Why a conference on this topic?

The Intercultura Foundation has a tradition of biennial conferences with interculturalists, educators and area experts from different disciplines to discuss issues related to cultures and intercultural relations. Beginning in 2008 topics have revolved around the origin of cultural differences, national identities, implications for formal and informal education. Recent ones have dealt with “The Unspoken Sacred” (Bari 2017) and “Neuroscience and Cultures” (Florence 2019).

 

In these interdisciplinary conferences one of the topics that attracted more interest was the discrepancy between national values as stated in the official documents of any given country (their constitutions, for instance) and the deep values as embodied and practiced every day by the majority of the population.

 

In the conference “Reconciling Babel” (Milan 2011) many observed that deep cultures – of which people are often unaware – are one of the causes that make co-existence among different groups on the planet more difficult. In fact cultural conflicts are aggravated not by institutional differences between States but by differences between world-views and life-styles of communities.

 

The Intercultura Foundation will take up some of these topics again in a conference that will take place in Florence, March 25th-27th 2021, focussing on this main issue: beyond cultural differences are there universal values that may facilitate human co-existence, although they may be embodied in sharply different institutions and behaviours in each culture?

The Intercultura Foundation conferences bring together some of the leading experts in their respective fields to conduct seminars with experienced interculturalists from many backgrounds: especially teachers or volunteers who live interculturalism on a daily basis in the classrooom or in international student exchanges. From these meetings, interesting and profitable dialogues can arise between specialists and “practitioners”.