Social entrepreneur Christopher Mikkelsen founded Refugees United (REFUNITE) in 2008 with his brother David Mikkelsen based on a personal experience trying to reconnect a young Afghan refugee with his family. Realizing the lack of any global, IT-based infrastructure to help refugees locate missing family, the two brothers set out to change the state of things and founded REFUNITE, a non-profit tech organization with the mission of reconnecting refugee families across the globe. In their capacity as co-founders and CEOs, the Mikkelsens have built the first-ever family-tracing platform for refugees, capitalizing on the ever-growing mobile phone usage across Africa and working closely with partners, such as Vodafone, Zain Group, Ooredoo, Facebook, Kenya Red Cross, UN Refugee Agency, Ericsson and others. With little more than access to a low-cost mobile phone, and in selected countries even without access to the Internet, refugees can search, connect and communicate with missing family. This innovative approach, helping more than 400.000 refugees with their search for family, has been featured in TIME, Forbes, BBC, CNN, the Guardian, Newsweek and more.
Christopher Mikkelsen is an expert on social innovation and an international speaker who bridges the gap between the nonprofit world and the corporate world. With 61 million forcibly displaced people worldwide, the need to reconnect refugee families is as pressing as ever. Christopher and David Mikkelsen are Huffington Post bloggers, members of the Clinton Global Initiative 2010 and 2011, have been named "New World Heroes - People who deserve a bigger stage in 2009" by Monocle Magazine, nominated as "People of the Year 2009" by DAS Magazin and as PopTech Fellows 2011.