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110 | Cities of the Future, Cities of the Past

Kilian Kleinschmidt is a German entrepreneur, humanitarian expert and a longtime & vocal advocate for reframing how we think about refugees and our responses to them. Throughout a distinguished humanitarian career, Kleinschmidt’s practice and advocacy have pushed a consistent theme: that the ‘othering’ of refugees is toxic to their well-being, our own, and is generally wrongheaded.

110 | Cities of the Future, Cities of the Past

Presently Kilian is the founder and chairman of the startup Innovation and Planning Agency (IPA) along with its sister organization Switxboard, which aims to connect the millions of poor and dispossessed with the idle and under-utilized resources and modern technologies.

Throughout a 25-year career with the UN High Commissioner on Refugees, Kleinschmidt practiced as a humanitarian expert in a wide range of countries such as Somalia, Kosovo, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

Kleinschmidt is perhaps best and most recently known as the Director and Camp Manager of the Za’atari Refugee Camp in Jordan, the largest and most visible camp for Syrian refugees.

Upon the completion of that mission, Kleinschmidt started IPA/Switxboard as a means of tackling the issues that advance refugee-ism in the first place: economic exclusion, digital exclusion, resource misallocation, etc. The firm maintains a variety of projects that seek to create a better future for all of the world’s migrants and the dispossessed.


Our opening theme music for 2019 is "Bang Bang" and our closing theme is "Salvame" both by Eljuri from her album "La Lucha." The break music for this episode is "Blow My Mind" by Dimos Anastasiadis from his album "ΑΝΤΙΘΕΤΗ ΤΡΟΧΙΑ."