Sietar España Congress 28th – 29th September 2018

Intercultural Competence: A Key for Inclusive Organizations and Societies
The 1st SIETAR España Congress (28/09/2018 – 29/09/2018) will be an intersectoral conference, where professionals from different realms of society (business, academic, public administrations, NGOs…) will discuss the topic of inclusion. This Congress aims to become a platform to exchange innovative ideas and to debate different aspects of interculturality. We will also have a close look at how this interculturality permeates different fields, such as education, research, and civil and business organizations. After this Congress, one thing will become clear: the intercultural competence will stand out as one of the most decisive tools when ensuring inclusive organizations and societies in our modern world.
Inclusion is everyone’s responsibility!

East and West Bridges Event Helsinki-St. Petersbrug 26th – 28th October 2018

SIETAR Russia & SIETAR Europa present a special “East and West Bridges Event” from Helsinki to St. Petersburg 26th – 28th October 2018, organized by SIETAR Russia in collaboration with SIETAR Europa. Relations between Russia and the West are at the lowest point since the Cold War. What can be done to improve the relationship? Save the dates!

Webinar Code of Ethics

Sietar Netherlands has recently introduced a Code of Ethics. It has not always been easy. Their journey to finally realize a Living Code of Ethics, combined with a compliance procedure and a compliance committee, has taken three years. In a special webinar 25th June 2018 people could meet the three Sietar members that were deeply involved from the beginning.
So good that over 20 European Sietar members joined this webinar, which provided the participants with inspiration and information since ethics is important in our field. Thanks again Matthew Hill for the initiative to organize this and thanks to our members Teuni Looij, Jacqueline Franssens and Yvonne van der Pol for sharing their experiences with other national Sietars.
To watch the recording click here.

25th June: Webinar Ethics, Culture and You

Sietar Netherlands has recently introduced a Code of Ethics. It has not always been easy. Their journey to finally realize a Living Code of Ethics, combined with a compliance procedure and a compliance committee, has taken three years.
Join us for this special webinar 2PM, 25th June 2018 to meet the three Sietar members that were deeply involved from the beginning. They will be happy to share their breakthroughs and methods with other Sietarians and interculturalists interested in building up professionalism and process within their own national Sietars and organisations. 

Jacqueline Franssens represents the board of Sietar Netherlands and Teuni Looij and Yvonne van der Pol  will represent the working group that arrived at the Code of Ethics. They will tell of their highs and lows on the journey to successfully making a robust Code of Ethics. 
In the webinar they will answer key questions; Why a Code of Ethics? How did they organize the work? And, How did the process evolve? On what topics did they receive support? And, Where did they encounter most resistance? Finally, Why did they move from working on a Code of Conduct and end up deciding for a Code of Ethics? 

Join us for this important broadcast and do please take the opportunity to ask your questions and discover for yourself what is needed to reach a meaningful outcome.

To register simply click here  and follow the Gotomeeting instructions.

Initiatives to prevent genocide

The story of Maurice Kwizera
In close cooperation with Sietar France we have invited Maurice Kwizera to talk to us and to the Sietar France community. He will share his personal story about the genocide in Rwanda and the challenging process of reconciliation to prevent genocide in the future. Save the date: Thursday 24 May 2018.
More info…

SEU: Post of Future Film Festival Manager Mechelen 2019

The next SIETAR Europa Congress is taking place in Mechelen in 2019 and we are looking for volunteers to help with the organization, promotion, management and many other tasks related to the congress organization. The call for Congress Organizing team was a success. We hope this call becomes a success too!

Post of Future Film Festival Manager 

Applications are invited for the (voluntary, non-paid assignment) post of Film Festival Manager Assistant for SIETAR Europa Mechelen 2019 Congress with the aim to learn the profession and be SIETAR Europa next Film Festival Manager for 2021 Congress. The details relating to this position are outlined below.  

Location: Home Office Base/Virtual  

Line Manager: Film Festival Manager (current Marianne van Eldik Thieme) 

(Overseas) Travel: As required with travel and lodging expenses paid  

Who can apply: All SIETAR Europa and National SIETAR members, plus non-members familiar with SIETAR activities and film  

SIETAR is Europe’s largest association of interculturalists and is part of the worldwide SIETAR network. SIETAR works to contribute to more effective communication among people of different cultures and backgrounds, enhance intercultural awareness in policy-making, business, education and civil society, establish an ever-widening network of intercultural specialists and provide opportunities for personal and professional exchanges.  

We focus on the screening of short documentaries covering relevant topics for IC professionals. Here you will find and information on past Film Festivals since 2006 until the Dublin Congress! The next Film Festival will be part of our congress in Mechelen, Belgium from 27th May to 2nd  Jun 2019. 

We aim to screen 8 documentaries with Q&A afterwards, panel discussions and discussion with the audience.  


As part of your assignment as a Film Festival Manager Assistant for SIETAR Europa, you will… 

  • Support the current Film Festival Manager on project management tasks 
  • Receive Film applications and help with their selection 
  • Assist in planning the structure of the next Film Festival  
  • Contact Film Directors as required  
  • Learn the processes to be able to lead the future Film Festival planning    
  • Learn how to guide a small team 


Required Skills, Knowledge and Abilities 

  • Passion for films and Film Festivals and basic knowledge of documentary film making  
  • Preferably having connection in the film world  
  • Professional and positive skills of self-presentation, delegation and negotiation 
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office 
  • Demonstrate thoroughly proficient oral and written communication skills in English 
  • Proven accuracy and attention to detail 
  • Demonstrate proven marketing skills 
  • Must be able to function as part of a multicultural, face-2-face and virtual team 


What we can offer you 

  • Position of Film Festival Manager of SIETAR Europa future Congresses 
  • Experience of organizing Film Festivals 
  • Building a professional network 
  • Skills development in Project Management and Film Festival Management 
  • The opportunity to build an international network in congress management and intercultural education, training and research. 
  • The opportunity to have contact with Film directors and experts of the field  
  • Opportunity to know more about the wider context of the documentaries (social, political, economic etc) in order to deepen the inside of the audience 
  • Attendance at the 2019 Congress in your role as Assistant Project Manager (full reimbursement of travel to Mechelen) 

If you are….             

  • Interested in getting involved in the organisation of a Film Festival of a prestigious conference within the intercultural field! 
  • Enthusiastic about working with Film Lovers from all over the world! 
  • Fascinated by expanding your network by working with our NGO…. 

…. then send us a short motivation letter (max. 1 page) and your CV with your coordinates including postal and mail address as well as phone numbers and skype, indicating how you might support us with your expertise and enthusiasm as Film Festival Manager Assistant for SIETAR Europa Congress in Mechelen 2019! 

Please send to: by 15th Jun 2018. 


Thursday 21 June, town hall (stadhuis), Arnhem, The Netherlands


13.00 – 13.15 h  
13.15 – 14.15 h       
14.30 – 15.30 h       
15.30 – 16.00 h       
16.00 – 18.00 h        

18.00 – 19.00 h    
19.00 – 20.30 h  
20.30 – 21.00 h   
Opening Dialogue
Keynotes / TED talks
Workshops / Presentations
Break   –   Poster Session
Workshops / Presentations
Panels / Dialogue Tables
Evening meal   –   Poster Session
Media Expert Session
+ Future Planning Session
Closing Panel


10.00 – 12.00 h a pre-conference dialogue meeting will be organized particularly for those
participants who have traveled to Arnhem the night before.


We start with these questions: To what extent is the current society polarized? What are the dynamics of polarization? And how can one best convey his message in a polarized society?

  • How different parts of the population see the reception of refugees, and about communication strategies in a polarized society
    Jorrit Hoekstra, researcher and coordinator of Stay Human. About the results of the Stay Human research project ‘National Monitor on Polarization and the Image of Refugees’ (carried out by IPSOS).
  • What can we learn about polarization from the Banlieues de Paris
    Luuk Slooter, researcher at Uglobe, the Utrecht Center for Global Challenges, Utrecht University. Did research for his PhD among youngsters in the Banlieues, the French suburbs, how they respond differently to the negative image people have of them (from radicalizing to combating the negative stereotype). About how both parties at polarization react to each other.
  • It’s getting hot in here: On the changing societal climate and attitudes toward refugees in Germany and why we should also be aware of attitudes toward other societal groups
    Jonas Rees, researcher at the Institute for Interdisciplinary Research on Conflict and Violence, Bielefeld University. Talks about results from representative surveys in Germany, shows that hostile attitudes toward different societal groups are related, and argues that polarization will focus on dominant discussions such as the situation of refugees but will also affect seemingly unrelated attitudes that are currently not part of the discussion.

(We hope to announce other speakers soon)


We continue with trying to answer these first questions. But we also put new questions like:
What approaches and methods can be used to depolarize, to change attitudes, and promote dialogue? Which elements of various related methods are useful?


  • Strategies to combat prejudices and discrimination
    Annemarie van Hinsberg, program coordinator, and Ikram Taouanza, researcher, KIS / Movisie. Workshop based on research about (the conditions of) the effectiveness of interventions (such as dialogue meetings) meant to counter prejudices and discrimination.
  • The existential problems and pain behind radicalization/polarization
    Birgit Pfeifer, senior lecturer Youth and Safety, Windesheim University of Applied Sciences, and Practor Appreciating differences, Verus. She did research into motives of school shooters. Presentation about existential problems behind radicalization, and about value driven dialogue.
  • Democracy asks for taking seriously minority viewpoints
    Fanny Matheusen, Belgian trainer and team coach (Goesthing). Her special area of interest lies in intercultural communication and intercultural competence, conflict management and (ecological) transition. She is a practitioner, instructor and supervisor in the Deep Democracy Lewis method, and will present a Deep Democracy-workshop.
  • And how does it feel? Reversing discrimination as a learning experience
    Şeydâ Buurman-Kutsal, supervisor, consultant, trainer ‘Brown Eyes Blue Eyes’ (anti-racism method Jane Elliott), Betzavta method (‘Miteinander’), and diversity. Will present a ‘Brown Eyes Blue Eyes’ workshop.
  • Depolarizing is about handling emotions
    Ulrike de Ponte, intercultural psychologist, OTH Regensburg, and convenor of the EFPA Board on Cultural and Ethnic Diversity. She conducts research into intercultural psychology. Her workshop is about dealing with / working on intense emotions in confrontational (eg polarized) interactions.
  • Youngsters, distinguishing ideals from ideals
    Expertise Center Stable Society, Dutch Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment. Workshop on countering extreme ideals among youngsters. 

Presentations / panels

  • Michèlle Bal, social psychologist, Assistant Professor, Utrecht University. Does research into social (in)justice, into processes such as discrimination, radicalization and polarization.
  • Matthias Quent, director of the Institut für Demokratie und Zivilgesellschaft, Jena. His work and research is about social movements, as right-wing populism and extremism, and about radicalization processes, and racism.
  • Ulrike Schuhmacher, researcher, Technical University Dresden. She is one of the researchers of the large research project Krisen-Dialog-Zukunft, within the research focus Strengthen cohesion in times of crisis and upheaval. Her expertise is also on community organizing.
  • Jonas Slaats, Belgian philosopher, theologian, anthropologist, social activist, writer (eg for Nieuw Wij). Rooted in Christian tradition himself he has studied and written about the Islamic world of thought. He works at Kif Kif a movement fighting against discrimination and for more equality.
  • Toon van Meijl, professor of cultural anthropology, Radboud University Nijmegen. Did research on cultural identity and self in multicultural societies. He is an expert on the dialogical self-theory.


Several organizations and persons active in the field of depolarizing activities and other related relevant initiatives are invited to participate in a poster session and information market.

For now we announce just one presentation: Research project by Ron van Wonderen, Verweij Jonker institute, on a model of handling tensions in a polarized society at the local level of cities and neighbourhoods, presented by master student Julia Marthaler.


To offer further opportunity to all participants to contribute themselves to the exchange of knowledge and ideas different dialogue roundtables will be organized around specific themes. The theme will be introduced by short talks of expert but then every participant can have his share on the dialogue around aspects of the theme as analysis, interventions and concrete ideas for change

At the tables participants can also write down their questions, comments and ideas, to discuss right away as well as to be assembled for the final wrap up of the results of the conference. At each table a facilitator will support the continuing dialogue process around that table.

Themes at the dialogue tables

  • Prevention of polarization. Citizenship education at school, strengthening of democracy and participation at local level, community building strategies.
  • Methods for handling differences. Handling diversity and cultural differences, differences of opinion. Forms of dialogue and other interventions.
  • Communication strategies promoting values. On bridging differences while promoting fundamental rights and values and emancipatory goals.
  • Polarization in national politics, the role of social media and public media. Synergizing between opponents, on manoeuvring between emotionalizing and rational arguments.


What is the role of the public media at polarization? How can it be promoted that public media pay attention to the complexity of social issues, offer a multitude of perspectives, and support citizens and politicians in a societal dialogue process aiming at well-considered solutions.

  • Iva Krtalic, Head Integration and Cultural Diversity, Westdeutscher Rundfunk, about the role of the public media in the polarization, the criticism of the right, and diversity in the public media.
  • Zoë Papaikonomou, research journalist, journalism lecturer, owner of Diversity Media. Wrote with Annebregt Dijkman the recently published ‘Do you have an angry Muslim for me?’, about editorial cultures and inclusive journalism.
  • And with other journalists and programme-makers that are invited to participate in this meeting.


In this session we will assemble the findings and ideas of this work conference. Clustering them and we want to translate them into concrete plans to develop further networking and cooperation activities.
The large Sietar Europe 2019 Congress in Mechelen, Belgium, 27 May – 2 June 2019, helps us to set some concrete goals. We plan to organize during the congress a follow-up meeting on the theme of depolarization and dialogue. At Arnhem Sietar Nederland will start one or more working groups to organize intermediate meetings and prepare the meeting in Mechelen.
In the closing panel we will wrap up all results including those of the Media Expert Meeting. 

Assistance to the conference is being provided by the FRA, the European Union Agency for Fundamental Rights, that eg opposes hate and smear campaigns in the media.



SEU Congress 2019: volunteers wanted

Europe’s most influential intercultural conference is coming up in just over a year (SEU Congress 2019 Mechelen 27th May – 2nd June). Want to be part of the team involved in planning and shaping it? We are seeking volunteers to be on and to lead various committees. We also have a great opportunity for someone to get valuable project management experience. See below for details and get in touch.

Applications invited for: Members and Heads of various Congress Committees; Head of Programme Committee. Deadline for all applications is: 1 May, 2018.  Tasks include:

  • Supervising, coordinating and optimising tasks of Programme Committee and its sub-committees. (Congress Theme and Tracks Committee and Practitioner TracksCommittee)
  • To define criteria for awards
  • To finalise (with Board approval) the congress theme, tracks, types of submissions, dates.
  • To work with the Communications Committee to publicise this and call for proposals.

Seeking Committee Members for:

  • Programme Committee
  • Congress Theme and Tracks Committee
  • Practitioner Tracks Committee
  • Academic Committee
  • Pre-Congress Workshop Committee
  • Registration Committee
  • Scholarship Committee
  • Next Congress Committee – selecting the venue for the 2021 Congress
  • Congress Assistant Committee

Assistant Project Manager

Applications are invited for the (voluntary, non-paid) post of Assistant Project Manager for SIETAR Europa to assist with the coordination and organizing of the 2019 Congress and with the aim of learning the job in order to be able to act as Project Manager for the SIETAR Europa 2021 Congress (also voluntary and non-paid).

The details relating to this position are outlined below.
Location: Home Office Base/Virtual
Line Manager: Congress Coordinator (currently Gradiola Kapaj)
Who can apply: All SIETAR Europa and National SIETAR members, plus non-members familiar with SIETAR activities.

SIETAR Europa is Europe’s largest association of interculturalists and is part of the worldwide SIETAR network. SIETAR works to contribute to more effective communication among people of different cultures and backgrounds, enhance intercultural awareness in policy-making, business, education and civil society, establish an ever-widening network of intercultural specialists and provide opportunities for personal and professional exchanges.

Do you want to know more about our past SIETAR Europa Congresses? Here you will find a trailer and information on all past congresses. The next congress will be held in Mechelen, Belgium from 27 May to 2 June 2019 at Thomas More University of Applied Sciences.

As part of your role as Assistant Project Manager for SIETAR Europa, you will…

  • Support the Congress Co-ordinator and facilitate communication between SIETAR Europa Executive and all SIETAR E
  • uropa Congress committeesFacilitate operations and ensure that all aspects of the event are implemented and controlled according to plan

Required Skills, Knowledge and Abilities

  • Professional and positive skills of self-presentation, delegation and negotiation
  • Thorough knowledge of Microsoft Office
  • Proficient oral and written communication skills in English
  • Proven accuracy and attention to detail
  • Ability to function as part of a multicultural, face-2-face andvirtual team
  • Capable of setting priorities when multiple demands are present
  • Effective delegation skills and management of those delegated

What we can offer you

  • Experience of being part of an international congressBuilding a professional network
  • Skills development in Virtual Team Management
  • The opportunity to build an international network in congress management and intercultural education, training and research.
  • Attendance at the 2019 Congress in your role as Assistant Project Manager (full reimbursement of travel to Mechelen)

If you are interested and what to know more about the positions, please write to us at: gradiola@sietareu.or

Sietar Europa General Assembly meeting

We are pleased to invite you to a General Assembly meeting on June 7, 2018 at 7 pm CET. Please note, this General Assembly will be held virtually. More information and relevant documents will be provided on April 26.

Please find here the Agenda for the General Assembly meeting.
Outline Agenda:

  • President’s Welcome
  • Minutes from General Assembly in May 2017
  • Board of Directors Activity Report (June 2017-May 2018)
  • Treasurer’s Report (2016-17) and Proposed 2018 Budget
  • Proposed Activities in 2018-2019