Thursday, January 30, 2020
Launched on January 29, 2020, the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award is a $12 million global competition to fund a solution that secures a durable future for refugees and improves their lives.
Inspired by a personal connection to refugee families, the Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award is sponsored by philanthropists Lyna Lam and Chris Larsen.
Lyna and her family were refugees after the Vietnam War and Cambodian Genocide, and spent three years in various refugee camps. After being sponsored to the United States, Lyna earned her way out of public housing to work in technology, became a small business owner of a café, and now serves as founder and Executive Director of the A Khmer Buddhist Foundation, a nonprofit that helps the Cambodian American community and other refugee groups. Lyna and her Foundation work on a variety of issues including general refugee support, community health issues, and archiving ancient Khmer scripts. She is currently building Wat Khmer Kampuchea Krom, a Cambodian temple in San Jose, California.
Chris is an angel investor, serial entrepreneur, current Executive Chairman of Ripple and was a co-founder/former CEO of several other innovative companies. In 2015, Chris co-founded Rippleworks, a nonprofit foundation that partners world-changing ventures with world-class experts to help social ventures scale their impact globally.
Chris and Lyna are grateful for the opportunity to offer this Award in honor of their family’s history, as well as their commitment to build stronger, brighter communities at home in the Bay area of California and around the world.
According to the UN Refugee Agency, the refugee population is increasing – latest figures show that a person becomes displaced every two seconds. More than 70 million people – nearly half of whom are children – have been forcibly displaced by war, conflict, and persecution. A majority of today’s refugees are displaced for a long period and has turned the refugee crisis into a protracted one. At the end of 2017, two-thirds of refugees globally had been in exile for at least five consecutive years in a given asylum country (UNHCR Global Trends: Forced Displacement in 2018).
The Larsen Lam ICONIQ Impact Award will award $12 million to scale an innovative solution aimed to support the well-being of refugees and secure a durable future for them across one or more of the following areas:
(1) repatriation, helping refugees return to their former country of nationality in safety and dignity;
(2) local settlement and integration of refugees in host countries; and
(3) resettlement of refugees in a third country i.e. beyond the country of asylum.
Strong solutions will include a powerful, scalable, and innovative strategy that strengthens existing efforts and will result in transformational, long-term change. Applicants should have deep community roots with authentic stakeholder relationships and a collaborative approach to engage community. Solutions must be backed by robust evidence and understanding of the landscape to create lasting change and serve as a model for other communities. We are seeking impressive teams comprised of seasoned experts well-positioned to effectively and efficiently execute an innovative approach to produce deep, lasting impact.