Intercultural Competence Training for Local Officials

Applied ICDWebinar: Intercultural competence training for local officials: Why and how, Intercultural Cities Programme, EU. 7 July 2022, 3-5pm CEST.

The ICC programme is pleased to open the registrations for the webinar “Intercultural competence training for local officials – Why and how”. The webinar will be held on Thursday 7 July 2022 from 3 pm to 5 pm (CEST). It is open to the public, and free to attend. This event will present the benefits of intercultural competence training for city staff and zoom in on how cities can work to implement large scale training for all local officials. The webinar will combine presentations from cities, ICC experts and ongoing projects to present the many ways intercultural competence training can be implemented across local authorities. Don’t forget to register if you want to be kept informed about the webinar and receive the link to attend.

Intercultural Cities: Good Practice Examples

Applied ICD

The Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities Programme has documented extensive examples of good practice, and made them publicly available.

The Intercultural city aims at building its policies and identity on the explicit acknowledgement that diversity can be a resource for the development of the society. The first step is the adoption (and implementation) of strategies that facilitate positive intercultural encounters and exchanges, and promote equal and active participation of residents and communities in the development of the city, thus responding to the needs of a diverse population. The Intercultural integration policy model is based on extensive research evidence, on a range of international legal instruments, and on the collective input of the cities member of the Intercultural Cities programme that share their good practice examples on how to better manage diversity, address possible conflicts, and benefit from the diversity advantage. This section of their website offers examples of intercultural approaches that facilitate the development and implementation of intercultural strategies.

The Intercultural cities programme supports local and regional authorities worldwide in reviewing their policies through an intercultural and intersectional lens, and accompany them developing comprehensive intercultural strategies to help them manage diversity positively and realise the diversity advantage. The programme proposes a set of analytical and practical tools to help local stakeholders through the various stages of the process.

Dall-E (AI) Interpretations of Intercultural Concepts

Applied ICD

I was curious, given all the current attention being paid to Dall-E and Dall-E Mini, and Craiyon, to see what any of these would come up with if I input concepts related to intercultural dialogue.

Dall-E mini intercultural dialogue
Craiyon Intercultural Dialogue
Craiyon Intercultural Dialogue
Craiyon intercultural competence
Craiyon intercultural competence
Craiyon multiculturalism
Craiyon multiculturalism
Craiyon dialogue
Craiyon dialogue

Obviously, the very first term I input was intercultural dialogue. You receive 9 images for any text, and most of them were blurred and distorted beyond much use. But I’m attaching the images both Dall-E Mini and Craiyon created. Interestingly, related terms, such as multiculturalism or intercultural competence, look much the same: a group of evidently diverse people – but never two individuals.

Whereas dialogue looks quite different – just speech bubbles. And many of the images created at my request, such as that for peacebuilding, were quite useless (nearly all of the designs for that simply showed a badly distorted vision of the UN logo, for example).

I thought others might find it interesting to see what the results looked like. Clearly, given that these AI programs simply search the internet for relevant text and images, we all need to be posting more content for it to discover that includes both descriptions and visual depictions that come closer to what we think it should find.

For those who are not yet familiar with these programs, Dall-E is a tool to turn words into images using AI, but it is in beta and not yet publicly available. Dall-E mini is the less competent but publicly available version. And that has already morphed into Craiyon. All of them work by looking to see what images are attached to words across the internet, and then editing those images into something new. Apparently, so long as you credit the source, the images are yours to use and post.

If others try any of these systems and obtain interesting results, send them along in an email, and I’ll create a later post to showcase them.

Wendy Leeds-Hurwitz, Director
Center for Intercultural Dialogue

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.

%d bloggers like this: