SIETAR Europa Congress 2022 and Jena Hub Visit : Reinforcing Global Citizenship
The Melton Foundation found itself involved in two events lately: the SIETAR Europa Congress 2022 in Malta and the Jena Hub Visit 2022! While Melton Foundation ambassadors discussed intercultural interactions and collaboration at the Congress, the Executive Office team members paid a visit to Melton Fellows in Jena, Germany to facilitate an exchange of ideas.
The SIETAR (Society of Intercultural Education, Training and Research) conference was a unique opportunity for Fellows to develop global competencies and collaborate on solutions in-person at Valletta Campus of the University of Malta from 18 – 21 May 2022. The conference took place at the University of Malta from 19 – 21 May 2022, under the banner of the theme ‘Re-Thinking Interculturalism’. The Congress sought to open the next chapter of interculturalism by bringing together diverse fields to take a critical look at itself, at its legacy, and (re)-imagine a future worth working towards. Prior to the conference, team-building workshops helped the participants acclimatize and forge stronger bonds with their peers.
Melton Fellow Marten Schinke shares:
“The congress kicked off by a section of reflecting on our own motivation, expectations and possible contributions. What did we do after the official start of the Melton Experience? Since one group of participants came to Malta in order to give a workshop, these trainers used the afternoon to do the last preparations for their workshop. The other participants strolled around in the city and discussed a lot of different topics – from the influence of social media, feminist movements around the globe to different foods in each country. The experience of sharing a commonplace is overwhelming and enriching.”
The Melton Ambassadors who represented us at the Congress made a team of intercultural experts, namely Constanza Alonqueo, Fransiska Tirtoadisurja, Lars Dietzel ,May Garces, Melanie Miller, Nickhil Sharma and Raphael T Richard. Collectively, they hosted a session titled “Making space for interculturalism beyond business-as-usual”. Our delegation deployed a canvas of methods including backcasting, fishbowl conversations, and others, to unpack both personal and collective human needs through critical intercultural lenses. Hence, they re-tooled and revolutionized methods and approaches to unpack deeper motivations and challenges in the global interculturalism sphere.
Overall, the program combined more than 100 in-person and online sessions, workshops, and presentations in the topical clusters of Re-Search, Re-Tool, Resilience and Revolution. The Congress also included inspiring Keynote and Endnote speeches, a Film Festival, the Annual SIETAR Europa General Assembly, and social gatherings (COVID rules permitting). Fellow Pablo Carrillo Pradenas narrates how his day at SIETAR played out :
“A warm and beautiful day awaited us for start our meetings. Our first session was moderated for our SF Jovita from Temuco, who carried an activity to get to known each other and break the ice. Then, our SF Marten from Jena along with CEO Steffen, brought us a moment of reflection, where we were able to identify our abilities and the areas we would like to develop in the professional and personal aspects. Each of one wrote approximately 3 topics and shared with the group. In the afternoon, conference participants had lunch together and went to the University of Malta for the registration and SIETAR Europe’s first activity, the Scavenger Hunt – Discover Malta. This activity was the opportunity to meet other participants and trainers for the conference and start networking.”
Elsewhere, at the Jena Hub Visit, our Executive Office team members and Melton Fellows in Jena, Germany convened to chalk out plans for the year ahead, network and interact during staff gatherings, discuss much-awaited reunions and deliberate on strategic blueprints. Meeting each other in-person after what seemed like decades, the Hub Visit served as the perfect opportunity for newer Fellows to introduce themselves and explore, diving into the local culture of Jena and setting the foundation for the path ahead as far as in-person meetings are concerned. It also revealed a broad picture of the future endeavors on the anvil for the Melton Foundation.
The SIETAR Europa Congress and the Jena Hub Visit reinforced the power of practicing Global Citizenship and setting in motion the wheels of change through tangible, collaborative action. Interculturalism, reconciling local and global aspirations and innovations amongst diversity continue to inspire the march towards a better global environment!