Q&A

What are the origins of the organisation?

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute (DOC RI) builds on the experience of the World Public Forum Dialogue of Civilizations in creating a space for the international expert community, businesspersons, academics and policymakers, to join together in an intellectual effort to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.

The DOC RI aims to foster dialogue-based solutions to some of the most pressing problems we face today: infrastructure underdevelopment, economic inequality, civilisational and religious tensions, and conflict.

Founded in 2002, the WPF Dialogue of Civilizations has held over 100 seminars, roundtables, and lectures worldwide. It has organised over 30 regional conferences in Europe, Asia and the Americas, since 2002 it has held an annual series of successful Rhodes Forum sessions.

The WPF Dialogue of Civilizations is a practical realisation of the UN General Assembly resolution on A Global Agenda for Dialogue Among Civilizations dated 9 November 2001, proposed on the initiative of the former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Mohammad Khatami.

WPF founders include the late Jagdish Kapur, Indian entrepreneur and visionary; Dr Vladimir Yakunin, business leader, prominent academic, and philanthropist; and the Greek-American businessman, Nicholas F.S. Papanicolaou.

The DOC Research Institute is a natural continuation of the WPF Dialogue of Civilizations.

What is the DOC’s mission?

Our mission is to foster inter-civilisational dialogue based on an appreciation of cultural diversity and a common interest in sustainable economic development.

The DOC is a global platform for exchanging opinions on a variety of pressing geopolitical issues including East-West relations, protecting civilisations against barbarism, the world economy and the protection of humanity.

It is established as an international, non-partisan and non-commercial organisation.

We believe that mutual understanding is the fundamental prerequisite for humankind’s inclusive development and that open, respectful and equitable dialogue is essential in times of dramatic global change and uncertainty.

The DOC is a community of perceptive, open-minded individuals that seeks to employ the paradigm of the Dialogue of Civilizations to explore and offer global policymakers and multinational corporations practical advice and solutions on 6 core topics:

The Dialogue of Civilizations’ special reports, expert commentary, and analysis from our international network of respected academics and industry experts is publicly available on its website and we always welcome further commentary and debate.

The DOC RI provides an independent forum enabling experts to work together through the fundamental principles of dialogue. Its events, annual forum, local conferences and round tables are dedicated to the DOC Research Institute’s core topics of focus as well as other important issues on the international agenda.

What exactly is the DOC RI doing?

The Dialogue of Civilizations is an institute whose mission is to promote mutual understanding, inclusive development and equitable dialogue. It seeks to develop policy proposals based on scientific research which address key challenges faced by the international community, from infrastructure underdevelopment and economic inequality to civilisation and religious tensions and conflicts.

Dialogue of Civilizations seeks to create an environment where the international expert community, business leaders, academics and policymakers can join together to tackle some of the world’s most pressing issues.

How will the DOC be different from other think tanks?

In this highly complex international environment there is no shortage of problems, but a very clear dearth of solutions. So are we needed? Very much so since we evolved from the WPFDC, which worked with the United Nations on a number of key inter-cultural issues.

We enjoy a broad network of institutes and NGOs developed by previous WPF activities, which includes over 40 NGOs worldwide. We also intend to preserve our special consultative status with UNESCO and continue our cooperation with the UN’s ECOSOC.

In addition, there is insufficient geographic and civilisational diversification in the majority of established think tanks today. Nine out of the top ten included in the 2015 Global Go To Think Tank Index Report are Western European. Accordingly, the current discourse amongst them is neither mutually respectful nor is it globally representative.

We want to address this imbalance, and aim to join the world’s top twenty research institutions within the next five years. Our expertise at creating spaces for dialogue is certainly something unique we add to this conversation.

Who are the founders?

The DOC has three co-founders: Dr Vladimir I Yakunin – Russian business leader, prominent academic and philanthropist, with a track record in infrastructure development within Russia at the helm of Russian Railways; Dr Walter Schwimmer – Austrian politician and diplomat, former first Secretary General of Council of Europe; and Prof. Peter W Schulze, Professor of Political Sciences, International Relations and Russian Studies at Georg August University of Goettingen.

Are you affiliated somehow?

The DOC Research Institute has no affiliation. It draws its freedom from the fact that its seed financing comes from private donations, which grants the Dialogue of Civilizations freedom from political and state influence.

Is there any government funding from the Russian Federation or the German government?

The DOC RI is a non-profit international organisation headquartered in Berlin. It is managed by a diverse global team and it is neither a Russian nor a German-Russian organisation. It has never defended a single state’s national or foreign policy.

The DOC’s staff comes from 14 countries and viewpoints  as well as  members of the board and senior advisers from America, Austria, Germany, Russia, Armenia and many other countries.

The main criterion for their working at the DOC is the excellence of its research, rather than a particular viewpoint. More than that, the DOC RI encourages a diversity of viewpoints as a gauge of its successful operation.

We have received no funding from the Russian government or from any other government. We do not intend to solicit any such funding. We are committed to maintaining full independence from any government or any political influence.

All of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute’s financing comes from private donations, which grants the DOC independence from any political or state influence.

Research

How do you publish your research?

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute publishes special reports, expert commentaries, and analysis from its international network of reputed academics and industry experts on the web, in apps and in books. Efforts are underway to both disseminate and promote its research among policymakers. The impact of the DOC’s policy recommendations is being captured through a monitoring and evaluation system.

How do you operate in research?

The Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute has its own research department with a team of 14 dedicated researchers. It complements its analysis with the output of its network of 60 specialists worldwide.

What are you currently working on?

See our Research Agenda and Schedule

Who are your researchers?

The DOC Research Team consists of 14 academically trained professionals from several  countries including Austria, China, Germany, Russia, and the United States.