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Intercultural Innovation

Unlocking the Power of Intercultural Innovation:

Building Bridges, Fostering Harmony

Every year, Australia opens its arms to hundreds of thousands of migrants, embracing them as permanent residents. At iGen Foundation, we recognise that true integration goes beyond residency status—it's about forging connections, breaking down barriers, and creating vibrant communities where everyone, regardless of age, gender, sexual orientation, ability, nationality, religion, language, or ethnicity, feels a sense of belonging.

Intercultural settlement is the cornerstone of positive experiences for newly arrived people. It calls for the development of networks within communities that bring together individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds—First Nations Australians, Australian-born non-Indigenous people, and overseas-born residents. It's about stepping out of our comfort zones, fostering understanding, sharing experiences, and building meaningful relationships.


The Role of Local Government: Catalysts for Change

As the government closest to the community, local governments play a pivotal role in catalysing intercultural interactions. Imagine deliberate efforts at the local government level to reduce fear, promote economic development, forge friendships, encourage meaningful interactions, and enhance harmony and social cohesion. What if communities thrived interculturally?

A Catalyst for Entrepreneurship and Innovation

iGen Foundation brought intercultural innovation to Australia. It was the first not for profit organisation to use interculturalism as the underpinning methodology for migrant entrepreneurship.

Other organisations conducted entrepreneurship programs for migrants but iGen Foundation designed and delivered intercultural entrepreneurship programs not only to help migrants (from all visa categories) start their own business but as an opportunity for migrants to meet and specifically and meaningfully develop relationships with First Nations and non-Indigenous Australian-bron people. 

iGen Foundation team members are internationally recognised practitioners, policy makers and academics and continue to lead the way not only in the area of migrant entrepreneurship but in assisting government, non-Government organisations and corporations to design and deliver innovative intercultural products and services that meet the needs of all their constituents and clients in a manner that results in mutual understanding and social cohesion. 

iGen Foundation's team have demonstrated their commitment to interculturalism over the past 30 years and as an organisation our commitment continues in our co-ordination of the Intercultural Cities Australian National Network (ICANN), the Australian National Network of the Council of Europe’s Intercultural Cities (ICC) program in addition to active intercultural education campaigns through vehicles such as webinars and support for annual symposia hosted and facilitated by Swinburne University.

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How does multiculturalism differ from interculturalism?

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There is no OR in the relationship between interculturalism and multiculturalism. The relationship is an AND.


As a policy, interculturalism provides the opportunity for people in governments, non-government organisations and corporations to review not only how many constituents and clients from different cultural backgrounds live within their communities or are in their workplaces (multi = more than two cultures), but what impact they have on creating an inclusive and cohesive society by creating relationships between people from those cultural or faith backgrounds. If those entities are deliberately and meaningfully bringing together people from a range of different cultural and.or faith backgrounds, they are practicing interculturally.

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