Fragile Environments – Border Sessions

Fragile Environments

The session will discuss and elaborate on the complexities of ‘fragile environments’ and what this means for gender and inclusion in social and economic development. The presentation will draw attention to refugees as an increasingly vulnerable group of our times, and frequently, a protracted and urban phenomenon. It will highlight the increasing use of technology and ICTs for ‘innovative’ approaches and services to boost refugee integration and livelihoods. Yet the discussion will look at major social dynamics in the ‘digital divide’, and how this relates to access and participation in technology, particularly in more challenging settings.


An academic, consultant and social entrepreneur, Holly Ritchie is a keen socio-economic explorer in ‘fragile’, often war-torn, environments. With over 16 years of experience in international development, Holly has worked and lived in Afghanistan (10 years), East Africa, Brazil and the Middle East. Her award-winning PhD (ISS, Erasmus University) looked at the nuances of grassroots women’s enterprise and culture in Afghanistan, and was published in 2016 (Institutional Innovation and Change). Now based out of Kenya, she works with a wide range of international organizations, NGOs and government agencies. She is particularly interested in the role of women’s groups and entrepreneurs in processes of social change; and increasingly, their interaction with emerging technology in our evolving world. Currently she is setting up her own social enterprise in Kenya, THRIVE, Women Socio-preneurs for Change aimed at the capacity building of women aid workers and researchers, and (pro-bono) support to refugee women leaders.



Thursday 14 June


10:30 - 11:00

Session type



Filmhuis Den Haag – The Bliss Suite