[EN] Video Transcript

The impact of digitalization and education on the promotion of intercultural dialogue in the Euro-Med region.

My name is Karl Donert. I represent the European Association of geographers. 

This is a brief summary and reflection on the article I produced earlier this year for the Anna Lindh Report on intercultural trends. 

Intercultural dialogue is an indispensable feature of an inclusive society. It provides the basis for cooperation and participation in a society where we promote tolerance and we respect difference. I believe intercultural dialogue is a key instrument, which is based on mutual respect for building bridges between people.

Digitalization had a huge impact on us. It disrupts society, but it can have positive effects encouraging inclusion. However, we need to have the right tools and spaces for dialogue. An additional need is out of education on how to use these. I believe that intercultural education for all needs to be an educational priority, encouraging respectful cultural diversity, while nourishing shared values. The data shows the importance of having education spaces for generating intercultural dialogue. During the pandemic, a lot of education activity was forced to move online. So embracing this we should aim to create and use suitable digital environments for intercultural dialogue. We need to have online spaces that empower people to engage, participate, contribute and collaborate. 

The Anna Lindh Report on intercultural trends shows that young people are active in online spaces, especially in seven countries, and also on social media platforms. Online, anyone could be a producer of information and share ideas. But enabling real two-way dialogue is technically more challenging. Also in Europe, there's a lot of mistrust of social media and the information posted online. The research shows that digitalization is having a great impact in some countries. 

The pandemic has altered normal modes of communication. Communicating online has become a regular occurrence, zoom and a host of other video and audio conferencing tools, I use to keep in touch with friends and family for work and business. These radical changes to the patterns in our lives are likely to persist. Although there's a lot of uncertainty about what the new normal will look like in the future post-pandemic period. 

However, I believe we should see digitalization as offering us new opportunities. Occasions to engage more widely and with new audiences, who might otherwise not be reached. Experimenting with new forms of cultural expression is already taking place. And we need to encourage and embrace these innovative actions, but ensure education for digital intercultural dialogue takes place. 

So in summary, digital media has become a fundamental part of our lives. We need to ensure digital media literacy and education about it is available in both formal and non-formal contexts. Digital spaces for intercultural dialogue should be identified and were they useful promoted as pillars of social cohesion. 

And they can be used to help us to envision the sorts of society we want post-COVID. That was my review of the chapter I produced for the Anna Lindh Report on intercultural trends on the impact of digitalization and education on the promotion of intercultural dialogue in the Euro-Med region. My name is Karl Donert. European Association of geographers. 

Last modified: Thursday, 4 November 2021, 8:20 AM