2018 was turbulent but we had eight wins to celebrate

We are living in turbulent times. Deepening geopolitical tensions are transforming international relations and political tribalism is revealing deep fissures within countries. The spread of exponential technologies is upending long-held assumptions about security, politics and economics. The pace of change is making it hard to plan ahead. And the growing interdependence of our world is making it more important than ever to find ways to cooperate. Thinking systemically is critical to our survival.


At Igarapé Institute, we are learning to navigate complexity and think systemically. We are more convinced than ever of the need to combine evidence-based thinking with social impact. Now, more than ever, we need to find ways to bridge divides. And while 2018 was a challenging year, it was also hugely rewarding for the Institute. As we prepare ourselves for a challenging 2019, it is also important to savor some of our accomplishments last year.


1. Institutional awards 

Igarapé Institute was voted the top human rights NGO  in Brazil. The Institute was also cited as among the top 100 NGOs in the country. The annual award is issued by Instituto Doar and was covered by media across the country.

Igarapé Institute was also voted as “the think tank to watch” during the Think Tank of the Year Awards, coordinated by Prospect Magazine. The selection committee ranks thousands of international organizations every year.


2. Personal awards 

Ilona Szabó, Igarapé’s executive director, was honored with the  Order of Merit for Public Security by the Brazilian Ministry of Public Security. She was one of just a small handful of women to receive the award.

Igarapé Institute’s research director, Robert Muggah, was also awarded the Lewis Perinbam Award for outstanding service to humanitarian and development causes. The honor is bestowed by WUSC in Canada.


3. Best moves 

Igarapé Institute and its partners launched a new campaign called  #paravirarojogo[#changingthegame] in order to raise awareness about smart public security policies. The campaign was inspired by a new book by Ilona Szabo and Melina Risso, also launched in 2018.

The Igarapé Institute and its partners also developed technical guidance on public security that was provided to candidates running for Brazilian federal and state governments. The outputs were reported by national and international media and helped strengthen the quality of debate before and after the election.


4. Tech boom 

In 2018, Igarapé Institute developed and released seven new digital platforms. These data visualizations and mobile phone apps addressed issues as wide-ranging as forced migrationconflict preventiondrug policy, and global challenges such as terrorism and climate risks.


5. New forums 

Igarapé Institute also expanded its involvement in a wide range of forums in 2018. In Brazil, Michele Ramos represented Igarapé at the Rio de Janeiro Public Security Council and Ilona Szabó presided over the newly created Firjan Public Security Council and the National Council of Public Security and Social Defense. Renata Giannini participated in an inter-ministerial task force responsible for overseeing the Women, Peace and Security Action Plan in Brazil.

Meanwhile, internationally, Adriana Abdenur was nominated as a member of the Committee for Development Policy of the UN Economic and Social Council. Beyond this, Robert Muggah is a member of the Council on Cities and Urbanization and the Global Risks Report, both from the World Economic Forum, as well as the UN Youth, Peace, and Security Council.


6. Spreading the message 

Igarapé experimented with old and new media in 2018. For example, Ilona Szabó served as a columnist for Folha de S. Paulo and Robert Muggah wrote over 75 opinion editorials in global news outlets with Francis FukuyamaSteven PinkerArminio FragaRichard Florida, and dozens more.

Igarapé institute also produced a new series of podcasts with African women mediators and increased our video production for social media. Robert Muggah released a BBC video that was viewed over 5 million times. Igarapé TED talks now have over 3 million views.

Igarapé Institute researchers released a record number of publications in 2018: over 45. These reached a wide range of audiences – including the Secretary General of the UN. The Institute was also cited more than 5,000 times in international media outlets.


7. Taking on new challenges 

The Igarapé Institute also opened up two major fronts in 2018 on climate change and migration. The Institute is focusing not just on the Amazon and the role of organized crime, but also the Sahel and the ways in which extreme weather events are driving organized violence. Research on these new issue areas will be featured at Davos in 2019.

The Igarapé Institute is working closely with public, private and non-governmental partners – including universities and the media – to shape the debate on these issues in 2019. The Institute is meeting with global leaders to review policy opportunities – since both issues have transnational implications.


8. New partners 

The Igarapé Institute owes all of its victories to strong partnerships. The Institute is delighted to announce a series of new partners in 2019, bringing our total to over 100strategic alliances.

Check our new partners and projects for 2019
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21/01 – 25/01 – Ilona Szabó and Robert Muggah will deliver a series of keynotes on issues related to organized crime, conflict, new technologies, and climate change at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland.


28/01 – 29/01 – Robert Muggah is delivering a keynote on resilient cities at the Carbon Investment Forum to over 500 representatives of government and business in Morocco.


09/02-13/02 – Robert Muggah is delivering a keynote on city governance at the Global Governance Forum in Dubai.


06/02 –  Igarapé Institute is preparing to release OKA, a mobile phone app designed to facilitate forced migrant’s access to basic protection and services.

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