On 13-14 September, the city of Turin hosts a 2-day workshop on intercultural communication and mediation for Italian city officers and policy makers.
Under the title “Explaining interculturality: how do you present, discuss & defend intercultural policies at the local level”, the workshop will address two main questions: How to effectively communicate intercultural policies and strategies to the citizenship? How to engage in a constructive dialogue in round tables, district meetings, neighbourhood events?
In the past years, many steps were made to increase the general understanding among policy makers and civil servants about the positive effects of intercultural actions. Thus, in the meantime, such policies have been caught up into a stereotyped image of “migration” as a negative phenomenon, which is more and more used as a political scapegoat in several European countries. The result is that promoting or defending intercultural actions is challenged by an increasing negative feeling that affects wide sectors of the society. However, creating a broader consensus for, and a positive feeling about intercultural actions is a fundamental pre-condition for inclusive policies, and an even more urgent priority in the present moment of growing fear, violence and disaffection.
But how can a policy maker present, discuss and defend intercultural policies and actions when confronted with a critical or challenging situation? The workshop aims to give a series of answers to this question.
It will enable local policy makers to successfully present, discuss and defend intercultural policies at the local level, by 1) increasing their capacity to effectively respond to face-to-face communication challenges on intercultural issues, and 2) strengthening, enlarging and connecting existing networks of policy makers (Rete Città del Dialogo, ANCI Committees, etc.). On the long-term, this kind of actions will hopefully contribute to building a more favourable political climate at the local level towards interculturality and inclusion.