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First intercultural seminar

Photo courtesy of Sophie Spiteri, La Provence. (Click to view larger version...)
Photo courtesy of Sophie Spiteri, La Provence.
On 4 and 5 December, close to a 100 people from very diverse national, cultural and professional backgrounds gathered together in the Aquabella Hotel in Aix to participate in the first intercultural seminar, organized by ITER France.

In the framework of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue, the purpose of the seminar was to create an opportunity to exchange views on the richness and the complexity of intercultural teams involved in the achievement of a large scientific project such as ITER.

The key theme of the seminar was "Language and culture, the pillars of international projects" and after a brief introduction, the participants were split into smaller workshops that all studied an aspect of that theme. At the end of the day, a wrap up session endeavoured to summarize the learnings of this first intercultural seminar.

Rather than conclusions, these reflected discussions of every workshop, but as organizer Shawn Simpson from Agence Iter France said, "It is such a complex issue that raising awareness on how cultural diversity can impact the functioning of an international organization is already a first, but very important step in acknowledging that it needs to be taken into account."

And as with any "first," it implies that there will be other intercultural seminars to continue to learn and exchange about these issues.

return to Newsline #61