Press Release for a Youth Exchange Program
“Globalization vs. Cultural Diversity – GCD”
Celebrating our shared heritage: Globalization vs. Cultural Diversity («GCD»)
The project «Globalization vs. Cultural Diversity (GCD) was a transnational initiative organized and coordinated by ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SOCIAL ECONOMY GROUP (E.K.O.) in the context of the European Commission’s Erasmus+ Youth Exchange programs. It took place in Athens on 23rd-30th April 2018 and involved a group of fifty seven (57) young people aged 18-30, from eight (8) different countries: Greece, Austria, Lithuania, Spain, Italy, Czech Republic, Poland and Turkey.
The project focused on our shared cultural heritage and has been awarded with the European Year of Cultural Heritage (EYCH) logo by the European Commission.
In particular, the project addressed the complex issue of globalization and its consequences, as well as the benefits of cultural diversity for human cooperation regardless of race, religion, customs, etc. The project’s main objective was to offer young people the chance to explore together the complex and wide-reaching effects of globalization on cultural identity and diversity. This project also aspired to develop and strengthen partnerships among civil society actors from different countries, in order to support international initiatives for promoting intercultural respect and smooth cooperation, while safeguarding cultural heritage.
The goals of this project were met with great success. Through a series of non-formal education activities, and most importantly by facilitating direct interaction, within an environment of mutual respect, participants engaged in social dialogue on how globalization enables local cultural elements to be spread across the globe, and the way globalization affects/unites cultures. By exchanging ideas and good practices they explored ways to achieve harmonious coexistence of European culture and the special culture of each participating country, as well ways and initiatives for preserving our cultural past and heritage in a globalized future, enhancing several interpersonal and intercultural competencies, as well as their global citizenship consciousness.
In addition, cultural visits in Athens provided the participants with an important insight into the Greek culture, history, and everyday socioeconomic life of Athenians. Through several intercultural nights, organized by the different national teams, the youngsters came to appreciate each partner’s culture. The smooth collaboration, the fruitful discussions and the many friendships developed among different young people made evident that an experience shared by all participants was the discovery of the many similarities among our cultures and the realization that what is fundamentally human remains the same irrespective of cultural differences and enables people of our diverse world to live in harmony with each other.