuate across ordinarily siloed sectors of public and private, research and practice, individual and institutional. Meaningful solutions to the systemic challenges in migrant education and livelihoods can only be achieved through real collaboration and systemic response. To do so, we need to show up to the work differently — as individuals and as a collective system. 

The summit will be organized around themes in education and workforce development, with sessions that are part storytelling, part design workshop. In these interactive sessions participants will work together to question, challenge, and improve upon existing work, generate new collaborative projects, and identify key unanswerable areas to inform further research and investigation. Participants will be guided through a learning journey of exploration of each others’ work, inquiry into the systemic challenges in the field, and discovery of new insights, processes and paths forward together. 

Leveraging the convening power of MIT and the contributions of global partners, this event, hosted in locations around the world, seeks to center refugee, displaced and migrant learners and educators’ voices in solution making. We invite participants from diverse contexts and backgrounds, as individuals and organizations, to work with us in designing new education systems and solutions that promote education and workforce development for displaced and migrant communities. 

Summit Outcomes

In this Summit, we seek to:

  • Activate diverse, supportive and energizing communities of refugees, migrants and displaced people and those working with them.
  • Establish communities of practice to come together to build more inclusive and equitable education and workforce systems where refugees and displaced persons can advocate for their needs and thrive.
  • Explore new ways of showing up that create more inclusive, generative, and sustainable spaces for systemic collaboration.
  • Establish shared forums and safe spaces for experimentation and honest discussion to create connections and activate change. 
  • Center the perspectives and experiences of refugees and displaced persons as we work together.
  • Create prototypes, proposals, working groups, and recommendations that will continue post-Summit to advance education and workforce development for displaced communities. 

Call for Submissions

The MIT Refugee Action Hub (ReACT), Na’amal, and Paper Airplanes are pleased to announce the Call for Submissions for the Migration Summit in April 2022. Submissions can be, but are not limited to, the format of a design workshop, panel discussion, virtual exhibit, storytelling, and other creative expressions that lend greater insight and broker new action-oriented collaborations in the space of refugee and displaced learner education. 

We welcome proposals of all types, but are especially interested in those sessions related to the following questions, themes and focus points: 

  • Plurality of knowing: valuing and integrating indigenous and local knowledge and lived experiences within the education system 
  • Seeing the human learner: Storytelling from the perspective of refugees and displaced learners and communities
  • Who does it work for?  Design reviews of educational and workforce solutions with refugee and displaced communities
  • Co-designing solutions together: participatory hackathons and design workshops to address key challenges and opportunities in refugee and migrant education, training and livelihoods from primary, secondary, university to workforce education and upskilling.  
  • What do we need to learn to build the future we want to see?  Capacity Building Trainings and Workshops 

We welcome submission proposals from individuals and organizations across academia, industry, government, humanitarian aid and non-profit sectors.  We invite all event formats: virtual, hybrid, or in-person at MIT or locations around the world. For in-person event submissions, we ask you to consider ways of capturing and sharing the event outcomes with the virtual community. Sessions can be open to the public or limited to registered participants of the Summit. Summit organizers will work with event organizers on refining submissions to best fit the Summit’s inclusive and interactive goals. 


Key Dates:

Proposal submission deadline: February 10, 2022

Summit: April 1-30, 2022



To apply, please complete this form by February 10, 2022.


Questions? Email migrationsummit@mit.edu.

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