Meet
the Ideas Box

Discover a portable media center, unique in its kind, and learn about how you can support the program or acquire your own Ideas Box!

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Humanitarian situations

A unique device, the Ideas Box enables access to information, education and culture for populations emerging from humanitarian crisis situations. 

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Vulnerable Populations

The Ideas Box is a great tool for vulnerable populations with little or no access to culture everywhere, including in developed countries.

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Education & creativity

A powerful tool for reinforcing education and stimulating creativity among students in and out of school, the Ideas Box has been selected by the WISE accelerator.

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News

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Twenty Ideas Box for peace in Colombia

Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos and French President François Hollande launch the "mobile libraries for peace." Crédit : Efraín Herrera – SIG Librarie...

Why we decided to keep working in Moria camp in Lesbos despite recent controversy

After the March 20th agreement between the European Union and Turkey, the majority of the large humanitarian organizations withdrew from the Moria Camp in Les...

Walter: Refugee, Computer Engineer…and Ideas Box Facilitator!

  Last March, when we arrived at the Eleonas refugee camp in Athens with the Ideas Box, one man got involved in the maintenance and use of the portable ...

The Ideas Box is a WISE Awards finalist for 2016!

On May 4th, the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE) announced this year's finalists for the WISE Awards. Fifteen innovating projects offering concret...

« I’m in Germany ! »

Ali is 12 years old. He has already crossed ten countries and had more difficulties than any European traveler would have to face. He crossed these countries ...

A ferry on the way to Lesbos

What is a crisis? Is it when daily life is marked by abnormal situations in which absurdity and violence take place and change our lives? A crisis and its man...

In Eleonas, the adults are the ones seizing coloured pencils and felt pens

Since Macedonia closed its borders with Greece last Sunday, and following the intensification of European border control policies, hundreds of refugees have f...

Every blog starts with a first post, a first page to write...

Early in 2016, Libraries Without Borders started the Ideas Box, a large-scale program in Europe, along the route of refugees. In this context, we invite you t...

The Ideas Box now in Detroit!

On Monday, November 30th, Libraries Without Borders and officials of the Detroit Mayor's Office and the Detroit Public Library network officially launched a p...

The Ideas Box launched in Taverny and Argenteuil!

For its third experimental programming phase in Ile-de-France, from November to December the Ideas Box will be installed at the Welcome and Orientation Center...

Michelle Obama visits the Ideas Box!

One year after its official selection at the World Innovation Summit for Education (WISE), the Ideas Box along with Libraries Without Borders was in...

The Ideas Box at the Centre Pompidou in Paris!

Tuesday November 3rd, 2015, Libraries Without Borders participated in the launch of Social Good Week, a French organization intended to find ways to use the I...

Funding and community workshop at the Ideas Box in Burundi

This week, from October 26th to October 30th, a funding and community building workshop was held at the Ideas Box in Burundi. This scaling up working brought ...

Damas, Tanzanian refugee and Ideas Box facilitator

Damas NTAKIRUTIMANA is a 28 year old Tanzanian refugee who lives in the Musenyi integrated rural village in Burundi. After obtaining his humanities diploma...

Calais: First French City to have an Ideas Box!

On Friday October 9th, Patrick Kanner, the Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Natacha Bouchart, the mayor of Calais, and Patrick Weil, President of Libra...

Libraries Without Borders in France has been selected as one of the winners of the Google Impact Challenge!

  Yesterday, Libraries Without Borders in France won the Google Impact Challenge after a night full of surprises at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. ...

The Ideas Box and LWB invited to the European Parliament

From September 28th to 30th, 2015, Libraries Without Borders was invited by deputy Sylvie Guillaume, Vice President of the European Parliament, to the seat of...

The Ideas Box mobilises designers!

The Ideas Box mobilises designers! On Wednesday, September 16th, 23 design and industry professionals got together for the Scale Up workshop for Rationalis...

The Ideas Box around the world

Early in 2016, Libraries Without Borders started the Ideas Box, a large-scale program in Europe, along the route of refugees. In this context, we invite you to follow the steps of this program via our blog on Libération, ‘Parcours de Réfugiés’ (Refugees Journeys)." 1st step: Athens and Lesbos, Greece.

This is the first article of an ongoing series of blog articles originally featured in the French newspaper Libération.


By Patrick Weil, Chairman of Libraries Without Borders

About 880,000 refugees entered the European Union in 2015, often crossing the Mediterranean Sea. These are all lives to be rebuilt and new pages to be written. ‘Parcours de Réfugiés’ (Refugees Journeys) will be meeting with men, women and children who took every risk to reach Europe and who will spend the next weeks, or even months, crossing countries they don’t know the language nor the codes before settling down.

After dealing with the first emergencies – getting food, medical treatment, and taking shelter – comes the need for means of communication available to refugees to contact their families and reassure them. Refugees need information about the legal and administrative procedures and about their environment. They need educational tools and resources to learn a new language, to get a professional training or even reconnect with school for the younger ones. And families and children need a welcoming and secure place, where they feel at ease, where they can rest, exchange and do activities to quite simply rebuild themselves.

This year, in order to meet these emergencies, NGO ‘Bibliothèques Sans Frontières’ (Libraries without borders) is deploying the Ideas Box along the route of refugees, first in Greece and then in the Balkans and in Germany. Developed in partnership with the HCR and designed by Philippe Starck, the Ideas Box is a portable multimedia center easy to use even in the most difficult circumstances and therefore adapted to the needs of refugee populations. Each one of them is equipped with an Internet connection, about twenty laptops and tablets, books and ebooks, one mobile cinema, thousands of educational and information documents, and also leisure resources for the younger ones. Since 2014, 80,000 refugees in Burundi, Jordan and Lebanon have been using the Ideas Box.

This blog will be following Romain and Céline who are in charge of setting up the Ideas Box. They will be sharing with you their encounters, life stories of the people they meet, and the work of other NGOs. Of course, they will also be showing you the setting up of the first Ideas Box and its daily impact on the population. They will be recounting the people’s experiences with the box and the creations resulting from its presence, for we hope that, here, in Europe, as it is already the case in Burundi and Jordan, the Ideas Box will become for the refugees and their children a space of their own.

But this blog is also yours. Feel free to add any comments to the publications, share your experiences and give us your feedbacks, advices and likes. In solidarity.