Dr. Fethi Mansouri
Chair in Migration and Intercultural Studies, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, Deakin University.
‘Innovation’ has become a buzz word for government, corporate and civil society sectors striving to respond to more complex social realities and seeking to improve overall productivity performance within their respective domains. At its most basic level and from a very general perspective, ‘innovation’ can be seen as the capacity to harness invention and creativity among people within any particular organization or context. The notion of ‘intercultural innovation’, however, is much more challenging as it implies a pursuit of the same ‘creativity and invention’ agenda but within a culturally and linguistically socio-political context. This means and implies an ability to understand the manifestations of cultural diversity, the requirements of meaningful intercultural relations and the practice of inclusive intercultural engagement. At a more abstract level, the notion of ‘intercultural innovation’ requires a whole system approach whereby government social structures (e.g. education programs), political ideologies (e.g. how national identities are constructed and [...]Read more
Founder and Chair at Canadian Institute of Diversity and Inclusion
Intercultural innovation is about getting the best out of people and giving them the opportunity to soar and to succeed, and not allowing biases to get in the way. (…)I think that if we can all just respect each other a little more, then we can work together and that’s where you start to see innovation. I don’t preach tolerance in my work. I don’t believe in tolerance, I always say my mother-in-law tolerates me. I don’t want to be tolerated, I want to be respected. I don’t need you to have the same beliefs that I do; I don’t need you to follow the same moral compasses I do. I need you to respect who I am as an individual and I will provide that same respect to you. If you can do that then you can get into a room and you can do magical things in terms [...]Read more
Asia Pacific and Eurasia analyst specializing in China
Intercultural innovation is the capacity of people from different cultures to overcome barriers posed by language or background in order to learn about and understand other cultures by creating lasting projects with potential replicating effects. It can range from collective art to the integrated capacity to solve very concrete problems. Even though in principle it is not related to conflict resolution, intercultural innovation could also make significant contributions in this field. It is a conscious and articulated process based on a multiplicity of dialogues or trialogues and brainstorming schemes. Any person with any cultural background from any profession or geographic location can be innovative in this field. He or she could be found in academia, civil society, at grassroots level, enterprise or diplomacy, in cities or in the countryside. The key factor is the disposition for shaping cognitive, empathetic and emotional ties to interact and create with people from [...]Read more
Dr. Barry van Driel
Secretary General of the International Association for Intercultural Education
2012 Juror of the Intercultural Innovation Award
In a globalizing world where geographical boundaries are becoming increasingly less relevant, the demands on our social and communication skills are changing. Being part of the global community means that we need to reflect on the many cultural assumptions, values and expectations that generally make us feel comfortable and help us understand the world around us. Moving from a monocultural lens to a multicultural one means we must first learn to observe and listen more often to those who have a different background and history. It implies withholding judgment more often about those who appear to be different from us, and learning to respect others for who they are. Intercultural innovation goes beyond this, since it also requires people with different nationalities, backgrounds, languages, ethnicities and religions to learn to live together and to collaborate in an effective way. In short, it means gaining intercultural competence so that we can [...]Read more
What does intercultural innovation mean to you?
Share it with us.