UNESCO has just co-published, with Routledge, the “Manual for Developing Intercultural Competencies: Story Circles”.

In 2013, recognizing the importance of enhancing the skills, attitudes and behaviors of individuals for reaching the ambitions of the International Decade for the Rapprochement of Cultures (2013-2022), UNESCO developed a conceptual and operational framework on intercultural competencies, providing a comprehensive overview of the importance of developing the capacities to manage growing cultural diversity, and clarifying related key concepts and their operational interlinkages. The Manual for Developing Intercultural Competencies – “Story Circles” – was therefore designed to translate this framework into tangible action.

Story Circles, piloted in 5 countries by UNESCO (Thailand, Costa Rica, Zimbabwe, Austria and Tunisia), is a structured yet flexible methodology for developing intercultural competencies in a variety of contexts, both formal and informal. The pilot sessions, summarized inside the publication, have demonstrated that “Story Circles” carries the potential to be a truly transformative tool, which can provide women and men with skills (values and knowledge) for tolerance, empathy, critical thinking and listening for understanding.

The hope is that the Manual is a resource used by those interested in intercultural education/communication, creating dynamic, even creative, relationships between the global/universal and the local/specific. Please do not hesitate to share the methodology with your academic peers and institutions working in the area of intercultural dialogue.