HOW WE WORK IN PRACTICE

Our target audience

The school addresses young adults between 20 and 30 years old, from different backgrounds, because they can be effective carriers of confidence-building between communities in periods of conflict or tension. This is an important target group of pre-influential or prospective leaders, who are invited to participate in the programme on the basis of individual merit, rather than as representatives of the communities or organizations they belong to or work for.

Impact of ICLS

The short-term effects of the school are real interpersonal encounters and trust-building between young leaders from different communities and the improvement of their leadership skills. In the medium term, some of them will move into formal or informal leadership positions within their community, while remaining personally committed and active members of the Network of Trust with other ICLS alumni. In the long term, as members of the Network of Trust, they work to prevent and resolve conflicts and tension through interpersonal and other methods, and by jointly addressing common challenges.

Besides leadership training and network building for young adults, new initiatives in civil, public and private partnerships are being explored. This is to bring people together and generate momentum, primarily through the arts, music and intellectual exchanges, for preventing violence and resolving conflict.

Our Methodology in practice

The seminar methodology has been extensively and successfully developed in over 30 seminars, with the support of the European Commission and local partners and authorities.

The standard seminar is a residential course lasting four days, focusing successively on identity, conflict resolution, emotional intelligence, leadership, the media, and their roles in shaping society and the perception people have of the other.

In recent years, seminars have also included an analysis of projects and project management, so as to give participants the practical tools to allow them to engage successfully in their own community.

The flexibility of our methodology allows it to be adapted to many different local situations. In 2008, an experimental seminar was even held in a female prison in Rome, and the thoughtful responses provided by inmates were the best possible stimulus for renewing the initiative and possibly widening it to many more institutions and countries. In the words of one of the female participants:  I was able to confirm that just listening to the reasons of another is one of the foundations for being able to solve any conflict. Please see our range of seminars available on our Training Programmes.

Examples of best practice

We examine best practices in intercultural education in both the formal and non-formal education sectors, which is supported by the Evans Foundation.

The Evens Foundation is a philanthropic foundation, incorporated in Antwerp, Belgium, and is represented in Paris and Warsaw. It supports projects that contribute to a deeper respect for human beings, in the fields of Intercultural Education, Art, Science, Literature, Shared values, European Citizenship and Conflict Prevention. More information on the Evens Foundation is available on: www.evensfoundation.be.