Social Science Research Council Research AMP Mediawell

Ilaria Schnyder von Wartensee

Cofounder of Human Lines; CEO of WONDER
HRLI Grantee

Ilaria Schnyder von Wartensee is the cofounder and CEO of WONDER, an innovative company specializing in providing tailored outdoor education experiences and immersive experiential learning programs. Between 2015 and 2022 she was the Ford Family Research Assistant Professor at the Kellogg Institute for International Studies at the University of Notre Dame. Her main research interests are international development and the study of migration and refugees, with a particular focus on the dignity of people and their integral human development. Dr. von Wartensee has multiyear research expertise in designing, developing, implementing and evaluating major research projects in human flourishing and community-driven development (involving qualitative research methods).

As a creative educator and researcher, between 2018 and 2022, she ran a qualitative evaluation of the Humanitarian Corridor Program, facilitated by Caritas Italy which offered legal and safe passage into Italy for 498 refugees living in Ethiopian refugee camps. The study investigates the integration process of refugees in Italy. The main achievement of this work was the creation of Human Lines, a digital platform experience connecting the public with the refugees and local welcoming communities. Human Lines aims to understand and narrate stories, dynamics, experiences, and difficulties between the refugees and the communities they joined and constitutes an inspiring pedagogical tool for the general public, schools, students, and more. 

A native of Switzerland, she graduated in international relations from the Geneva Graduate Institute and holds an MSc in anthropology and development from the London School of Economics and a PhD in international law and economics from Bocconi University in Milan.