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  • Biljana

Giving in the long term

How to create long term growth strategies for areas affected by catastrophic events


Often times, after certain catastrophic events, humanitarian groups receive massive amount of support in times of these crisis. But after that initial outpouring of support, things die down. How can we leverage that initial momentum for a longer, more impactful regrowth in those affected areas?

  • Adjusting what normalizing circumstances are. As people, we tend to normalize these situations after a certain time and become desensitized. One way of getting over that obstacle is by increasing the time that these events are prevalent in people’s lives, whether that is through social media or TV but also finding a way of spending the initial donations in a way that will make it easier to bounce back from catastrophic events in the future: infrastructure, medical capabilities, infrastructure, etc.

  • Connecting people with issues that they are passionate about. People resonate with people and highlighting initiatives or issues using different people as “spokespersons”, might help others connect with organizations and issues that they are passionate about.

  • Identifying what our intended success goal looks like. Maybe our goal is continual and regular financial inflow to the organizations that we are passionate about, maybe it is an actual outcome, like reduced natural disaster response time. Whatever it may be, we must identify what that particular goal looks like to us.

  • Competitive giving. If there are two different causes (or any different variable), we can use that to bring in more energy and more awareness to certain issues by using sports teams, celebrities and different organizations in different ways.

  • Having as much transparency as possible. People want to know where their money and their time is going. Organizations that respond to different types of disasters have a responsibility to be as transparent as possible. This will make donating feel more authentic, increasing the chances of people being involved long-term,

  • Dissect the root cause. If we want our efforts to affect certain areas in the long-term, to help them bounce back better and stronger, we need to find the root cause- what led to a disaster and what made it as bad as it was. This way, we will be able to prevent certain consequences, even when we can’t prevent the disaster itself.

  • Focus our efforts on the underlining factors of root causes as well. A lot of things tend to get overlooked when disasters hit: the state of the roads, hospitals, communication, etc. Addressing these issues will make us better equipped to do things faster and more cohesively in these types of situations.

  • Having an action plan and being equipped with leaders, decision makers and the necessary training tools. In a crisis, we don’t rise to the occasion, we sink to our training. Having an action plan, having educated and well-prepared leaders and necessary training tools will allow us to know how to react in a time of crisis and that can change everything.


If we want to create more long-term, impactful changes in areas that are affected with different types of disasters, we have to find ways to use that initial momentum of support and leverage it in a way that will allow us to prevent those disasters in the future or at the very least prevent certain consequences.

Co-creator passion:

Creative collaboration design. Helping teams design the way the work together and solve problems in a better way. Taking a lot of tools that were used on projects in the product/service business and applying them to designing teams and bringing attention to how people work together.

Invention of the week:

How to get smarter every day? There are two main types of intelligence: crystallized (accumulated knowledge) and fluid (the ability to learn and retain new information and then use it to solve a problem, to learn a new skill, to recall existing memories and modify them with new knowledge). A 2007 study published in Behavioral and Brain Sciences assessed the impact of brain training games on fluid intelligence. After participants played Tetris--yes, Tetris--for several weeks, cortical thickness and cortical activity increased. But after those first few weeks, cortical thickness and activity started to decrease, eventually returning to pre-Tetris mastery pursuit levels--even though their skill levels remained high. More at:

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