Where Innovation meets Humanitarianism

The ICRC Collaborative Platform at swissnex Boston

At swissnex, we continuously work on fostering new relationships, be it with universities, startups, institutional/industry partners or individuals. This spring, we are thrilled to unveil our newest collaboration – with one of the world’s most renowned and most prestigious non-governmental organizations, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC).

On May 8, we are officially launching the ICRC Collaborative Platform – a new, Boston-based hub where innovation meets humanitarianism with the aim of solving some of today’s most pressing challenges linked to war and armed violence.

The ICRC Collaborative Platform is based at swissnex Boston, represented by Anaide Nahikian, who is heading the initiative while also serving as Program Manager and Associate Instructor at the Harvard Humanitarian Initiative. In close collaboration with swissnex Boston’s Jonas Brunschwig, Project Leader Academic Relations, she is working to initiate and manage dynamic relationships around humanitarian themes between the ICRC, nonprofit/ humanitarian organizations as well as academic and private actors in the Boston area, leading to the development of a portfolio of joint research and development projects on humanitarian action.

Through these interactions, the ICRC wishes to reflect in an open manner upon its operational experience on the frontline of conflicts, facilitate the interactions with other humanitarian agencies and organizations around the themes of the Collaborative Platform, as well as share its legal and policy expertize in addressing the protection needs of populations affected by armed conflict and internal violence. The ICRC further aims to participate actively in empirical research and policy activities on humanitarian access and protection in a joint effort with academic and policy centers in the Boston area, drawing from its operational and legal experience.


In this context, the ICRC Collaborative Platform will engage in the following activities:

  • Setting up privileged relationships with a diverse group of academics, policy, non-profit, and private organizations and individuals in the Boston/ North-East area;
  • Assessing the current knowledge basis, legal and policy expertise of stakeholders in the area to support such collaborations;
  • Facilitating productive exchanges around priority themes;
  • Assisting ICRC units and their Boston-based counterparts in the design of collaborative initiatives with time-bound, measurable objectives; and,
  • Ensuring the continuity of relationships over time and facilitating interactions between the administrative units involved.


Official launch on May 8

The formal launch of the ICRC collaborative Platform took place on May 8, World Red Cross and Red Crescent Day, in the presence of ICRC Vice President Christine Beerli, Swiss Ambassador to the US Martin Dahinden, CEO and Consul of swissnex Boston Felix Moesner, ICRC Orthopedic Programme Head for Afghanistan Alberto Cairo, Afghan National Wheelchair Basketball Teams Coach Jess Markt, and ICRC Strategic Advisor Claude Bruderlein.

Former UN Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon, also attended the event and delivered remarks.