About us 2018-02-28T09:41:54+00:00

A short history of an idea:

What we do, how we do it, and why we got started.

We create spaces to share first-hand perspectives — ground truth — on crises, conflict, and the aid business.

The goal is to start conversations that:

  • prioritise the ideas and lived experience of those closest to the issues.
  • treat the wider public as adults with empathy and intelligence, who don’t need fairy tales.
  • celebrate real-world problem-solving and professional skill.

Why? Because the way that we talk about “fragile states” is broken. The wrong people often speak the loudest; and there are huge gaps between what we say and the realities on the ground.

Those gaps make for bad policy, and do irreparable damage to the world’s most marginalised people. They also destroy the professional pride of those trying to help, who internalise the failures and retreat into cynicism.

So let’s imagine a better way. If you want to get involved, or have any comments, you’ll find contact details at the bottom of the screen.

The fine print

Rethink Fragility is a social enterprise based in the United Kingdom. We capture peoples’ personal perspectives, and not the institutions that they may have worked for.

Our funding consists of (modest!) contributions from collaborators. If that needs to change as we grow, we’ll discuss it here openly, and disclose it when we present content.

Founder’s corner

My name’s Ian D. Quick. I’ve been working for about fifteen years to improve the prospects of the most marginalised people in the world, in fragile and conflict-affected states.

I took 2015 off to write a book on how things tend to go wrong (Follies in Fragile States). That sparked some interesting conversations. But the problem was—it was always the same faces, the same small circle of “experts” in Western capitals.

So I’m convinced that we need a broader conversation. Let’s bring in perspectives that don’t fit in the usual boxes, and are maybe a bit unruly. Let’s connect practitioners doing the real work, every day, and celebrate the altruism that got us into this in the first place.

For more on my own writing and consulting work, please head over to my personal website.