Global political, business, and academic leaders convene in Berlin to mark the international launch of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute.
BERLIN 1 JULY 2016 – The international think tank Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute announces its global launch today, in Berlin.
The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC) has developed out of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations, which over its 15-year history built up considerable expertise in creating a space for people from different faiths, backgrounds, and positions, to come together and work to solve some of the world’s most complex problems.
This new Berlin based non-profit research institute builds on that experience, harnessing the intellectual power of its extensive international network of experts, academics and policy makers from the US, Europe, Russia, India, China and beyond.
With operational centres also planned for Russia and, in due course, China, the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute offers international journalists a powerhouse of experts around the world accessible virtually round the clock. Its activities include events, original research, expert commentary, and policy advice all informed by experts and supervisory board members who have both theoretical and practical experience in a wide array of key areas, e.g. conflict resolution, global security, origins of migration, global infrastructure development.
One of DOC’s co-founders, business leader, philanthropist and Doctor of Political Sciences Vladimir Yakunin, said “This is an important development, filling a very real gap in the current think tank environment – for an organisation that not only looks worldwide, but one that combines perspectives from expert communities and decision makers across today’s key geographies. Our fundamental philosophy is one of mutual respect and understanding. Indeed, it is only through dialogue rooted in these principles that we will be able to meet the daunting challenges the humankind now faces.”
One of the members of the Supervisory Board of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, impact investor and social entrepreneur, Ruben Vardanyan said, “At a time of increased international instability and tensions, it is vital for people to be able to come together in a mutually-respectful setting, to work towards finding solutions that can be of real benefit and use to policy-makers and international organisations. Investing in this initiative amounts to investing in the common future of humanity – humanity as we want to see it, the world we want to live in. I am confident the DOC is set to play an important role in the global think tank community, which is why I am pleased to be supporting it.”
“With the opening of its Berlin office, Dialogue of Civilizations is making an important transition from platform to agent of change. I have seen change falter, and then win through. I know from personal experience how hard this journey – of effecting fundamental change in the world around us – can be. I am confident that the DOC will, in this new format, continue to play a powerful role in building a fairer, more humane, world,” said Vaclav Klaus, Supervisory Board Member and former Czech President.
“The Berlin office will provide the research institute with a home in the heart of Europe, a continent that has seen its fair share of division over the decades. Once Berlin was the very nerve centre of a divided Germany, a divided Europe, a divided world. Now, thankfully, those days are behind us. What we see today in Berlin is a city that has overcome division – through dialogue. Dialogue has always played a crucial role in international affairs. And that is what makes it the natural home for this new think tank”, said Manfred Stolpe, former German Federal Minister of Transport, Building and Housing and former Minister President of Brandenburg.
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About the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute
Rooted in a tradition of seeking dialogue-based solutions to humankind’s most pressing issues, Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (Dialogue of Civilizations, DOC) builds on the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations’ expertise, bringing together global thought leaders from academia, public policy, business and civil society to debate and develop practice-based policy advice.
On 9 November 2001, following an initiative by Iranian leader Mohammad Khatami, UNESCO Member States unanimously adopted the ‘UNESCO Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity’ and the UN General Assembly presented its Global Agenda for Dialogue Among Civilisations, setting out the principles of intercultural dialogue to be defended and objectives to be achieved. The Dialogue of Civilizations emerged as a practical endeavour to implement this initiative.
In 2002, Dialogue of Civilizations was co-founded by Indian entrepreneur and visionary Jagdish Kapur, and Dr Vladimir Yakunin, business leader, philanthropist and Doctor of Political Sciences, as well as by the American businessman of Greek origin, Nicholas F.S. Papanicolaou.
In its 15-year history, Dialogue of Civilizations has held over 100 seminars, roundtables, and lectures. It has organised over 30 regional conferences in Europe, Asia, and the Americas, and hosts the annual Rhodes Forum – an event that brings together experts from across the globe to address some of the most complex issues facing humanity.
Dialogue of Civilizations has published over 15 books, provides online courses in Dialogue of Civilizations, and has launched the educational initiative Schools of the Dialogue of Cultures.
Since 2013 it has enjoyed UN Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) Special Consultative Status, and also collaborates with UNESCO.