Congress Program

We have taken the very difficult decision to postpone the SIETAR Switzerland Congress 2020 in light of the global impact of the COVID 19 outbreak. This decision to postpone the congress was taken by our board after close monitoring of the rising global risk assessment by the World Health Organization and of the increasing number of travel restrictions in many countries.

The conference will now be held  from October 23rd to 25th 2020 at the same location. We are now contacting the speakers and panelists in order to plan the new program with them. It will still be a wonderful event, just a bit later in the year.


Register now

Our  grateful thanks to our generous sponsors who have all accepted to confirm their sponsorship for the October event and whose support makes this congress possible!


Please download Congress program below, please note new dates apply!
SIETAR Switzerland 2020 Congress program

The Conference venue is The Cheseaux site of the HEIG-VD




11:00 AM – 1:30 PM at HEIG-VD: Registration

Pre-Congress Workshops

2:00 PM – 4:00 PM : “Unpacking” Migration : Recognition of the benefits of individuals on the move in our societies

The objectives of this workshop are to:

  • share data that clearly dispels the fears of the general public usually tied to migration;
  • demonstrate how individuals issued from migration contribute to the development of the local economies of the countries where they settle;


  • share best practices in place and examples of some local grassroot initiatives that facilitate inclusion.

The aim is to draw on participants’ experience and multi-disciplinary expertise to see how as individuals and through our organisations, we can work together to reduce inequality and promote the inclusion of migrants.

Moderator : Anne-Claude Lambelet, President SIETAR Switzerland

Panel :

Why attend this session? If you are a volunteer, part of an NGO, working with a charitable association or an intercultural trainer who is engaged in activities involving migrants and refugees, this session will be fundamental for you.

The room will feature an exhibition of selected portraits from Amnesty International’s “Carriers of Hope – Our Stories” campaign.

4:00 PM – 5.30PM : Building a Culture of Peace for Inclusive and Pacific Societies

Among the 17 Sustainable Development Goals, one of the UN’s objectives is to build a culture of peace for inclusive and pacific societies by 2030. This world café will offer the opportunity to discuss and share the best experiences in terms of inclusion as a vector of social progress in the educational, political, environmental and economic spheres. We will shed light on the keys to succeed the living together and the well-being in our organizations and how it can contribute to the emergence of a new governance based on empathy and collective intelligence.

The world café will focus on:

  • Applying the inclusion paradigm to meet the challenges of the 21st century and develop global citizenship
  • Stating how inclusion can increase the social responsibility of the civil society, the public and private institutions
  • Moving from passive diversity to active inclusion by creating belonging and well-being
  • Combining competencies and human values to make the collective intelligence of organizations operational.

The world café will be facilitated by Vincent Merk, lecturer in intercultural management and Community advisor at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands and Yassine Naser, president of the Swiss section of AISA NGO International.

6:30 PM: Welcome Cocktail & Networking



8:00 AM – 8:30 AM at HEIG-VD: Registration

9:00 AM – 10:30 AM : Opening Plenary Session, Welcome Speeches & Keynote Address

Keynote Address Speaker :  Dr. Aminata Cairo, Lector Inclusive Education at The Hague University of Applied Sciences

10:30 AM – 11:00 AM: Coffee Break and Student Scientific Poster Presentations

Students from the MA in Intercultural Management at the University of Burgundy will be pitching their individual research posters to you throughout all coffee breaks. These will be on display for congress participants to exchange perspectives with the Students. Congress participants will be asked to vote for the best posters and pitch!

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM: Parallel Sessions

1.Learning to live together on an equal footing in culturally diverse societies – Finding mutual paths for inclusion

This workshop focusses on examining the socio/political and pedagogical challenges tied to learning to live and work together. Our panelists will share their experience, perspectives and best practices for inclusion.

Moderator: Tom Waterhouse, Independent consultant focusing on equity and diversity in the workplace

Panelists :

2. “Including difference: The future of creativity”

This workshop focuses on the importance of difference for creativity. It starts by making the claim that creativity and innovation always emerge out of engaging with difference and supporting this claim with the help of both conceptual and practical examples. In particular, we propose that creating involves taking the perspective of other people, placing these perspectives in dialogue, and reflecting on the meaning and value of the differences between then. The workshop offers participants a series of practical tools for: a) becoming aware of difference, b) valuing difference, and c) using difference to come up with new and valuable ideas and projects. During the workshop, participants are invited to practice some of these tools in working together to address a common problem. The tools and the theoretical framework offered here are expected to be useful in a variety of applied settings, from education to organizations. Most of all, they will help participants understand and creatively engage with difference and diversity, in an inclusive manner, in addressing the challenges of the future and seizing its many opportunities.

Facilitators :

3.“Assessing diversity and culture for communication competence development: concepts, indicators & tools for teams and organisations”

The ongoing globalisation process, growing mobility, digitalization and rapidly changing markets turn many – if not most – business contexts into highly diverse, intercultural systems. We live and act today in VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environments. Companies and organisations need people who understand diversity, cope with differences and manage inclusion to work effectively across borders. Interculturally competent workforce is key for successful collaboration and projects.

This panel focuses on the assessment of diversity and culture in the professional context for contributing to the development of people’s intercultural communication and management competencies. The panelists will not only present assessment tools for teams and organisations but also discuss the underlying key concepts and indicators.


  • Hans Jakob Roth, the founder of EurAsia Competence AG who will introduce EurAsia Culture GridÓ, an assessment tool for company cultures on the background of a comprehensive concept of culture.
  • Helen Spencer-Oatey, University of Warwick, will give an insight into the Global Professionals Profiler (GPP). The GPP is an academically robust global fitness indicator tool functioning at two levels: it provides managers with strategic planning information and offers individuals insights for development purposes.
  • Gabrielle Wanzenried, will present the Diversity Index. The tool – developed by the Institute of Financial Services Zug (IFZ), Lucerne University of Applied Sciences and Arts – is based on online survey data. Companies get diversity scores and advice for improving their diversity management.

Panel Chair: Dr Pia Stalder, Associate Professor of Intercultural Management at the School of Management & Engineering (HEIG-VD, HEG).

12:30 PM – 1:45 PM: Lunch at HEIG-VD cafeteria, Posters exhibition

2:00 PM – 3:30 PM: All 3 Parallel Sessions will be repeated

3:30 PM: Coffee Break and more Student scientific poster presentations

Students from the MA in Intercultural Management at the University of Burgundy will be pitching their individual research posters to you throughout all coffee breaks. These will be on display for congress participants to exchange perspectives with the Students. Congress participants will be asked to vote for the best posters and pitch!

4:00 – 5.00PM: “The Inclusivity Training Toolkit”

Presenter: Aminata Cairo, Lector Inclusive Education, The Hague University of Applied Sciences

Diversity and inclusion are current hot items, not only in academia, but from the work floor to the halls of government.  There is a movement that includes awareness, conflict, exploration, struggling, and searching for new ways of doing things.  Within academia, years of unequal educational experiences and student outcomes have contributed to an urgency to create a more optimal learning environment.

The Inclusivity Training Toolkit offers an engaging workshop that addresses the foundational skills necessary to successfully engage any type of inclusivity activity.  It is based on a few core principles:

  • At the core of an inclusive environment where all people are treated as valid lies the connection with the story of the other
  • Our current (educational) institutions have mechanisms in place that prevent the connection with the story of the other, unless that story is representative of the dominant group
  • We are ill-equipped and anxious to engage the story of the other
  • Engaging diversity and inclusion requires dealing with “all” of us, and not just focusing on “some” of us.

Participants will go through a range of activities based on a set of skill set themes.  Some of these themes include: safe/brave space; listening, connecting with the story of the other, self care, and being an ally.  The goal of the sessions is to help people in their confidence and abilities to address diversity related situations whether they be one on one, in a group, on the work floor, or in the classroom.

7:00 PM: Cocktails & Gala Dinner


10:00 AM – 11:30 AM: “Culture @ the Heart of Education”

Presenter : Peter Mousaferiadis, CEO & Founder, Cultural Infusion, Australia

During this workshop, Peter will present 5 innovative digital teaching tools designed specifically for Intercultural Understanding, by his organisation, the Australian-based educational organization Cultural Infusion.

He will give us a testimony of how tools can be designed to enhance school children and students’ sense of belonging, empathy, and understanding of the other. Such programs can provide knowlegde,  involve mind-mapping and can bring understanding, through experience, of what constitutes culture. We will also look at the role Apps can play in expanding our cultural understanding.

Together with him we will review:

  • The Intercultural Citizenship Ambassador Program,
  • The Diversity Atlas,
  • Joko’s World
  • Mungo Explorer and
  • Sound Infusion

Cultural Infusion comprises a suite of digital and interactive applications and websites, consulting services, education and community programs and courses which reach an annual audience of more than 350,000 people across the globe. Cultural infusion has been recognised internationally for its innovative approach to education and the use of technology in building intercultural understanding. It has been a winner of over 10 international awards including the United Nations Alliance of Civilization (UNAOC) Intercultural Innovation Award.

11:30AM – 12:00 NOON: Wrap up

Immediately following: Lunch bags will be distributed to the Congress Participants