IDEA: Intercultural Dialogue- a European Adventure

Organizer: EGEA
Location: (Map)
Open for:

About the seminar

So what is the IDEA?

Intercultural dialogue is an open and respectful exchange of views between individuals and groups belonging to different cultures that leads to a deeper understanding of the other’s global perception.

(Council of Europe “White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue”, 2003: 10)

IDEA explores the realities and implications of how diversity is imagined, experienced, and practiced by Europeans and local professional organizations. Why? A quick observation of our contemporary European societies makes one thing very clear: multicultural societies are today’s reality. Discussing the challenges of what it means to live ‘in’ diversity rather than ‘with’ diversity, therefore, becomes relevant. This is where Intercultural Dialogue comes in.

This seminar aims to introduce the actualisation of intercultural dialogue to its participants through the active on-site exploration of concepts such as multiculturalism and interculturalism. What are their shortfalls? How can this be perceived in Zagreb and in wider Croatia?

Using the local context as a basis for investigation, participants will be invited to ask questions and explore answers in order to better understand the process of living in diversity. Participants will not do this alone: active involvement of local actors in the program will allow participants to fully immerse themselves in the local context , face the challenges, draw comparisons and share experiences from their personal background.

To this end, participants will visit in different groups: local communities, neighbourhood centres, refugee centres, NGOs, (inter)national organisations, governmental institutions and more. How do they perceive asylum and integration policies in Croatia? What sustainable policies can lead to better protection of the rights and position of national minorities in Croatia? What are their arguments? What are their interests?

Fieldwork methods will not be limited to in depth interviews and questionnaires, but also include participant and landscape observation through photography and filming, GIS and spatial analysis and any other methods you are interested in.

In order to reach its aims, this seminar brings together a group of 50 young people from all over Europe as well as local participants. Zagreb offers this unique opportunity to explore intercultural dialogue since it is not only host to a variety of cultural sub-groups, but also to main professional and political organisations active in the field dealing with diversity. Comparing this to similar processes in your home country enables you to understand your home country.

Finally these techniques will allow for a better understanding of how EGEA bridges such a wide variety of cultural backgrounds onto one common ground.

How to apply…

In order to participate in the IDEA seminar we need you to write a motivation letter. Besides the rather non-formal reason for your participation “your motivation to join the seminar” we would like you to reflect on intercultural dialogue, culture and cultural diversity, and argue on a methodological approach to the fieldwork we will carry out. Which methods do you find appropriate and why? Interview and/or observation? Using photography and/or filming/blogging? Maybe use GIS? Your imagination sets the limits!

This will not only show us your determination but will also provide you with some basic knowledge about the key concepts for this seminar. This will later help you to better understand and engage in the seminar and the fieldwork, as well as improving your personal outcome of the seminar.
We want you to answer the following questions:
1) Define culture and explain intercultural dialogue
2) Which kind of methodology do you suggest and why?
3) Why do you want to join the seminar?

If you follow you will be directed to a Dropbox with suggested readings and the application form.

Send the duly completed application form to until the 26th May 23:59.

Additional (optional) readings on culture:
– Allen, T. (2000). “Taking culture seriously” . In T. Allen, & A. Thomas (eds.), Poverty and development into the 21st Century (pp. 443-466). Oxford: Oxford University Press.
– Keesing, R., & Strathern, A. J. (1998). Cultural Anthropology – A contemporary perspective. Fort Worth: Harcourt Brace College Publishers.
…on Croatia and youth

Ilišin, Vlasta & Radin, Furio (eds.) (2002). Youth and Transition in Croatia. Zagreb: Institute for Social Research: State Institute for the Protection of Family, Maternity and Youth.

Other interesting links:
– The Council of Europe, our main sponsor – click on the icon on the right or here.
– The Center for Peace Studies – Human Rights House Network (CMS), our main local partner – click on the icon on the right here.
– A video by the United States Department of State Bureau of Culture and Education:  Click here.
– A video by SpeakFirst on intercultural dialogue: Click here.
– UNESCO World Report: Investing in Cultural Diversity and Intercultural Dialogue: Click here
– BBC interview on multiculturalism – Click here.


If you have any questions don’t hesitate to contact (subject: IDEA seminar).