Last week I was in Belgium in the beautiful city of Leuven for the SIETAR Congress.
SIETAR stands for the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research and their biennial congress is a very friendly affair. Of course a Congress is always very diverse, forgive the pun, and in addition diversity was one of the main themes of the Congress this year so todays show is also very diverse.
If you are listening to this from our website then you will see a beautiful image of the gothic town hall of Leuven. This is where we had the opening reception to the Congress and this is also where we heard the mayor of Leuven, Mohamed Ridouani, give a very inspirational talk about what you can do at local level to make people feel valued and included. Unfortunately I did not ask him to be on the podcast but we do have an interesting variety of people for you in the next 25 minutes or so.
I was walking along the corridor with Syrian, Muhammad Antar, in the University of Leuven, the location of the Congress, when he suddenly observed to me that European Universities are really good learning environments. What did he mean I wondered?
When you are at a Congress you are constantly having to make choices about which session to choose next and sometimes you get the feeling that its impossible to make a choice because everything sounds enticing. Adrain Pilbeam of LTS Training & Consulting in Bath in the UK had a session entitled ‘What can you do in 30 minutes?’ but I had decided to attend a work-related session instead. What was your session about I asked him? His response was like a master class in intercultural training, taking us from the brief, the different options he considered, through to what he did and the follow up. It suddenly struck me that we have never heard this on the podcast before, so let’s go absolutely meta and hear this deconstruction of a 30 minute workshop session. I think that it would be a great exercise to deconstruct that process and use it as guideline if you ever need to plan an intercultural training session yourself. I particularly like the 2-verb exercise!
absolutely diversophy Denmark
So now to our final segment where I talk to Line Mark Rugholt about a project she and I have been working on for the past couple of years and which we were able to present during the Congress. We have talked to the creator of the diversophy culture game, George Simons in the podcast before and you may remember that George started an initiative to adapt the game to promote integration between natives and migrants when the current refugee crisis started in 2015. Line and I worked on a Danish version which had a very specific purpose; to help refugees and native Danes meet in order to create the connections necessary for everyday life. I asked Line to describe a typical session with our new game. We tried it out four times before we got the mix right but in each case we would always invite a mix of people to a social event that included free food and a relaxed egalitarian atmosphere. You can get a free digital copy of the game from the diversophy website.
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The next show will be coming to you from Dr Laurent Borgmann in Germany on July 5th so until then stay tuned!
The host of this show is: Anne Fox
Picture credit: Pixabay