Intercultural cities experts
A range of international experts participate to support the Intercultural cities programme.
Their tasks include, inter alia:
- Drafting analytical reports on cities’ results on the Intercultural cities’ index;
- Participating in monitoring visits and preparing reports such as the Intercultural profiles of member cities;
- Providing advice to cities in the context of the preparation of their intercultural strategies;
- Preparing thematic events and drafting reports and policy briefs based on the results;
- Providing advice and training in specific areas (eg myth-busting, intercultural competence, political communication);
- Providing policy advice in specific areas (education, culture, housing, economic development, social services, urban planning, impact evaluation etc.);
- Managing national intercultural cities networks;
- Designing and managing specific projects (eg. awareness campaigns).
Dr. Matt CANNON, Ireland
Lecturer and Consultant Trainer
Dr. Matt Cannon (PhD) is lecturer at the Kemmy Business School, Course Leader for the MA in Social Care at Limerick Institute of Technology and Consultant Trainer in Integration Policy for Doras Luimni, a non-profit organisation that works to assist the integration of migrants in the Midwest. Previously Dr. Cannon worked for over 10 years in cross-community / cross-border conflict resolution as CEO of the Irish Peace Institute at the University of Limerick where he was responsible for managing the Institute's cross-border and cross-community reconciliation projects. Dr. Cannon’s previous experience includes developing and delivering intercultural communication and conflict resolution workshops for young people, community representatives and local leaders. He also works with a range of community-based initiatives in Ireland aimed at examining the role intercultural awareness plays in organisations and communities. His doctoral research into cross-border and cross-community co-operation was recognised by the European Union Committee of the Regions when he was presented with the Best Thesis Award for 2001-2002.
Paul CHAPMAN, United Kingdom
Paul runs a consultancy working with city authorities to uncover the links and synergies that can make their policies more practical and service delivery more focussed.
He has over 25 years’ experience of working for local government and NGO’s in the ever-changing urban landscape of south east London. He has represented Lewisham Council on the Intercultural Cities programme since 2010, organising successful study visits and exchange opportunities and ensuring the continuation of the borough’s historic contribution to promoting the Diversity Advantage.
Paul has extensive experience of managing transnational European projects working with city partners on topics from youth democracy to the development of Coworking provision for micro-businesses. He has specific interest and experience in utilising the intercultural potential of open space and public buildings, particularly focused on the natural environment in urban settings. His objective is to explore and promote the added value of the Diversity Advantage across all disciplines.
Bruno CIANCIO, Italy
Professor at University of Modena e Reggio E & senior manager National Health System
Bruno Ciancio has a long history of working with multiethnic , intercultural governance issues starting from Australia in the early 1980’s as representative on the minister for Ethnic Affairs working party. Member of the faculty of human sciences at Victoria University, Melbourne where he taught Transcultural theories and models applied to practice and set up the first masters program ( 1986) on multicultural studies applied to the work place.
In Italy from 1992 as senior staff manager within the NHS at Modena with staff development, intercultural education and research responsibilities and professor at the university of Modena where he founded and is responsible for the Intercultural master program since 2004 and also teaching intercultural relationship building at the University of Shanghai .
He worked 5 years as elected local government politician responsible for migration and integration issues and president of the 3rd. commission for social services within a network of local governments. Has 25 years of experience in the field of social inclusion, equity, diversity and policy implementation involving migrants in a number of countries and has developed expertise on issues relating to inclusion, diversity management, cultural competence development in the public policy sector. Heavily involved in the education and training of community leaders, teachers, health and welfare staff on intercultural and diversity management and leadership issues.
Founder and reference person of the ‘Union of Intercultural councils’ ( network of 9 councils ) affiliated to the National Network of Intercultural cities of Italy with which he collaborates as well as being an Intercultural Cities Expert from 2010 and a Cultural Competence Development consultant for the Council of Europe ICC program.
Dani DE TORRES, Spain
Director of the Spanish network of intercultural cities (RECI).
Dani de Torres is adviser to the Council of Europe on its intercultural cities programme and director of the Spanish network of intercultural cities (RECI).
He is also founder of Antirumours Global, focusing on the international expansion of the antirumours strategy as a methodology to dismantle prejudices and stereotypes and make the most of diversity.
Dani is also an expert advisor of several cities and organisations such as the “Club de Madrid” and the “Organización de Estados Iberoamericanos (OEI)” on social inclusion and diversity policies. During the last years he has been in more than 20 countries giving lectures and workshops on intercultural issues, political leadership and creativity and social change based on the antirumours strategy. Currently he is also lecturing at the MA in Migration Studies of the Pompeu Fabra University (Barcelona)
During the period 2007-2011 he was Commissioner for Immigration and Intercultural Dialogue of Barcelona city when he led the work for the adoption of the Barcelona Intercultural strategy and of innovative policies like the antirumours strategy. Previously he was policy advisor at Barcelona’s Mayor Cabinet and at the Education, Culture and Welfare department. Before that, he was consultant specialising on European projects about cities social cohesion policies.
Dani has a BA in Economics from Barcelona University and postgraduate studies on Intercultural Education and International and European studies.
Lynda FORD, Australia
Consultant in social innovation, youth entrepreneurship and intercultural practice
Lynda Ford is a community worker with more than 25 years experience in community development, youth entrepreneurship and intercultural practice.
She has worked for local governments in Queensland and Victoria, Australia and is currently an intercultural inclusion consultant to government and regional communities in the areas of settlement for migrants and refugees.
She is the co-developer of an intercultural induction training package for local governments and co-editor of Intercultural, an online magazine for local governments which promotes and showcases intercultural practice. She is currently co-writing the Australian Intercultural Index for local government.
She has written the Blueprint for regional settlement of refugees and Guiding Lives, Transforming Journeys: MultiLink’s Early Intervention and Prevention Framework for the successful long-term settlement of migrants and humanitarian entrants.
Amongst other voluntary Board roles, Lynda is the co-lead for the Australian chapter of Techfugees, a worldwide response to the issue of refugee settlement by coders, developers and others involved in technology. She founded Cultov8, an incubator for settlement technology solutions arising from the Techfugees hackathon in Melbourne in 2016.
Lynda holds a Master of Arts in Criminology and a Bachelor of Social Science.
She is determined to build on the solid foundation of Australia’s multiculturalism by creating an intercultural Australia in which residents have a greater understanding of each other to reduce ‘us’ and ‘them’ to ‘us, together.’
Oliver FREEMAN, Switzerland
Independent consultant in intercultural governance and public administration
Oliver Freeman is an experienced British-Swiss consultant in intercultural governance and public administration. Since 2010 he has been serving as an expert for the Intercultural Cities programme.
Oliver studied politics, Slavonic languages, East European history and public administration in Switzerland, Poland and the UK. He has held a wide variety of academic and professional positions at the local, regional, national and international levels. In the early 1990’s, he worked in Poland as an adviser on local government reform and set up the Polish office of the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia. Since 2001 he is based in Switzerland where he served for seven years as Commissioner for the integration of migrants of the city of Lausanne. He also co-chaired the Swiss conference of integration commissioners and designed the integration strategies of the canton of Fribourg and the cities of Lausanne and Geneva.
Oliver has strong expertise in public policy evaluation, project management, integration policy-making, organizational change. His specialities include the integration of refugees, migration and development, participatory mechanisms and political communication.
Among his current assignments Oliver works for the Refugees Department of the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration. He is preparing a handbook on the integration of refugees in European cities for the Strasbourg Club.
Oliver speaks fluent English, French, German and Polish and has working knowledge of Italian, Spanish and various Slavonic languages.
Beth GINSBURG, United Kingdom
Freelance Consultant on social inclusion in Europe
Beth Ginsburg is a Freelance Consultant on social inclusion in Europe. Much of her freelancing work has been for the Migration Policy Group MPG. She helped create MPG, the Brussels-based innovative 'think and do' tank in 1995.
With over 20 years of experience in the field of social inclusion of immigrants in Europe, she has developed expertise on issues relating to social inclusion, diversity, public sector programmes to integrate immigrant businesses, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and anti discrimination. Beth has worked with senior decision-makers from various governments, at the local, national and international levels, not-for-profits and corporates in the U.S. and Europe on the social inclusion of immigrants in Europe.
She also has extensive knowledge of capacity-building, organisational change, public policy work and developing socially responsible procurement strategies. She has benchmarked and advised and run workshops for municipalities and large purchasing organisations from both the public and private sectors.
She co-authored the DELI Quality Measurement Standard and created the MPG Accreditation in Supplier Diversity, both of which include a rigorous benchmarking process.
Beth has a BA from Barnard College, an MSc from the London School of Economics and an MA from Columbia University. Originally from New York City, she now lives in London with her husband Simon Hix and their two children, Benjamin and Ruth.
Dr. Kseniya KHOVANOVA-RUBICONDO, Luxembourg
Professional in the fields of public affairs and urban policy development
Dr. Kseniya Khovanova-Rubicondo is a professional in the fields of public affairs and urban policy development (PhD, Chicago, MPA, California USA). The most part of her career she dedicated to urban economnic policy development, monitoring and diversity management. She occupied leading managerial and analytical positions at the top international organizations in the USA, Canada, Western and Eastern Europe.
Since 2008, she has served as an expert and the evaluator of the Intercultural Cities Programme of the Council of Europe (CoE), contributed to the ICC Index development, and worked on a number of EC-supported initiatives incl. the Attitudes to Migrants, Communication and Local Leadership (AMICALL, Oxford University, UK), the European Migrant Integration Academy (EU-MIA, Torino, Italy), The Study on the Impact of the European Cultural Routes on SMEs Development and Innovation, and others. Kseniya also served as a principal evaluator and the theory of change developer of the Communication 4 Integration (C4i) project, joinly supported by the CoE and the EC.
Besides, Dr. Khovanova-Rubicondo provided methodological guidance and support to many other CoE-EC joint projects in the fields of sustainable (transnational) network management, performance assessment and monitoring. Among them are Public Policy Review, Compendium (2009), CultureWatchEurope (2010), Cultural Routes (2010-2013), - and to the EC funded programs including Urban Structural Funds (2008), ERINA, ERINA+ (2011-2013), Maxiculture (2012-2013), iMentors (2013-2014), and ei4Africa (2015). Kseniya has designed a number of evaluation frameworks, systems of indicators, indices and toolkits that are currently used by the local governments and city administrations in the US and Europe. Some examples include the Cities’ Fiscal Health Index, Index of Innovation (2008), Intercultural Cities Index (2009), Toolkit for the CoE Cultural Routes: Compliance Indicators (2013), the C4i Theory of Change Map (2015).
A distinguished record of Kseniya’s publications includes book chapters, reviews, evaluations, individual studies and manuscripts. Dr. Khovanova-Rubicondo’s studies were published by top international organizations such as the EC (Brussels, BE), the Council of Europe (Strasbourg, FR), the Government Financial Officers Association (Chicago, IL USA) as well as international peer-reviewed journals incl. Public Administration Review, Government Finance Review and the Environment and Behavior (USA), Croatian Economic Survey (Croatia), Editions Rodopi (the Netherlands), the Global Magazine (SAGA Foundation, Poland), Cultural Almanach (Kyiv National University, Ukraine).
Thijs MALMBERG, Netherlands
Independent public policy advisor
Thijs Malmberg is born in 1950. He studied sociology at Wageningen University in the Netherlands. When he first started working for the Dutch government he was involved in policies for children, youth and families.
In 1991 he was appointed as director for youth policy at the Ministry of Welfare, Health and Culture. In a few years he made his directorate more focussed on strategic policy issues in the field of youth policy.
In 1996 he was appointed as the director for social policy at the Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sports and worked on a national strategy for a modern social infrastructure for the country.
In 2000 he started working for the business firm Ordina, a consulting and ICT company in the Netherlands, noted on the stock market. Besides his job as a manager he has advised many government bodies on national and local level on aspects of for instance youth policy, social and intercultural policy, regulation, strategy. As an expert on Results Based Accountability RBA he worked for cities in and outside the Netherlands.
Since October 2012 he works as an independent public policy advisor. He served cities, provinces, ministries, inspectorates and different care organisations.
For many years he is involved as an expert for the Council of Europe in Strasbourg for the Intercultural Cities Program.
Thijs also works in the area of business development and corporate social responsibility. He is much involved in matters around social integration and social cohesion on international and national level, being a board member of different national and international NGO's.
He is married and a father of three children.
Andrew ORTON, United Kingdom
Consultant and researcher
Andrew Orton is an experienced professional, consultant and researcher, who brings expertise as an academic from Durham University in developing learning on the policy and practice of enabling interaction and dialogue within diverse communities.
He has previously worked with the Council of Europe on new approaches to migrant integration (which led to a report, guide and a Committee of Ministers’ resolution to all member states) and has contributed to the Intercultural Cities programme on ‘Faith in Intercultural Cities’. In this work, he has successfully facilitated dialogue on controversial policy and practice issues, designing and leading events with practitioner/policymakers from different countries, working in a range of different national contexts. A key feature of these events was using ways of working which generated learning from the differences and dilemmas experienced through effective communication across language, context and cultural differences. He has a particular interest in engaging with issues relating to religion within this work.”
Gemma PINYOL-JIMENEZ, Spain
Head of Migration and Mobility Policies at Instrategies and associate researcher at GRITIM-Pompeu Fabra University
She is also an expert for Intercultural Cities-Council of Europe and policy advisor at RECI-Spanish Network of Intercultural Cities.
Member of the European Commission’s Informal expert group on economic migration, she was been involved in several European projects such as “Estrategia antirumores para prevenir el Racismo” funded by Open Society and the C4i-Communication for Integration project, co-funded by the Council of Europe and the European Commission.
She participates in TEMPER (Temporary versus Permanent Migration), a collaborative project SSH-FP7, in the research area on highly skilled migration.
She graduated from Autonomous University of Barcelona with a BA in Political and Public Administration Sciences and received her MA in International Relations.
Alessio SURIAN, Italy
Associate Professor at the University of Padua
Alessio Surian work as Associate Professor at the University of Padua where he teaches Group Dynamics and Transformative Learning, and Intercultural Theories and Practice. At UNIPD he is part of the Sustainable Territorial Development Master Faculty, and he is a member of the FISPPA (Filosophy, Sociology, Pedagogy, Applied Psychology) Department and of the CIRSIM, Centre for Intercultural and Migration Studies.
He is an active member of InteRGRace network, and of the EARLI (European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction)’s SIG (Special Interest Group) 21 on Learning and Teaching in Culturally Diverse Settings, and has recently published “Open Spaces for Interactions and Learning Diversities” (Rotterdam:Sense).
Over the last years he has been involved in training teachers, youth and social workers and in developing intercultural learning materials (such as Compass, and the Salto Anti Racism Booklet). He is collaborating with the Intercultural Cities Network and particularly with the Reggio Emilia municipality. In Italy he has been investigating cooperative learning and workers, youth, teachers attitudes towards diversity in formal and nonformal education activities.
In Argentina and Latin America he has been collaborating with the University of Buenos Aires in participatory action-research on housing rights.
Dr Robin WILSON, Ireland
Dr Robin Wilson is an independent researcher who has advised the Council of Europe on intercultural issues since it became the standard-setter in this field in 2002. He prepared a case study on his native Belfast for an initial Shared Cities project, for which he became rapporteur, and he acted as rapporteur at subsequent annual Intercultural Forums. When the member states commissioned the White Paper on Intercultural Dialogue in 2005, he was invited to analyse their input to the consultation, to prepare the input of the Culture Committee and to write the first draft of the document, launched in 2008. The white paper signalled the Intercultural Cities programme to trial the intercultural paradigm via municipalities on the ground and he subsequently became an adviser to the programme, assisting individual member cities in developing bespoke intercultural strategies and evaluating the programme as a whole five years on in 2013.
His monograph The Northern Ireland Experience of Conflict and Agreement: A Model for Export? (Manchester University Press, 2010) critically explored conflict and continuing intercultural challenges in the comparative cases of Northern Ireland and ex-Yugoslavia. He was commissioned to co-write a research report for the European Network Against Racism on the rise of right-wing populist parties, launched at the European Parliament in 2012. He has a particular interest in how sport can be a vehicle for interculturalism, working worked extensively with the two football associations in Ireland (and with Football Against Racism in Europe) and individual clubs on how football in particular can bring people together across ethnic dividing lines.
He has worked for years with a neighbourhood association in a uniquely mixed Belfast neighbourhood on how it can best manage cultural diversity and has also evaluated the Belfast Friendship Club, set up in 2009 to welcome newcomers to the city, of which he is an active member. He was the founding chair of Horn of Africa People’s Aid Northern Ireland, which works mainly with Somali refugees in Belfast.
Phil WOOD, United Kingdom
Independent writer and researcher in urban policy and culture
Phil Wood is an independent writer and researcher in urban policy and culture.
He worked at a senior level in local government in the UK before becoming Director of the Creative Town Initiative, an exemplary pilot project of the European Commission, in 1997. He pioneered the establishment of creative hubs, business start-ups and urban revitalisation and, during this time, was also founder of the UK Forum on Creative Industries.
Since 2000 he has worked around the world as a consultant. He is principal advisor to the Council of Europe on its Intercultural Cities programme and the architect of its methodology. His book, The Intercultural City: Planning for Diversity Advantage (co-authored with Charles Landry) was published in 2008 by Earthscan. He is also currently supporting trans-national networks of cultural managers with the European Cultural Foundation, in the project TANDEM.
Phil holds a MA with distinction in European Cultural Planning from De Montfort University
Ricard ZAPATA-BARRERO, Spain
Professor, Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Director of GRITIM-UPF
Ricard Zapata-Barrero is accredited full professor (since 2011), at the Department of Political and Social Sciences, Universitat Pompeu Fabra (Barcelona-Spain). His main lines of research deal with contemporary issues of liberal democracy in contexts of diversity, especially the relationship between democracy, citizenship and immigration.
He is director of GRITIM-UPF and the Master Programme on immigration studies at UPF. He is member of the Board of Directors of the largest research network on Immigration in Europe IMISCOE, and coordinates two Standing Committees according to its lines of research related to Cities and Multi-level Governance, and Diversity and Cultural policy. As academic and expert he contributes to the academic theoretical and policy debate on interculturalism within migration studies.
He founded the Intercultural Cities Network in Spain in 2014 (Red de Ciudades Interculturales), as expert of the Intercultural Cities Program. He is also expert of Compendium (cultural policies) of the Council of Europe, and intercultural expert in Anna Lindh Foundation. He participates in several government advisory boards on migration and diversiy, and occasional contributor to media and policy debates.