Cultural Bridges in Germany

Cultural Bridges in Germany: A Forum for Young Leaders (CBG)

(Berlin; February 18th - 21st, 2015)
Cem Özdemir, Leader of the German Green Party
(German Turkish Week, June 2009)
Okan Frei, Celebrated German Musician
(German Turkish Week, June 2009)

About the CBG Weeklong Seminars

Every 4-6 months the ICD will organize a Weeklong Seminar, which offers individuals the opportunity to join CBG by participating in a 4-5 day program.

The CBG Weeklong Seminar is an international and interdisciplinary Program, gathering students, young professionals, and cultural practitioners from across the world. The seminar provides an opportunity for young people to expand their knowledge of current and future developments in these fields, meet with current and former key players and build sustainable networks with each other.

The program will consist of speeches, panel discussions and seminars held by leading figures from the fields of politics, economics, diplomacy, academia, civil society, and the private sector. Speakers will offer a range of perspectives on German current and conceptual issues in the development of cultural policy within an international context, and the current and future potential of the relationship between Germany and the rest of the world.

In addition to the academic components, participants will take part in a range of social and cultural activities that will allow them to experience Berlin's unique cultural landscape. These activities will include group dinners and drinks, trips to artistic performances, concerts, and literary readings, and visits to important cultural and artistic landmarks.

Certificate of Attendance - All weeklong seminar participants will be awarded an official certificate of attendance upon completion of the program, which will provide details of the speakers who took part and the topics discussed. Each certificate will be signed by members of the ICD's Advisory Board (The ICD Advisory Board list can be found here).

Seminar Methodology

CBG Weeklong Seminars are weeklong inter-disciplinary programs that include the following components: 

Lectures & Discussions - A range of lectures will be held by experts from the fields of politics, economics, diplomacy, academia, civil society, and the private sector. These components will inform the participants about key perspectives related to the themes of the Weeklong Seminar, raise their awareness of other salient issues in Germany, and introduce them to the field of cultural diplomacy. Each lecture will be followed by a question and answer session with the speaker.

Workshops & Role play - The timetable of each Weeklong Seminar will include interactive workshops that offer participants the opportunity to take part in structured discussions on subjects related to the Seminar themes. Workshops provide a valuable counterbalance to lectures by providing an opportunity for participants to express their own opinions and learn from each other. 

Round Table Discussions and Debates - These discussions offer a more intimate setting for speakers and participants to converse and debate openly. They also allow the participants to interact more directly with the speakers and their fellow participants in a more neutral, equal, and interactive manner. Not only are participants able to ask questions to the speakers and experts in these discussions, but the speakers also pose questions to the participants, all while enjoying a more comfortable, informal, and interactive setting.

Group Visits - During the ICD events, participants are able to see the cities from a different perspective.

Leadership Initiatives - Leadership initiatives are cultural exchange initiatives organized by members of ICD Forums with the support of the ICD. These initiatives are the foundation of the ICD’s work, because they allow the principles of cultural diplomacy to be spread beyond the members of the Forum. At the beginning of the Weeklong Seminar participants will be given guidance on how to plan, develop, and execute leadership initiatives that have a constructive, sustainable influence on intercultural relations. The participants will then have the opportunity to present their projects to the group at the end of the weeklong seminar. In addition, the ICD will outline how it can help to support the realization of these initiatives through its network and resources.

Experience Berlin - During the program participants will have the chance to experience Berlin’s diverse cultural landscape and learn more about the cities’ remarkable history. The ICD will take the groups to a number of important political and cultural locations across the cities and ensure they are able to sample the cities that never sleep.

Networking, Social and Cultural Activities

Each Weeklong Seminar will include social and cultural activities for the participants. These components give participants the opportunity to see a different side to the cities, help to provide a more informal environment for the participants to get to know each other, and allow the participants to see cultural exchange initiatives that are already being organized. The ICD offers an expansive social agenda including: interactive panel discussions, roundtable discussions, workshops, debates, parties, film nights, conference concerts, embassy receptions, group dinners, and visits to cultural and historical sites: 

Interactive Panel Discussions - Interactive Panel Discussions allow the participants to directly interact with the speakers, while simultaneously benefitting from the direct interactions between the speakers and participants themselves, thus enhancing an overall academic atmosphere. 

Embassy Receptions - The ICD partners with embassies for every conference in order to offer evening receptions as well as lectures and events during the day. Participants are able to fully immerse themselves in the culture of the host embassy through the traditional song and dance performances, traditional cuisine, and a uniquely international atmosphere. 

Film Nights - In addition to running a weekly Film Night the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy often invites representatives of the film industry to participate in events. These individuals are then able to share their expertise and productions with the audience. It is through these Film Nights which the participants are able to visually and acoustically experience the cultures of others. 

Conference Concerts - Conference Concerts are a way for participants to experience the culture and art of foreign countries. In the past, the ICD has sponsored world-renowned performers who have shared their artistic mediums and talents with the audience. These concerts vary in nature, and include: traditional dance, interpretive dance, violin concerts, choir performances, piano concertos, symphonies, hip hop and jazz performances, and more. 

Group Dinners - Conference participants are able to dine with fellow participants and speakers at a wide assortment of restaurants, where they are exposed to new and exotic cuisines, including: German, British, Greek, French, Russian, Italian, Oriental, Baltic, African, Indian, Turkish, Latin American, Spanish, Mediterranean, Caribbean, and more. 

Parties - The ICD hosts a large number of parties in different indoor and outdoor locations each year, to which all the conference participants are invited. These parties include themed evenings, embassy receptions, cultural celebrations, language exchanges, historical commemorations, film nights, conference concerts, boat parties and more. Each of these events allows the ICD participants to causally interact with fellow participants and speakers in a more relaxed and informal manner, as well as meet others from the international community.∓