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"Imagining a Better Normal" 

Applied Improvisation in the Humanitarian Context


A Benefit for Youth Climate Action


November 20 - 5 hours of sessions

Session Start Time: Amsterdam 16:00 / Bangkok 22:00 / Chicago 9:00 AM / Nairobi 18:00 


November 21 - Two 3-hour Open Space Sessions

Session 1 Start Time: Amsterdam 16:00 / Bangkok 22:00 / Chicago 9:00 AM / Nairobi 18:00 

Session 2 Start Time:  Amsterdam 20:00 / Bangkok +2:00 / Chicago 1:00 PM / Nairobi 22:00  

Greetings friends.

We are excited to welcome you to our Symposium on the use of Applied Improvisation in the Humanitarian Context. This symposium is a partnership between the Applied Improvisation Network, the Red Cross/Red Crescent Climate Centre and the Stockholm Environment Institute.

What is Applied Improvisation you might ask? It is the use of improvisational principles, methods, mindsets and tools for real world circumstances. And what is the Humanitarian Context you might ask? It is a range of areas that addresses global issues such as climate change, communal conflict, migration and refugee issues, poverty, disaster responses, social justice and social inequities. Improvisational skills such as listening, co-creating, adapting, connecting, accepting, supporting, working with uncertainty, making quick decisions, addressing status and power are all critical dimensions to working in these arenas. And we need new tools.

This symposium will bring together a global community of practitioners, facilitators, scientists and development workers to exchange best practices for innovative methods for dealing with some of the world’s toughest and most critical challenges. 

Day 1 on Nov 20 includes our opening plenary and multiple interactive sessions offered by some of the most experienced practitioners in this field. Day 2 continues with brilliant offerings in the form of Open Space where people (YOU!) can offer sessions related to work in this area and attendees can choose in the moment. 

Come join us to learn and share as we engage about these important global issues. This event is a fundraiser for Youth Climate Action so both our methods and our dollars will be working toward a better world.


Colin Mochrie


Colin Mochrie is an alumnus of Toronto's famous Second City comedy troupe. After fourteen years as a regular on the British and American versions of the improvisation series ''Whose Line Is It Anyway?'' Colin is now in the 7th season of the CW network reboot.

Bettina Koelle

South Africa

Bettina is a Senior Learning Specialist for the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, South Africa. She is a geographer, designing and facilitating innovative dialogue to understand complexity and systems.

Pablo Suarez


Pablo is an engineer, humanitarian, and applied improviser exploring expanding the boundaries of engagement with complex systems, understanding risk, and transforming our practice. He advises humanitarian and development organizations around the world, and researches and teaches at the University of Lugano, University College London, and Boston University.

Barbara Tint

United States

Barbara is a Psychologist, Professor of Conflict Resolution, global trainer and consultant, and President of the Applied Improvisation Network. She works with organizations and communities around dynamics of power, gender, conflict, culture, migration, resilience, leadership and change.

Angelo Miramonti


Angelo is a Community Theater Professor, author, photographer and medical anthropologist using arts to accompany post-conflict reconciliation and peace-building with former combatants and war-affected persons.

Gabe Mercado


Gabe is an improviser, Artistic Director of SPIT Improv, a facilitator and groundbreaking entrepreneur in the area of advancing STEM education. He applies improvisation in a wide range of contexts, including emergency response.

Eddie Jjemba


Eddie is an Urban Resilience Adviser for the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Uganda. He is currently working on the interface of science and users, facilitating participatory games and dialogues focusing on addressing climate risks in cities.

Margot Curl


Margot is a Learning Coordinator for the, Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Ireland. She specializes in designing and delivering capacity building and learning tools on climate-smart development, adaptation and risk reduction, and has extensive experience in Asia and Africa.

Belina Raffy


Belina develops the creativity, collaboration, and communication skills of climate scientists, humanitarian workers, and others so they can help humanity more effectively. 

Dr. Raquell Holmes

United States

Dr Holmes, founder of improvscience, helps scientists across the country give their humanity to the world. Through conversation and play, she invites everyone to explore diversity, race and class in ways that bring us closer together

Jeanne Lambin

United States

Jeanne is the founder of the Museum of the Ordinary Extraordinary, using applied improvisation, storytelling, and other tools to help people reconnect to the magic of the ordinary, extraordinary, and everything in-between. She uses virtual events, workshops, performance, micro-art, and pro-social action to create better stories for individuals, organizations, and the world.

Sukaina Bharwani

United Kingdom

Sukaina is an interdisciplinary senior researcher with a unique background in social anthropology and computer science. This provides her with a range of qualitative and quantitative skills to further research on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction in creative and innovative ways.

Koray Bülent Tarhan


Koray is an actor, musician, trainer and organizer. He is the Artistic Director of Istanbulimpro Theater and International Istanbul Improv Festival and Storytelling Festival. He works with communities and organizations as a trainer and project manager and has used improvisation as a tool for social and political action.

Schedule for Day 1

Click www.tineanddate.com for Time Difference Calculator.

Opening Plenary

Track A - 15:00 to 15:50 UTC

Come hear from renowned humanitarians and improvisers on the intersection of these two arenas and how improvisational tools have impacted their world and work. Barbara Tint will interview Colin Mochrie, Eddie Jjemba, Sukaina Bharwani, Koray Bülent Tarhan and possibly more on their experiences and wisdom. We will also have an Improv performance with Colin Mochrie and members of the AIN community drawing themes from YOU around the Humanitarian World. Perhaps some other surprises too!

Built to Imagine: Humans, Imagination, and Improvisation

Session 1 - Track A - 16:00 to 16:50 UTC

Jeanne Lambin

What are the conditions of being human that make it possible for us to imagine? To empathize? To improvise? To hope?  In this engaging and interactive session, we will explore those questions and the important role that improvisation plays in helping us express our basic humanity. 

Applied Improvisation Approaches for Disaster Readiness and Response

Session 2 - Track B - 16:00 to 16:50 UTC

Gabe Mercado & Barbara Tint

Barbara Tint and Gabe Mercado lead this workshop on how the mindset, tools, and skills of applied improvisation (AI) can infuse the global humanitarian sector, particularly in the area of disaster readiness and response. We share here the journey of how improvisational techniques have made new approaches possible both in face-to-face and online engagements in this field. Theory and practice combined, we will bring activities “into” the room.

How Cartoon Artists and Humanitarians Co-create Spark: Can AIN Help?

Session 3 - Track A - 17:30 to 18:20 UTC

Pablo Suarez & Bettina Koelle

Let's co-create something new. The Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre has been bringing applied improvisation to humanitarian work since 2013, infusing serious fun in disaster risk management. Now we're working with professional humorists, harnessing the power of cartoons to understand what's wrong. In this session, we'll explore how AIN and cartoon artists can join forces with humanitarians to inspire courage and action in a changing climate.

Can We Talk About Race? Let's Play With It

Session 4 - Track B - 17:30 to 18:20 UTC

Raquell M Holmes, Ph.D.

Can conversations of race bring people closer to one another? Is it possible to transform our experiences of race with words? What if the answer depends on our ability to play and to let emotions guide our responses? In this conversational workshop, participants explore new social performances - ways of speaking, listening, and responding to one another - that bring us closer to each others’ experience of race, fear, and hope.

Healing and peacebuilding through Arts:  The "Arts for Reconciliation Project"

Session 5 - Track A - 18:30 to 19:20 UTC

Angelo Miramonti

This conversation and workshop will focus on the "Arts for Reconciliation" project in Cali, Colombia, South America. The project aims at developing and systemizing creative methods to accompany dialogue and reconciliation among people affected by armed conflicts all over the world.

Giggling with Earth

Session 6 - Track B - 18:30 to 19:20 UTC

Belina Raffy

In this highly interactive workshop, we explore how improvisation, compassion, and comedy work together to help us to imagine and manifest a more beautiful world. We will focus on finding one tiny aspect of delight in what is, connecting in with what we truly want, and inviting others to share/shape/co-create that vision for a better normal.

Closing Plenary

Track A - 19:30 to 20:00 UTC

We will reflect on our day, hear thoughts from YOU on what is most alive and hear from Margot Curl, Bettina Koelle and Jeanne Lambin on the launch of an exciting collaboration between AIN and the Red Cross Climate Centre.We might play a game.Or have some music. Or……you never know what will emerge! And we will get you set for Day 2!


Schedule for Day 2

Click www.tineanddate.com for Time Difference Calculator.

Open Space

First Session - 15:00 to 18:00 UTC

Second Session - 20:00 to 23:00 UTC

Open Space offers already include: Applied Improvisation for Work With: with Refugee Communities, Reaching Across Political Divides, Crisis Intervention, More Cartooning Fun with Pablo Suarez, Zoom Tricks for Innovative Online Learning and MORE! Come with offers AND QUESTIONS related to the Humanitarian Context. We will explore together.


We want to make this symposium as accessible to as many people as possible.

We know that these are difficult and unusual times. 


On the Registration Page, choose the payment option that most meets your needs and capacities.

All registration options give you full access to both full symposium days.


$99 - I can pay this and want to support Youth Climate Action!
$49 - I can pay this and want to support Youth Climate Action!
$10 - I can pay this and want to support Youth Climate Action!


50% of all proceeds will be donated to efforts for Youth Climate Action.

Payment will be made by credit card

Once you are registered, you will receive links and other information via email.

Click Contact us if you have questions


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