Our Aim

The ICLS seeks to contribute to reducing and resolving tensions and conflicts between communities, locally and internationally.

The aim of the school is to enhance the skills of a new generation of young adults. Their influence will promote mutual respect, peaceful contacts and long-term cooperation among people who identify with different cultures, religions or ethnicity, in particular in zones of conflict or tension.

What is intercultural communication and leadership?

 ‘Intercultural’ refers to a context where people identifying with different cultures, religion or ethnicity live among or alongside each other. Communication and leadership in intercultural life are to ensure that different people can live together, interact and function as a community or a society in a peaceful and mutually prosperous way. Intercultural leadership refers to the qualities, skills and attitudes of individuals who seek to encourage, enable and motivate sections of communities, in order to achieve this.

One of the definitions of leadership is the capacity to translate vision into reality. The Intercultural Communication and Leadership School (ICLS) has a clear vision, backed by principles, and strives to translate vision into reality by focusing on young people, who are the foundation of our future. The ICLS experience aims for a better future by helping young leaders on their way, providing them with a few extra tools.

Our Partners

  • EACEA The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (Brussels) – Citizenship programme [website]
  • The Intercivil Society (London) [website]
  • United Nations Alliance of Civilizations (New York) [website]
  • Platform For Intercultural Europe (Brussels) [website]
  • CIME Consiglio Italiano Movimento Europeo (Roma) [website]
  • EPI Espace Projets Interassociatifs (Vaulx en Velin – Lyon) [website]
  • MP News (Roma) [website]
  • PRAXIS Community Projects (London) [website]
  • Istituto Tevere (Roma) [website]
  • Fundacion Sociedad y Educacion (Madrid) [website]
  • Moschea al Huda (Centocelle – Roma) [ website]
  • European Cultural Foundation (Amsterdam) [website]
  • Finestra per il Medio Oriente [website]

How did we come about?

The ICLS was born out of a series of international consultations with officials and institutions from the United Nations and the European Union, officials and experts of inter-religious dialogue and conflict prevention, politicians, diplomats and academics.

Since 2002, the ICLS has put its principles into practice in a series of residential seminars in Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the UK, Pakistan and Indonesia. The first seminars were held in Bradford UK, in 2002.

The ICLS was registered in October 2002.


‘ICLS’ Activities Aim to Develop

Skills and confidence in intercultural dialogue, managing difficult conversations and managing conflict

An understanding and appreciation of values and an acceptance, that people having different faiths or beliefs to oneself (or having none) should be accepted and respected, and should not be the cause of prejudicial or discriminatory behaviour

An understanding of how citizens can influence decision-making through the democratic process

An understanding that the freedom to hold other faiths and beliefs is protected in law

Emotional intelligence and self-awareness

An understanding of the importance of identifying and combating different forms of discrimination

Role models and active citizens

Communication and presentation skills

Critical thinking

Our Training Programmes

Mediation and Communication Training

Our Mediation and Communication training in schools aims to build resilience and improve confidence, social and communication skills, as well as student’s ability to deal with conflict, diversity and media perceptions.

Intercultural Leadership Training for older adults

Intercultural leadership training is available for 16 -18 year olds and 18-30 year olds. Students take part on a residential programme on topics including: leadership, media and communication skills, critical thinking, influencing change, providing role models, personal values & diversity, emotional intelligence, conflict and personal reflections with a series of follow-on workshops available. The programme is accredited with the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM) and ‘Being a Successful Entrepreneur’ course. This course is also available as a series of in house workshops. ICLS is an approved training provider for ILM.

Standard Global Citizenship Programme

The standard seminar is a course lasting three to four days. The course focusses on identity, conflict resolution, social justice/human rights, sustainable development, discrimination & intolerance, emotional intelligence and leadership, the media and its role in shaping society, and the perception of the ‘other’. In recent years, seminars have, where possible, included an analysis of projects and project management, giving participants practical tools allowing them to engage as successful global citizens in their own community.

The seminar aims to foster curiosity in participants to actively learn more about the foundations of positive community relations. Motivating students to move beyond dialogue and engage in actual cooperation, will build leaders skilled in resolving conflict where it exists and prevent it where it may develop.

This programme is available for 18-30-year-olds and is adaptable for young people aged 13-17 years.

Inter-cultural Training for Civil Servants

In today’s ever-changing political contexts, our courses address the challenges facing authorities by providing appropriate training for local officials including the police force. ICLS aims to build a series of partnerships with local authorities, with the aim of providing their staff with basic intercultural dialogue training and the tools to improve the way they carry out their duties.

Empowerment and Leadership Training for Young Women

Our Empowerment & Leadership Curriculum for young women aged 11-16, aims to develop skills in confidence, self-esteem and critical thinking, and increase knowledge in healthy relationships, gender equality, human rights, conflict resolution and media and influence. By building up young women’s self esteem, emotional resilience and confidence, evidence shows this reduces the long term likelihood of exploitation in their lives.

The curriculum is delivered as a six session programme in school. This can also be tailored for delivery outside of a school setting.

Meet the team!

Selina Ullah, President

Selina is one of the original founding members of ICLS. She is passionate about people and communities, this has led to her involvement in national, regional and local government; think tanks; charitable foundations and NGOs working on policy formulation and governance. Selina has an in depth knowledge of engaging diverse communities in particular ‘hard to reach groups.’ She has over 25 years of experience of working with charities and the not for profit sector and extensive senior management experience in the public sector working in health service management, and public policy on high profile issues such as social cohesion, diversity, engaging hard to reach groups, mental health and social inclusion; crime and disorder and counter-terrorism.
Until June 2011, Selina was the lead Director for Safer and Stronger Communities at Bradford Council. Selina has been an advisor to various Home Office departments on issues including Citizenship, Cohesion and Race Equality.

Guido OrlandiniSecretary General

A development economist by training, Guido Orlandini has worked as a senior international civil servant before co-founding the ICLS, of which he is the secretary general. He has hands-on experience of cultural co-operation and a keen interest in renewable energy and its applications, especially for the provision of drinking water in rural areas.

Guido Fraietta, Board Member

Sophie Powell, Project Manager

Sophie has a background in community arts and development. She is passionate about grassroots community action and empowering others to use their voice. With a long career in visual arts, Sophie is always looking for ways to bring colour and fun into her work with ICLS.

Nazim Ali, Board Member

Géza Tessényi, President (2002-2011)