Humanitarianism is in crisis – but what are the current challenges? And in what ways could the humanitarian system change in future? Will western actors gradually lose control, to be replaced by other centres of humanitarian thought and action? And do relief organisations need to find new ways of financing their activities? The author is convinced that only a complete transformation of the system can help to end the suffering of civilians in an increasingly complex, insecure and violent world. An article by Antonio Donini.