A Day in the Life of a Refugee: World Economic Forum 2018

“People like us often feel the world forgets us,” says David Livingstone Okello, a former child soldier from Uganda.

“They make policy decisions at their level, not ours. They don’t know what life is like on the ground.” When David comes to the World Economic Forum, his heart’s cry is to show world leaders and policy makers that their decisions affect real lives, populations living with the consequences.

David has been joining our refugee simulation at Davos for several years, and his story, recounted after the simulation, is gut-wrenching. He tells how he was abducted by rebel soldiers at 15, saw one classmate shot to death in front of him and others forced to kill family members. Those listening, having just been through the simulation of a conflict zone, find his words run deep. They are then invited to consider ways to use their capital power and influence, knowing they have the mandate to make a difference.


2018 marked the 10th year that Crossroads has been privileged to bring our simulations to WEF participants.

“It is the right way to start the Forum meeting. Putting harsh realities at the centre.”

– Igor Perisic, Chief Data Officer & VP of Engineering, LinkedIn Corporation


“It’ll change your perspective in ways no news report can.”

– Simon Shuster, Time Magazine.


“This is the closest you can get to empathising with an unthinkable experience that is an everyday reality for so many.”

– Tiffany Yu, Founder, Diversability


“This gives you a small but significant glimpse into the human side, the personal side, of refugee issues. You can never think of the issue in detached numbers and policies ever again.”

– Fulvia Montresor, World Economic Forum


We again brought our refugee simulation to world leaders at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, this January. This would have been impossible without the generous financial support of our partners, who sponsored the simulation in 2018.

Premium Sponsors

Cathay Pacific


Hewlett Packard Enterprise




J.P Morgan




UNHCR, The UN Refugee Agency

Crossroads Foundation Hong Kong

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