Dear colleagues and friends,
Due the impact of the Coronavirus crisis we unfortunately had to cancel the 5th Anniversary edition of the Transatlantic Dialogue Re-imagining the Tower of Babel – Languages, Cultures, Cultural Diplomacy & World Peace in 2020, which was planned to be a celebration of compassionate leadership and friendship. However some hybrid/ virtual events have recently been organized in collaboration with The Schengen Peace Foundation as well as with the European Platform for Compassionate and Mindful Leadership …
Peace Pole inauguration
The University of Luxembourg inaugurated a Peace Pole on Belval Campus at the Place de l’Université on Wednesday, May 26th 2021. The Peace Pole was donated to the University by the May Peace Prevail On Earth International Society.
The Peace Pole is an internationally recognized symbol of the hopes and dreams of the entire human family, standing vigil in silent prayer for peace on earth. Each Peace Pole bears the message “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in different languages on each of its four sides. More than 250,000 Peace Poles have been planted in 185 countries around the world.
The Peace Pole was donated to the University of Luxembourg particularly because of the Transatlantic Dialogue Luxembourg’s engagement for peace. “By building an inclusive, peaceful human community in which each of us can thrive, we will be well positioned throughout our lives to generate new knowledge, solve everyday problems, to engage with compassion, to serve others purposefully and to help those around us to do the same,” says François Carbon, Chair of the Transatlantic Dialogue and Strategic Advisor for Cultural Affairs to the Rector of the University of Luxembourg.
The Transatlantic Dialogue (TAD), a cooperation between the University of Luxembourg and Miami University, Ohio, won the Luxembourg Peace Prize 2020 for “Outstanding Peace Education”. The TAD is a global conference series, held in Luxembourg since 2008. It explores the significance of culture and liberal education for fostering global citizenship from U.S. and European perspectives. The prize for “Outstanding Peace Education” recognizes the TAD’s efforts for fostering a culture of peace among all ages, groups, youngsters, elderly, women, refugees etc. with a global impact over the years.
Facebook live 1: https://www.facebook.com/uni.lu/videos/324098735796137/
Facebook live 2: https://www.facebook.com/uni.lu/videos/4091128990925836/
TAD 2008 – … Liber Memorialis presentation
Because of the of the COVID-19 crisis we unfortunately had to cancel the 5th anniversary edition of the Transatlantic Dialogue, Re-imagining the Tower of Babel – Languages, Cultures, Cultural Diplomacy & World Peace, which was due to take place in May 2020 as a celebration of compassion and friendship. However, for the initiator of TAD, the publication of a book documenting past achievements, composed of essays, reflections and testimonials on the content of previous conferences, was the only fitting way to honor the memory of this inspirational project.
Re-imagining the Tower of Babel
… is a most appropriate theme for this Liber Memorialis, and one that seems to me to be particularly timely. In today’s world we are seeing the resurgence of extreme nationalism and populism, which so often seek to undermine minority rights, intercultural dialogue and multilateral cooperation. These movements are underpinned by intolerant ideologies that seek to divide humanity on the basis of spurious interpretations of religious, cultural and social values. Unjustifiable action taken on these grounds has culminated in targeted killings of innocent people from different faiths, thereby perpetuating stereotypes, xenophobia, racism and discrimination. It is incumbent on all of us to counter these trends by upholding the truth and standing up for our belief in a peaceful future in which dialogue serves as a foundation for cooperation, dignity and mutually assured progress. Our world is in transition, and this year is one of opportunities and challenges. Our most pressing goal is to improve the tools of opportunity for each and every individual, while determining the most effective responses to increasingly difficult challenges such as migration, cultural and religious tensions, and of course the ruthless waves of radicalization and violent extremism that are challenging the very nature of humanity. No one can deny the damaging short- and long-term impact of these factors of instability, particularly on international peace and security but also on development. However, we can help curb extremist ideologies within our societies by adopting strong and effective visions for our partnerships and institutions and by fostering intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. Current and future generations need to be equipped with knowledge and techniques to promote intercultural harmony and constructive debate within their respective communities. Learning about intercultural communication does not mean merely acquiring a finite set of skills, terms and theories. It means learning to think about cultural realities in multiple ways. In concentrating our efforts on the need for liberal education and diplomacy, we are making a long-term socio-cultural investment for the cohesion of the global community. In conclusion, I firmly believe that we need to promote an intercultural dialogue based on the true humanistic meaning of religious and liberal philosophical concepts. By focusing on the unifying characteristics of world religions, on freedom of expression and human dignity, we can tackle the very real challenges facing us while creating new opportunities as part of an ongoing process that is inherently relational, intrinsically heterogeneous, often contested and constantly evolving. Let us unite our thoughts and efforts in this critical period shaped by unprecedented human progress. There will be times in our lives when, often through no choice of our own, the source of motivation to change must come from within. This quest should become a habit that leads to authentic revelations. Let us embrace this responsibility, not for any reward or recognition but because we have a duty to provide compassionate leadership that serves as a source of nourishment for the human society in which we live. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the beautiful people around the globe for sharing their compassion, contributing to the promotion of intercultural collaboration and bringing their skills, expertise and experience to the table as we have engaged in fruitful, constructive, creative and open discussions over the past 15 years.