Welcome to the 2019 SIETAR Europa Congress in Belgium!

Every SIETAR Europa congress is build around so-called themes and tracks.

The 2019 congress theme is “Building Dialogues on Diversity - Towards a Future of Hope.”


Let us endeavour to design dialogues on diversity that will help us derive lessons from the problems and polarisations of the world today. Exploring these differences should lead us to some common grounds. The need of the hour is for the world to progress towards a future of positivity and hope. This year’s congress provides the following tracks. More details on the tracks can be found below. An overview can be downloaded here:


> Leadership practices in turbulent times

Working internationally in our turbulent times has led to questioning of management practices, leadership styles and ethical behaviour. Diverse groups and diverse circumstances result in different and changing expectations, where common ground needs to be created to be successful.

In this track we focus on experience, research and best practices in international leadership. We create a forum where we can learn about new research findings, share experience and learn from each other’s best practices and mistakes.

Topics include but are not limited to the following:

Best and new HR practices

  • Gender and Diversity in organizations: gender gap, pay gap.
  • Unconscious biases in cross-cultural management and training.
  • Language policies in international organizations.

Global Management practices

  • Corporate governance and ethics for a sustainable world.
  • Philosophy and values in global management, leading with compassion.
  • Creating common ground when working with different cultures.

Startups and Entrepreneurship

  • Self-initiated migrants, a new generation of entrepreneurs.
  • Networking to expand internationally for startups.
  • Entrepreneurship among migrant and students.


> Promoting dialogue in diverse societies

Society has become increasingly polarized in recent years. We see more people with strong opinions condemning others with other points of view. Certainly, before elections emotions flare, with a special role for the public and social media. In this track we want to address issues regarding diverse societies and share stories and practices which can provide us with a vision of a common ground, towards societies which live more in harmony within themselves and share the goodwill to help others.

Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • What could be the contribution to the EU of the intercultural / diversity consultant in relieving its growing pains and culture shocks, as well as promoting dialogue and inclusion?
  • How can societal values and human rights be promoted in a polarized society?
  • What are different depolarization strategies and interventions, and the conditions they can be applied?
  • What could contribution could the intercultural /diversity consultant have in countering radicalization and extremism?
  • What are the different meanings and connotations of superdiversity?
  • Overview of research on hybrid identity and its impact on society?
  • Concrete projects around conflict handling, peacemaking and reconciliation
  • Can religious stories and practices provide us with the vision of a common ground?
  • What examples of community building can we learn from?
  • Impact of media on polarisation and depolarisation of a society?  

> Building strength out of opportunities and challenges

Starting from 2015, the migration waves from Africa and Asia towards Europe are still ongoing and the situation continues to be considered as a refugee crisis. European countries are having different approaches towards managing the situation. In this track, we want to focus our intention to one of the hottest topics of the recent years, with the aim to share the latest research and best practices and towards a possible solution to the migration crises with the aim of having stable societies which help one-another.

Topics include but are not limited to the following:

  • How can the integration of migrants and refugees in society be improved?
  • What are the best practices for showing the balanced picture of migrants, asylum seekers and refugees in media?
  • How can the fear of resettling refugees in European countries be mitigated?
  • Refugees and religion: what, is any, are the limits to religious freedom?
  • Do migrants and in particular refugees face particular issues with respect to credential recognition and accessing appropriate employment?
  • What might be some innovative ways for asylum seekers and refugees with work experience in their home countries to use their skills?
  • What are the mental health issues of migrants, asylum seekers and government assisted refugees and what treatment models and/or approaches are culturally appropriate?
  • What are some of the shortcomings of existing language training programs for migrants and refugees?
  • Do particular pilot programs or experiments lead to improved outcomes for refugees? (E.g. Local Immigration Partnerships as a good model of coordination.)
  • Do migrant youth have unique educational needs and if so, what are they and how can they be addressed?
  • Are the systems for receiving and processing asylum seekers in keeping with European values relating to respect and human rights?


> Recent research and other critical developments

What are the current updates and developments in theory, methodology and the practice of teaching, training and consulting? What challenges are academics and intercultural professionals faced with? In this track we want to exchange experiences, best practices, insights and work towards solutions.

Topics include but are not limited to the following:


Intercultural learning at home and abroad

  • How can intercultural learning be enhanced in an international or multicultural classroom?
  • How can student counsellors cater effectively and appropriately to the mental health of diverse student populations?
  • Volunteer tourism in education: what are benefits and challenges of students joining international NGO projects?

The role of language in education

  • Bilingual education: Challenges of teaching a curriculum in a national language and English?
  • English on campus: a threat to national identity?

Reciprocity of learning between professionals and newcomers

  • How can intercultural professionals help in the integration process of newcomers/immigrants?
  • Conflict mediation in a multicultural society: challenges and best practices

Latest trends and developments in the intercultural profession

  • What are the latest trends and developments in consulting and coaching in the intercultural profession?
  • How can we use technology, new media and blended learning in the process of enhancing intercultural competence?
  • How can we use storytelling in the process of enhancing intercultural competence?


The academic track of the SIETAR Europa Congress 2019 is created to give an opportunity for surfacing latest research, especially as it relates to intercultural management.  It is organized in cooperation with the IACCM (International Association of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management).

There will be the IACCM 2019 student best paper award and a best academic congress paper award. The award winners will be given the chance to compete for the publication of their papers in the EJCCM Journal.

About the EJCCM Journal: The European Journal of Cross-Cultural Competence and Management (EJCCM) is an academic publication with strong ties to the International Association of Cross-Cultural Management and Competence. All information, including a detailed description of EJCCM scope, author guidelines and contact persons can be found online at the journal´s website: InderScience Publishing.


The SIETAR Europa Film Festival, first held in 2007 Sofia, Bulgaria, screens selected documentaries as part of our major congresses.

The added value of documentaries is that they reach people in a different way, films have an emotional appeal. What cannot be accomplished through spoken and written texts is often achieved through the visual elements characteristic of the film screen. We aim to screen documentaries that incite compassion, reflection, discussion and action.

Documentaries can be very useful as teaching and learning tools in education. Myriad social media and virtual communities create opportunities for discussing and sharing views. During this 2019 congress, SIETAR, again, offers opportunities on how to use films or film fragments for intercultural, virtual teaching, training and coaching.

During each Film Festival we screen films matching the congress theme and tracks. This year the Film Festival is organized around the 4 tracks, each screening two films:

Each film is followed by a Q&A with filmmakers, discussions with the audience, panel discussions, debate with experts, politicians, journalists or representatives from stakeholder organizations. The FF committee hopes that the films will fascinate, stimulate and inspire!

As cross-cultural trainers, the challenges we face can be immense. To deal with issues such a super diversity, inclusion, cultural sensitivity can be challenging. SIETAR 2019 gives us the opportunity to be part of various pre- congress workshops, delivered by experience professionals, to enhance our skills.

Pre- and Post-congress Workshops are whole or half-day seminars offered before and after the main conference days, May 27th to 29th and 2nd June 2019. Pre- and Post-congress Workshops typically include new methodologies and tools for the intercultural field shared in a participatory and interactive format.