Held in Kigali, Rwanda, the 36 Million Solutions Inaugural Forum aimed to mobilize the private sector to commit to solutions for the 36 million displaced people in Africa. Convened by the Amahoro Coalition, UNHCR and AEC, the forum highlighted the importance of creating African Solutions for Africa. Our team was tasked with creating an environment conducive for solution-based discussion.

How do you encourage attendees to formulate solutions, and then inspire them to commit to those solutions?


There is nothing more “African” than the traditional practice of communities sitting under a tree to discuss communal issues and resolve disputes. We identified this practice as an important conceptual foundation for the environment we wished to create, and modeled the forum accordingly. Our team set up couches and armchairs in clusters to remove all formalities. This allowed attendees the freedom to approach the forum as a creative problem-solving session, paving the way for solution-focused discussion.

Our team sought to visually emphasize the forum’s central theme by hanging lanterns all over the trees to represent potential solutions. Each time a guest had a constructive idea and committed to taking action, they were required to light their lantern, depicting the importance of African solidarity and action in solving African problems. This star-studded event was impactful, productive, and truly a delight to create!