Leadership Seminar 2009

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Leadership Seminar 2009

Grundtvig Workshop - "Volunteers for Intercultural Learning"

In Brief | Aims | Participants | Reports | Projects | Venue | Program | Organizers | Photo Gallery

Berlin, Germany: November 23-29, 2009
Participants' experience reports are available under Reports on this Website
More pictures from the forum are available here.
This seminar has been funded with support from the European Commission. This communication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.
People to People International organized this seminar in cooperation with PTPI's Berlin Chapter - Brücke der Freundschaft e.V. and also gave financial support.
Twenty-five participants from 18 countries
Hotel Christophorus, Johannesstift, Germany -

Leadership Seminar in Brief

"Volunteers for Intercultural Learning" was the topic of the fourth Leadership Seminar in Berlin, Germany, which brought together 25 participants from 18 countries. The program included a variety of workshops related to teambuilding, intercultural learning, project development and project management. Participants exchanged experiences and enhanced their intercultural, project management and cooperation skills.

The great variety of organizations, backgrounds and experiences, which participants represented, made the exchange especially enriching. Participants learned more about each other’s countries and cultures, discussed the causes of stereotypes, prejudice and discrimination, and explored Milton Bennett’s Development Model of Intercultural Sensitivity as well as Gert Hofstede’s dimensions to compare cultures. During the seminar, participants discovered a number of new methods to encourage intercultural learning and exchanged ideas for projects. They also visited four intercultural organizations in Berlin: Europeans for Peace, the Institute for Cultural Diplomacy, Schüler Helfen Leben, MitOst and Theodor-Heuss-Kolleg. Participants developed five different projects with the aim of encouraging intercultural learning and international understanding.

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People to People International aims to foster international understanding through direct people-to-people contacts. PTPI’s international leadership seminar is a special program to support and connect the leaders of volunteer organizations in Europe. This year, the seminar had the following specific aims.

Enable active European PTPI chapter leaders and representatives of other NGOs to meet, get to know each other and exchange experiences.

  • Improve the intercultural skills of participants.
  • Improve the project management skills of participants.
  • Improve cooperation between PTPI chapters and other NGOs in Europe.
  • Encourage the development of joint projects.

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PTPI's Leadership Seminar brought together 25 participants from 18 different countries: Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Lithuania, Macedonia, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland and Ukraine. The youngest participant was 18 years old and the oldest 60. The professional backgrounds of participants were equally diverse including students, teachers, managers, reporters, civil servants and more. All participants were active volunteers.

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A Collaborative Effort to Contribute to Building Intercultural Societies

I am glad that I was part of the multinational team that took part in the rewarding PTPI Leadership Seminar "Volunteers for Intercultural Learning." The greatest benefit was derived from the experi-ence of interacting and working with people from diverse

geographical, cultural and religious back-grounds, and thus learning more about them and the 18 countries represented. Such direct people-to-people contacts deepen mutual understanding of one another's cultures and foster trust among participants.

As human beings, we share many qualities, but we all have different physical characteristics, person-alities, interests, lifestyles, manners, patterns of behaviour, habits and set of values, which are, however, not worse or better, just dissimilar. And the exciting challenge is to learn to look at this diversity from a positive perspective, to respect otherness and to live together peacefully in to-day’s multicultural societies, relating to each other at an equal level, overcoming negative prejudices and stereotypes, so societies change into intercul-tural.

Not only did the seminar improve our intercultural and leadership skills, but also it increased our project management skills for our voluntary work. It also encouraged cooperation between PTPI chapters and other NGOs in Europe in the devel-opment of joint international projects that enhance intercultural learning and international friendship.

I have vivid memories of all activities done each day: the name games, ice breakers, energizers, PowerPoint Presentations (about PTPI, about the difference between stereotype, prejudice and dis-crimination, about cultural differences according to Hofstede’s dimensions), presentations of short films from the international video project “Snap-shots: When Cultures Interact,” presentations of successful chapter projects, collection of new project ideas and project development workshops. During the interactive exercises “What do we know about each other’s countries?” I was sur-prised to find that one of the participants knew that Bulgaria has medallists in many sports. In another brainstorming activity “Differences and Similarities of our Cultures” during the first round, we had to identify a custom or tradition unique to our countries. However, it turned out that several countries share our “uniqueness” and so the outcome was a clear manifestation of our similarities. This made us want to learn more about one another’s countries during the time spent together.

The Intercultural Party "Celebrating Diversity" was a big success. We presented our countries with food (which lasted until the last day), drinks, information materials, pictures, songs, dances and performances. In one given by the Albanian, Bulgarian and Macedonian participants, there were plenty of hugs and kisses. Isn’t this intercul-tural learning in action?

Acquaintances also were made during the two dinners in Berlin. I did not expect to meet at the farewell dinner two compatriots (freshmen at German universities) who before leaving sug-gested we keep in touch to provide support and friendship.

The intercultural learning experience was too great to express in words and certainly cannot be described in one report, let alone the impact it had on me. If, however, keeping in mind everything that happened during that one week, I have to think of one word in my native language that describes it, then it is: Благодаря! (Thank you!). I learned this way of oral evaluation of an event from Verena during the 2008 European Youth Forum.

Thank you PTPI staff Lars, Verena and Laura for making everything that happened possible, for bringing about a positive difference to the lives of so many people, and for showing us part of the story of a formerly divided city - the Reichstag, the Brandenburger Tor, the Holocaust Memorial and Checkpoint Charlie.

I believe we all complemented one another and made a great team of minds. Now we must put to good use in our voluntary work the training we received. Maintaining continuity should become part of the ability to lead our organization, and it is what the seminar "Volunteers for Intercultural Learning" was about.

Mariana Iordanova, adult advisor of PTPI’s Sofia Bulgaria Student Chapter

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Volunteers for Intercultural Learning

I could probably write several pages on my personal views and experiences of the Leadership Seminar... But, I won’t... I would, however, share some of the highlights from this very enriching week spent in Berlin...

The PTPI Europe for Intercultural Learning Seminar brought together many PTPI chapters and several other organizations. Nineteen countries were represented. The seminar covered quite a bit. There is a lot of ongoing research and study so that we can increase our knowledge about the many different cultures, their differences and similarities. Intercultural Learning is a topic of much interest due to globalization and the importance of cultural studies.

I would like to just briefly mention some of the content: stereotypes, discrimination, the Iceberg Concept of Culture are just some terms and names that the seminar covered. We also received a comprised presentation followed by discussions of a couple of theoretical and academic approaches from Milton Bennett and Geert Hofstede. The seminar even presented the World Café concept. Some presented their country with a bit of humor. Many showed their own country in great and creative PowerPoint presentations, e.g. England, Bulgaria and the Ukraine. Some even offered a wide variety of different food, beverages, and some showed us they even were talented actors and actresses...

A small and very fortunate group - Susanna, Marketa, Katerina, Helca, Rolf, Lars and I - had the opportunity to go to the Institute of Cultural Democracy (ICD). The Executive Director & Founder of the ICD, Mark C. Donfried, gave a great presentation and tour of the organization. I must admit that being able to meet Mark C. Donfried exceeded my expectations of the organization. I highly recommend a visit to the organization if you are in Berlin; and hopefully, a field trip to ICD will be offered to all the participants at next year’s Leadership Seminar.

I also enjoyed the Project Development sessions where participants were able to listen in and participate in brainstorming and presentation of possible and future joint projects to be carried out. I really hope that some or many may be able to be realized. Worth mentioning is a presentation of Concero by Englishmen Alex Hempton-Smith and James Langford.

Of course, there was no way I could leave home without it... my camera, that is to say... My camera went with me wherever I went, enabling me to capture as many memorable moments I could. All in all, this seminar was something special I've been in touch with many since we parted...

Thank you very much, Lars, Verena and Laura for a great job in arranging a very enriching seminar. Well done! The best part was, of course, meeting and spending time with my "old" and "new" friends… but there is a downside in that: perhaps not seeing and meeting them ever again, or not in weeks, months or years. I know that many of us will succeed in staying in touch thanks to the very popular social media network, Facebook, but also via Skype! Everyone who attended the seminar has touched my heart in different ways. For that, I am a grateful, for I have met some truly great and impressive individuals, all unique…

It is an honor to be a part of the PTPI network working towards promoting peace through understanding.

Antoinette McIntyre-Andersson, co-president and founder of PTPI's Karlstad Sweden Chapter

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Future Projects

Youth exchange for voluntary work across borders
Click here to download the PDF file
Audiobooks for Blind People: "Books for Everyone" Click here to download the PDF file
Exploring Jewish Culture Click here to download the PDF file
Global Village – International Summer Camp and Intercultural Festival Click here to download the PDF file
Midsummer Night’s Dream Camp Click here to download the PDF file

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Youth Exchange for Voluntary Work Across Borders

Aim: Fostering and encouraging voluntary work and cultural attitude towards the subject within the European Union.

Short Description: Youth exchange for young people ages 18-25, financed through the Youth in Action Programme, to inform about voluntary work and produce a European guide to volunteering.

Target Group: 30 participants (5 leaders and 25 young people) between 18 and 25 years old from 5 different countries: Armenia, Czech Republic, Denmark, England, Hungary.


  • Participants will gain greater knowledge and understanding of the other countries and cultures involved.
  • Participants will gain an overview of voluntary work and the opportunities available in Europe.
  • Participants will gain firs hand experience of volunteering and skills required to become a good volunteer.
  • Participants are able to use their experiences of the exchange and their creative abilities to produce a European guide to volunteering.


Day Activities
1 Arrival, Dinner, Getting to know each other
2 General introduction, Country presentation, Community visit
3 Simulation Game: understanding intercultural learning and volunteering
4 Visit and assist the community project (Charity, Red Cross)
5 Excursion to visit 4 volunteering organizations
6 Intercultural learning in practice (day trip, visit)
7 How can I be a volunteer? (research opportunities)
8 Production of European guide of volunteering
9 Production of European guide of volunteering, Presentation of the finished guide, Farewell party
10 Evaluation, Departure

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Time Frame: Ten days in July 2010, from Tuesday to Friday

Action Plan:

  • Sending partnership agreements by January 2010
  • Applying for Youth in Action support by February 1


  • James Langford
  • Lasse Stentoft
  • Hannelore Büchler
  • Katalin Toth-Pjeczka
  • Susanna Grigoryan
  • Rolf Dahlberg
  • Helca Metelkova


Please click here to download this project description as PDF file.

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Audiobooks for Blind People: "Books for Everyone"


  • Record audio books for blind people to give the blind students access to more information
  • Create a bank/library with free access to the audio books (Internet, schools, public libraries)
  • Organize events where speakers read out loud short stories to blind people (for PR)

Short Description: Participating organizations and people create audio books for blind people to give blind students access to more information. The books are chosen according to the needs and interests of blind people. It is also possible to record books in foreign languages or about other countries to encourage learning more about other countries and cultures.

Intercultural Focus: To include a special intercultural component and give blind people the opportunity to learn more about other cultures, books of authors from different countries can be chosen and/or books in foreign languages.

Target Group: Blind people

Place: Locally in participating cities and countries

Time Frame: 12 months

Action Plan:

  • Research among blind people to find out what kind of books they are most interested in collecting and interpreting data from research or questionnaires
  • Finding a recording studio
  • Recruiting theater students and actors
  • Contacting the association of blind people in the respective country
  • Contacting local/national library in order to provide the books
  • Research to find out if it’ necessary to obtaining copyrights
  • Finding sponsors and partners

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  • Local municipality
  • Local media
  • People to People International (European Program Fund or Matching Grant)
  • Local companies
  • Important Partners:
  • Local community and local municipality
  • Studios and recording companies
  • Associations of blind people
  • Libraries
  • Local media


  • Janusz Wozniak
  • Enisa Murseli
  • Valentina Angelova
  • Aleksei Smulski
  • Andi Beqiraj

Please click here to download this project description as PDF file.

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Exploring Jewish Culture


  • Educate youth about Jewish culture
  • Enhance tolerance and respect for Jewish culture
  • Promote cross-cultural learning and understanding

Short Description: The participants from different countries explore different aspects of the Jewish culture through research in study groups and write essays, which are published in a booklet. Delegations from each participating country will meet in Berlin to exchange their knowledge, to explore Jewish sights in Berlin and to get to know representatives of the Jewish community. The meeting in Berlin will be documented with a film.

Place: Berlin


  • Organize study and research in small groups on Jewish customs, traditions, symbols, music, cuisine, dance, holidays and rituals
  • Write essays on a topic relevant to Jewish culture
  • Organize a visit to Berlin for students participating in the project to exchange experiences and knowledge acquired about the topic
  • Organize meetings with representatives of the Jewish community
  • Explore Jewish sights of Berlin
  • Outcomes:
  • Publish a booklet on Jewish culture
  • Make a film of the project and burn it on CD
  • Time Frame: December 2009-December 2010

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Action Plan:

  • Find a German partner by December 31, 2009
  • Apply to “Europeans for Peace” for financial support by January 15, 2010
  • Find participants for the project by the end of February, 2010
  • Specify the topics for research (content of the booklet) and distribute them among participants by the end of February 2010
  • Monitor the process of colleting information
  • Write essays on Jewish culture by June 30, 2010 (to be included in the booklet)
  • Organize a visit to Berlin (July 1-7, 2010)
  • Make a film about the visit and take pictures by August 2010
  • Prepare the booklet and publish it by October 2010


  • “Europeans for Peace” (a program of MitOst e.V.)
  • People to People International
  • Local Jewish Organizations

Possible Partners: Germany, Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Czech Republic


  • Elena Tarlovskaya
  • Mariana Iordanova
  • Katarina Loksova

Please click here to download this project description as PDF file.

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Global Village –International Summer Camp and Intercultural Festival

Aim: Promoting cultural diversity through creative means

Outcome: Creating a Web site for intercultural learning

Short Description: International summer camp for two weeks in the United Kingdom, where participants have the opportunity to live a multicultural experience by taking part in a variety of workshops culminating in an intercultural festival.

Target Group: 35 participants from all over the world

Place: United Kingdom

Content: The following workshops will be offered: dance, drama, music with instruments, gesture and mime, food and drink, arts and craft, teambuilding and leadership, tradition and customs, history, training for group leaders, languages, photography, video and presentation from sponsors.

The results of each creative workshop are presented at the final intercultural festival.

Time Frame: Ten months, from December 2009 to September 2010. The summer camp “Global Village” will be held between July and August 2009.

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Action Plan:

  • Preparing draft and launching Web site, December 2009
  • Fundraising, December 2009 – May 2010
  • Launching the competition, January 2010
  • Inviting volunteers and VIPs, January 2010
  • Closing date of the competition, March 2010
  • Final results, April 2010
  • Closing date of volunteers’ applications, May 2010
  • Finalize itinerary and main event, May 2010
  • Press conference, July 2010
  • Global Village Camp, July – August 2010
  • Evaluation and Web site update, August – September 2010


  • Madalina-Georgiana Gavrila
  • Ludmila Mihaescu
  • Sorina Danciu
  • Anna Chuiko
  • Alexander Hempton-Smith

Please click here to download this project description as PDF file.

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Midsummer Night's Dream Camp

Aims: The camp is dedicated to embracing our common humanity by empowering youth through education, recreation and leadership development on the basis of common interests. The camp will take a multi-faceted approach to teaching the values of a peacemaker through a focus on conflict resolution and human rights using creative art, music, dance and sports activities.

Short Description: International youth summer camp in Sweden focusing on the themes xenophobia, violence and teambuilding. Activities will include dance, swimming, soccer and photography. During 3 days, 5-10 counselors (ages 18-30) will be trained. Then, the actual camp starts for 20 participants (ages 15-25) for 8 days. At the end of the camp, a dance performance by the artistic ambassadors of PTPI’s Karlstad Chapter and a photography exhibition will be organized at the youth meeting place “UNO”.

Target Group:

  • 20 participants ages 15-25 from different countries with English language skills
  • 5-10 counselors ages 18-30 from different countries with good English language skills (The counselors are trained by 5 head counselors from different NGOs: Helca from Sternberk, Simon from Bern, Gergely from Pécs, Chiara from Milano, Marketa from Prague.)

Place: Värmland Province, Sweden (The accommodation will be provided in homestays or at the Dansstudion.)

Language: English

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  • Dance
  • Sports (soccer, fishing, swim training)
  • Games (Riddarspelet, Kubb, Brännboll and other typical games from the region)
  • Afternoon training / guidance programs for the counselors
  • Photography
  • Midsummer celebration in Värmland (two different celebrations: private and public)

Time Frame: 10 days in June 2010


  • Simon Krebs
  • Gergely Kiss
  • Antoinette McIntyre-Andersson
  • Marketa Erbsova
  • Zsuzsanna Balogh

Please click here to download this project description as PDF file.

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Hotel Christophorus Johannesstift

Schönwalder Allee 26
13587 Berlin
Phone: +49 30 33 606 0
Fax: +49 30 33 606 114

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Monday, November 23: Arrival and Welcome Evening

Afternoon Arrival and check-in at Hotel Christophorus                                                                           
16:00 - 18:00 Seminar check-in
18:30 - 19:30 Dinner
19:30 - 21:20 Getting to know each other and People to People International

Tuesday, November 24: Teambuilding

08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast                                                                                                                 
09:00 - 10:30

Getting to know each other and our expectations

10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30

Program presentation and getting to know our countries

13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:30 - 16:00

Differences and similarities of our cultures

16:00 - 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 - 18:00 Teambuilding exercise
18:30 - 19:30 Dinner
19:45 Optional Evening Program

Wednesday, November 25: Intercultural Learning

08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast                                                                                                                                 
09:00 - 10:30 Simulation game "Limits of tolerance?"
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30 Stereotypes and prejudice versus promoting tolerance
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:30 - 16:00

Milton Bennett's development model and our intercultural sensitivity

16:00 - 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 - 18:00 Comparing our cultures with Hofstede's cultural dimensions
18:30 - 19:30 Dinner
20:00 - 23:00

Intercultural Party "Celebrating Diversity"

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Thursday, November 26: Intercultural Learning and Voluntary Work

08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast
09:00 - 10:30 World Café "Intercultural learning in voluntary work"
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30 Presentation of World Café results and manuals with methods of intercultural learning
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch

Discovery trip to explore intercultural organizations in Berlin
Sightseeing and Dinner in Berlin

Around 22:00 Return to hotel

Friday, November 27: Project Development

08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast                                                                                                                           
09:00 - 10:30 Interactive exercise "Where are we?"
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30 Brainstorming and Project Development
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 16:00 Project Development continues
16:00 - 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 - 18:00 Project Presentations
18:00 - 19:30 Dinner
19:45 Optional Evening Program

Saturday, November 28: Project Management

08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast                                                                                                                                   
09:00 - 10:30 Open Space Technology and Project Management Workshops
10:30 - 11:00 Coffee Break
11:00 - 12:30 Project Management Open Space continues
13:00 - 14:00 Lunch
14:30 - 16:00 Debriefing and project wrap-up
16:00 - 16:30 Coffee Break
16:30 - 18:00 Seminar evaluation

Trip to Berlin
Dinner in Berlin (Sony Center)

Around 23:00 Return to hotel

Sunday, November 29: Departure

08:00 - 09:00 Breakfast                                                                                                                                  
09:00 - 10:00

Hotel check out and departure

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People to People International
European Office
Schillerstr. 59
10627 Berlin
Phone: +49 8801 6433
Fax: +49 8891 6434
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In cooperation with
PTPI's Berlin Chapter
Brücke der Freundschaft e.V.
c/o Hannelore Büchler

Lars Poignant                                                                          Verena Denk Laura Dionese