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Intercultural Dialogue - a European Adventure (IDEA) Press release – 25th July 2013 From July 10-16 2013, 58 students from 27 different universities and 18 different European countries gathered in Zagreb for the seminar ‘Intercultural Dialogue - a European Adventure’, for short: IDEA. IDEA, supported by the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe, has been one of the major events organised by the European Geography Association for students and young geographers (EGEA) for the year in 2013. The main themes of IDEA were to critically evaluate ‘Why intercultural dialogue is important?’, ‘Why living together in diversity is important?’ and ‘What role the youth has in this?’ True to the interdisciplinary nature of geography, participants originated from a range of academic backgrounds, including physical geography and human geography. What made IDEA really unique was that it set out from the beginning to make the concept intercultural dialogue tangible through interacting and experiencing first hand real daily lived issues in a local context. Seven study groups stepped in the shoes of seven different stakeholders in seven different contexts (in and around Zagreb) where they undertook research on the following themes:  ‘living in diversity’ vs. ‘living with diversity’ from a majority perspective (case of Zagreb)’,  ‘community building and peace-building though youth in an ethnic diverse and economically deprived area (case of Petrina),  ‘rights and wishes of Roma living in Zagreb,  ‘challenges in schools and the intercultural curriculum in an ethnic diverse town’ (case of Gvozd)  ‘parliamentary actions towards human rights and national minorities in Croatia’  ‘How (urban) ecosystem services influence diverse cultural needs?’  ‘trajectories and settlement of migrants and refugees in Zagreb’ Of course, undertaking such ambitious research aims would need the local expertise and networks of locally and (inter)nationally based organisations. We are very grateful the following participating organisations and institutions: the University of Zagreb, the Centre for Peace Studies (Zagreb), the Association of IT, Culture and Coexistence (Petrina), the Nansen Dialogue Centre Osijek, the Parliamentary Committee on Human and National Minority Rights, the Mayor of Pakrac, community centre Delpin (Pakrac) and a Serbian community representative in Pakrac without which the seminar would not have reached the in-depth geographic experience it did. To return to the main themes of the event two moments are highly illustrative. First, the plenary simulation game on the last day illustrated the complexity of reaching consensus on the most important political actions when time is short to learn each other’s perspectives. Secondly, the intercultural fair (sharing of national food and drinks) and the Croatian night proved how diversity, if celebrated in the right manner, can


lead to great synergy, creativity and friendships. In conclusion, European friendships and professional geographic networks were forged once more in a unique way. For the research outcomes, stay tuned for our edition of the European Geographer and our short movie on www.egea.eu and on Facebook (EGEA Offcial Group). Yours sincerely, The IDEA organising team

IDEA was sponsored by the European Youth Foundation

intercultural dialogue a european adventure (idea) press release  

EGEA organising team press release

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