Story Circles for Intercultural Conversations: Cornell U

Applied ICD

Story circles encourage intercultural conversations at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, USA.

“Launched by the Office of Global Learning, the story circles initiative is intended to bridge the gaps in intercultural understanding between Cornell’s international and domestic populations. The project began as OGL explored ways to promote belonging among international students at the height of the pandemic, when students were scattered across the globe – in Ithaca, at Study Away, or studying remotely from their home countries. The workshops make use of UNESCO’s Story Circles methodology, which has been tested to nurture cultural diversity across the world.”

For details of what Cornell is doing, see the original article:
Pradhan, Priya. (2022, April 26). Story circles foster intercultural conversations, belonging. Cornell Chronicle.


Mural Mosaic’s Global Roots: (Re)Connecting the World

Applied ICD

Mural Mosaic’s Global Roots Project (Re)Connecting the World: one painted tile, one tree, one community, one country at a time.

The purpose of the project is to (re)connect communities, families and long distance loved ones through the joy and inspiration that bringing mosaic tiles together into one united piece of art. Mural Mosaic Art Director and world renowned artist, Lewis Lavoie, has chosen the TREE🌳 as the symbol of connection for this project. These one-of-a-kind mural mosaics will be created, connected and shared around the entire WORLD!

Global Roots kicked off its first national mural with Canada Connects Seasons in April 2021, and they are now organizing America Connects Regional in 2022. In addition, they have Canada or USA custom mural mosaics for 100-5000 participants per mural. All participants receive instructions and online art lessons.

Mural Mosaic produced over 100 Murals for a National Mural Project during Canada’s Sesquicentennial. The Canada Mosaic Mural project was launched in 2015 to celebrate our 150th birthday, beginning the journey to complete 150 murals illustrating Canada’s cultural and geographical diversity. Over 80,000 people participated in this national project to celebrate Canada’s 150th Anniversary.

Racial Justice, Relational Responsivity

Applied ICDPenman, Robyn. (2022). Racial justice, relational responsivity and responsibility. CMMi Working Papers, No. 2. 

Perhaps it’s important to emphasise here that we are not using the term “dialogue” loosely. We are, in fact, using the term from a very specific perspective — the prescriptive approach that draws on the work of Martin Buber…Amongst other things, this form of dialogue is characterized by the participants acting authentically and genuinely engaging in the process in a mutually collaborative way that ensues the participants can go on together…And most importantly, this approach to dialogue is fundamentally orientated to the call of the other. (p. 16)

This is the first paper to emerge from discussions in the CMMi Social Justice Working Group. In this paper, Robyn Penman considers the issue of racial justice within a relational framework, that includes a relationally-responsive, and responsible, form of understanding emerging from an “us”. Drawing on the various models and heuristics of the Coordinated Management of Meaning (CMM), she shows us how we can develop a different sense of racial justice and how we can expose the pervasive relational dynamics at work in perpetuating injustice.

Intercultural Cities: Building Bridges not Walls

Applied ICD

Bogdanovic, N., & Wilson, R. (2022).  Mediterranean Intercultural Cities Network: Youth – sport – inclusion 2021. Intercultural Cities Unit, Council of Europe.

“The Intercultural Cities of Limassol, Haifa, and Ioannina, supported by the Intercultural Cities programme of the Council of Europe, have jointly worked during 2021 on unlocking the potential of sports for intercultural inclusion, in terms both of policy and practice…While sport can be a force for division where competition aligns with ethnic or other fault lines, it can be a much more positive factor for integration for a number of reasons.”

This example shows how sports – even competitive sports – can be a vehicle to develop overlapping solidarities among diverse individuals in a globalised world. It reminds us that while ‘identity politics’ can divide people into antagonistic groups in fact our identity is what makes each of us unique: we are all complex combinations of different elements. And so, the commonalities of interest which sport engenders can bring the most unlikely individuals together and build bridges when others want to build walls.

Applied Multilingualism: Philip Crowther Reporting in 6 Languages

Applied ICD

Philip Crowther, reporter from Luxembourg, files his reports for The Associated Press in no fewer than six languages.

As a result of his multilingualism, he’s getting a lot of newspaper coverage for his skill: in the Huffington Post, Independent, Daily Mail, Metro, and The Wrap, among others.

Presumably, if more people were so functionally multilingual, intercultural dialogues would be made easier.

Dialogue Across Cultures Through Opera

Applied ICDYan, Alice. (2021, October 19). Chinese opera fan becomes online celebrity after standing in for male lead during encore performance. South China Morning Post.

Cuban-American soprano, Lisette Oropesa, was singing her 4th encore after performing in an opera, in Italian, in Italy. The song she was singing was from La Traviata, and has a tenor part, but there was no tenor on stage at that point. Chinese student Liu Jianwei is a tenor studying opera in Italy, and he was in the audience. He joined in. Despite the fact that she seemed  delighted, he’s concerned that it was inappropriate, and asks that others not imitate him. At the same time, it’s a lovely example of how the arts can bring people together across national boundaries.

The video clip has been widely posted to social media (incuding Reddit and Facebook) and has garnered a lot of attention.


Statement on Russia’s Invasion of Ukraine


The Center for Intercultural Dialogue condemns violence and aggression, whether on the part of individuals or nations. It should come as no surprise that our preference instead is to advocate for intercultural dialogue. We hope for a swift end to the current violence in Ukraine and de-escalation of hostilities.

UNESCO Recommendation on Open Science

Applied ICD

UNESCO. (2021). UNESCO recommendation on open science. Paris, France: UNESCO. (Also available in French and Spanish.)

This report was adopted unanimously by 193 UNESCO member states in November 2021.

Open dialogue with other knowledge systems refers to the dialogue between different knowledge holders, that recognizes the richness of diverse knowledge systems and epistemologies and diversity of knowledge producers in line with the 2001 UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. It aims to promote the inclusion of knowledge from traditionally marginalized scholars and enhance inter-relationships and complementarities between diverse epistemologies, adherence to international human rights norms and standards, respect for knowledge sovereignty and governance, and the recognition of rights of knowledge holders to receive a fair and equitable share of benefits that may arise from the utilization of their knowledge. (p. 15)

(See also the related International Science Council publication Science as a global public good, issued in 2020, which set the stage by arguing that “The social contract is shifting to one in which science is open to society: transparent and participative” (p. 20). Both publications emphasize the need for intercultural and international dialogues among knowledge workers.)

One Small Step: Moving Towards Dialogue

Applied ICDRengers, Carrie. (2021, November 21. “It’s hard to hate up close”: How Wichita’s are taking One Small Step to bridge the political divideThe Wichita Eagle.

It’s hard to hate up close. (Dave Isey, founder of both StoryCorps and One Small Step)

“Wichita is a test market for One Small Step, which brings together pairs of people with differing beliefs for approximately 40-minute recorded discussions aimed at conquering dehumanization across political lines. The point is to search for common ground – not in politics, but in humanity.

Like StoryCorps’ vignettes, One Small Step’s conversations will be stored at the Library of Congress.

…’We’re all socialized to move immediately into debate, and debate is a game to win,’ [Peter T.] Coleman said. He said One Small Step isn’t about debate but dialogue.” (emphasis added)


Taos Institute: Dialogic and Collaborative Practices in Challenging Times

Applied ICDDialogic and Collaborative Practices in Challenging Times, Taos Institute (Online), February 24-26, 2022 (3 hours/day).

Dialogic and Collaborative Practices in Challenging Times
February 24-26, 2022
12:00 – 3:00 pm EST (New York time)
3-day online seminar with Sheila McNamee and Harlene Anderson

In this intensive, 9-hour Zoom seminar spread over 3 days (3 hours each day), Harlene and Sheila will introduce, discuss, and provide opportunities to put constructionist theory to practice. Given the challenges we confront globally, discussion will center on exploring the practical implications of social construction while giving ample space for us to collaborate in an effort to put these ideas into practice. Special attention will be given to participants’ own projects and professional contexts. We will provide ample time for sharing and interacting.

This workshop will be useful for those familiar with social construction and relational practice as well as those new or unfamiliar with these ideas. This is an opportunity to be in conversation with others who are working in or who want to work in relational ways. It is a chance to forge connections that might help us sustain relational practices. Readings and other resource materials will be provided prior to the course.

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