Institute for Developing Across Differences

Inaugural DAD Learning Lab & Community Week

Image of a participant in the Learning Lab and Community Week in Groningen, smiling and gesturing

July 2022—  We’ve just wrapped up a glorious week in Groningen, NL where we learned, created and connected with peers from around the world —Denmark, The Netherlands, Sri Lanka, Germany, US, Switzerland, Egypt, Spain, Pakistan, Italy, Poland, and beyond— for the inaugural Developing Across Differences (DAD) Learning Lab & Community Week. 

Together with our outstanding faculty, participants broadened and deepened their expertise by learning about experiential perspective-taking methods, coaching across cultures, using neuroscience to foster personal leadership, inclusion & diversity and more. 

In addition to our outstanding faculty lineup and course schedule, the week was full of evening plenaries that offered opportunities for deepening the learning with guest experts to

  • highlight and discuss new certification programs for intercultural educators/trainers, 
  • examine how to use comprehensive global DEI benchmarks locally for sustainable, collaborative change within large-scale (and small) organizations, and 
  • explore how we in the greater Differences field might respond to the rise of authoritarianism—and the related decline of liberal democracies—globally.

Community is at the core of the IDD and our time in Groningen not only provided ample opportunity for learning but also for connecting with faculty members and other experienced peers, both within and across courses. 

In addition to our rich conversations during the official program, we enjoyed exploring the city of Groningen together, immersing ourselves in some of its complicated history during an experiential approach based on the Anne Frank House Memory Walk methodology, continuing conversations over lunch and coffee, and toasting to a successful event with a well-deserved “borrel” and toast at the end of the week.

In addition to our IDD Volunteers par excellence, thank you to our colleagues and partners from the Centre for Global Inclusion, Fontys University, the International Association for Intercultural Education, the Interchange Institute, Hanze University, and a special thanks to host and strategic partner the University of Groningen represented so capably by Drs Michaela Carrière.

This event marked the beginning of what will be an annual happening: We’ll return to the University of Groningen for at least the next three years—and we anticipate more “DADs” in North America, Asia, and the Middle East/North Africa beginning in 2023.