For two weeks in October 2016, the Swedish retailer built a concrete 25 square-metre replica of a real Syrian family's home - almost totally bare except for some rugs and meager furnishings - inside IKEA Slependen, its Norway flagship.
The objective? To give customers a taste of what life's like for Rana, a mum of four young kids who lives in a tiny two-bedroom apartment in war-torn Damascus, re-creating the atmosphere for a Western audience.
Price tags adorned the walls of the room, but rather than selling anything, the papers contained information on the horrors Syrians have experienced since war enveloped their lives. Some of the papers equally served as donation slips.
Collaborating with Red Cross, Ikea replicated the apartment in a joint fundraising campaign in efforts to raise awareness of the realities of living in a war-stricken country. Making the most of Ikea’s large customer base, the scheme brought 40,000 people to the store, and raised more than €22 million EUR for relief efforts in Syria.
This coalition contributes to a list of organisations no longer relying on global governance to deliver solutions to global problems and administering emergency humanitarian aid. Instead, Ikea and the Red Cross’s campaign demonstrates how organisations are seeking opportunities for shining a light on, and hopefully solving, global problems themselves.