Climate change is one of the greatest threats to human security and mobility. The UN Refugee Agency estimates that by 2050, up to 250 million people will be displaced by climate change impacts such as rising sea levels, floods, famine, drought, hurricanes, desertification and the negative impacts on ecosystems. Beyond natural disasters though, climate change serves as a 'threat multiplier' as food and water insecurity and competition over resources provoke or exacerbate conflict and compound displacement. Europe alone could see an increase from 28% to upwards of 188% in asylum requests from environmental refugees by the end of the century.
We were asked to explore complex systems, questions and opportunities, envision desired futures, and then design and prototype services that help communities in Copenhagen transition to futures where there is better support for climate refugees.
Hatch is a service for climate refugees that unifies access to all their available opportunities from private companies, NGOs, and government organizations. Hatch supplies climate refugees with personalized services, providing what they need, tailored to them as individuals and their unique situations. Hatch delivers a customized welcome kit filled with tangible goods and connects them directly to relevant services and organizations through the app.
THE HATCH APP
A companion app can help refugees manage their communication channels and also serves as a help guide. Hatch will match the user with a selected network of organizations, providing programs and services for integration, volunteering, and employment. Furthermore, the system assists in getting into contact with organizations — consolidating conversations and meetings in one place — transforming a once-complicated process into a friendly and personal experience.
A chatbot which uses natural language processing to answer any questions regarding the service or other services available to them by the Danish government and other non profit groups. The app also collects feedback and answers that helps Hatch personalize the kit even further.
A CUSTOMIZED WELCOME KIT
The kit is comprised of items that could help refugees initiate their transition into Denmark. The items are highly personalized and based on each individual's personal situation. Hatch partners up with local government agencies, brand partners and businesses to source the items in the box. For example, the box comes with travel cards (rejsekort) for every individual with a healthy balance for them to travel around the city for a few weeks. Lego blocks and crayons are provided in the box if the users have young children in their families. This helps to ease their transition and make refugees feel more connected with the Danish society. The box would be sourced from IKEA which is made of fully recycled plastic.
The team started by exploring climate change migration worldwide and dove into desk research as well as interviews with experts from International Organization of Migration, Climate Refugees and Airbnb Open Homes. Then in-depth interviews were conducted with people who experienced harrowing natural disasters (Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Maria, and Santa Rosa Fires). Following this, the team narrowed down to Denmark and more specifically to Copenhagen to dig deeper into the problem and investigate how the current system in the city works for refugees. The team conducted in-depth interviews with the organisations that work with immigrants and refugees (DFUNK, KVINFO, Sjakket, Global Hagen Cafe, and AHHA!) and intercept interviews with refugees and newcomers at International House, Nørrebro Library, and Trampoline House.
The research process lead to discovering insights that challenged the team's assumptions and guided the ideation process:
1. Difficult to navigate through the many services
2. Emotional support is important
3. Different organizations exist for a reason
4. People's needs are beyond necessities
The research showed that it's hard for newcomers to navigate opportunities to integrate. There are many services that are provided by the state, private companies and NGOs but are often muddled and disunified. This dynamic makes it overwhelmingly hard for newcomers to have an understanding of and access to all of the available opportunities. This combined with the stress of moving to a new country as well as the traumas of leaving their homes and belongings behind can make the integration process seem extremely daunting.
The challenge was to explore how we might guide newly arrived refugees through the multiple and scattered opportunities — provided by private companies, NGOs, and government organizations — in a way that acknowledges their individual needs and helps to ease the transition.
To prototype the Hatch service experience the team decided to focus on designing touch-points — the app and a welcome kit — for refugees as this space has more frictions and challenges. Co-creation sessions and testing different fidelity prototypes were conducted to simulate the experience and get feedback from the user and the partner organizations. We made further iterations to tailor the service and its "trustpoints".
Hatch is a personalized, government-sponsored service that helps new refugees feel well-connected and optimistic about their future in Denmark. Hatch hand-delivers a customized welcome kit, and connects them directly to a select network of organizations.
For the partners, Hatch provides a framework to specifically target newcomers who need their services. The system helps to save time and other resources to get access to their audience, establish the first contact, and host conversations through one channel.
Value for refugees: feel well-connected and optimistic about their future in Denmark.
Value for organizations: they are able to personally message individuals that would benefit from their services, contributing to recruitment.
Value for brand partners: a platform for making a small yet meaningful impact on the experience of new Danes.
Refugees have been through a lot, and we don't want to make them scour websites and scattered services endlessly to see what kind of integration offerings are out there. By offering both a welcome kit filled with tangible goods, and connecting them directly with relevant services and organizations in Denmark, Hatch provides refugees a much needed helping hand during a very difficult period in their lives.