There is a growing interest in Europe due to globalization, migration, and demographic change on diversity and inclusion. We are particularly interested in German cultural diversity issues and learning more about how they affect organizations, communities, and society. Faced with problems that require imaginative and prompt solutions we need to deal with the increasingly diverse tasks in the same way to achieve diversity and inclusion. Our mission is to understand cultures, build leadership abilities, and strengthen organizational capacity.
The Institute for Culture and Diversity Studies focuses on addressing key issues related to cultural diversity and inclusion in the most creative way possible, as well as fostering cross-cultural trust, respect, and understanding.
In Germany's increasingly diversified workplace, we aim to contribute to the generation of new knowledge to better understand processes as well as potential solutions to demographic change. We are dedicated to increasing public awareness of cultural & diversity by fostering research as well as encouraging integrative collaboration in the academic field. Our activities will be promoted through a variety of public relations and social media initiatives, in Germany and abroad, as well as networking of these projects.
Based on the motto "No problem can be solved from the same level of consciousness that created it" our goal is to address opportunities and challenges of cultural diversity in our society, to encourage the initiation and the development of socially relevant innovative creative thinking and effective practices.
The Institute will focus on commonalities rather than cultural differences and contribute to fill in the gaps in the existing research field of diversity and inclusion. Furthermore, we aim to promote cross-cultural understanding through research and transfer of knowledge. The Institute for Cultural and Diversity Studies offers the right framework to deal with such difficulties professionally in higher education, culture, economy, and society.
I. Undertake and facilitate culture and diversity research activities
- Concentrating on creative research to understand how culture influences thinking and behavior, and its problems for the global society.
- Considering cultural diversity's implications and its role in long-term sustainability.
- Focusing on the commonalities, diversity and their effects in different fields and the role of intercultural communication in the new century and the digital era.
II. Facilitating knowledge transfer in culturally diverse organizations, communities and societies.
- Focusing on creative research to generate and develop models for a better understanding and interpretation of everyday cultural circumstances.
- Facilitate new knowledge of the challenges and potentials that cultural diversity bears.
III. Develop and enhance intercultural and diversity competencies
- Support the teaching and learning of diversity and intercultural management competencies.
- Enhancing diversity, intercultural awareness, and competencies of organizations and different society members.
IV. Initiate and advance activities encouraging cultural diversity
- Undertake a variety of diverse network activities (conferences and workshops, guest lectures, excursions, company projects, discussions, etc.)
- Initiate different Public Relations, social media, and Networking activities with artists creatives, academics and institutions.
- Involvement of students in the form of study projects/company projects/ to support and raise awareness of the need to deal with a culturally diverse economy and society.
- Prof. Dr. Arnold Groh
Other people involved:
Company Projects in cooperation with IM Students and BASF:
Highlighting diversity through digitalization and sustainable relationships. Two company projects that involved International Management master students of SRH Berlin School of Management in collaboration with BASF Germany. Under the academic supervision of Prof. Dr. Arta Ante, and Agile Coach Tatjana Barzi-Vogt the project engaged master students in business case studies to develop skills in intercultural management and generate innovative concepts for BASF.
The Projects named: ‘The importance of culture: ways and tools of shaping a company culture and mindset’ were based on the values of "Diversity" and “Sustainability” and inquired how and by what means these values can be ideally applied at BASF to generate a unified mentality for employees within the company, but also create positive experiences in services with prospective clients and applicants outside of it. By dealing with key issues such as diversity and sustainability, in the context of German management culture, participants gained significant experience in intercultural management, personal skills as well as in interdisciplinary teamwork.
The follow up project focused more on the importance and value of sustainability within the local company culture and working environment. Students held great presentations dealing with topics such as women's empowerment, company support for family planning, or a world food festival in the company settings.
The Institute for Culture and Diversity Studies plans to take into consideration some of these suggestions relating to BASF's values to possibly apply similar approaches by interacting with other companies dealing with comparable issues.
Company Projects in cooperation with IM Students and SAP: Under the successful academic supervision of Prof. Dr. Arta Ante and coach Tatjana Barzi-Vogt, the International Management Master Students of SRH Berlin School of Management, worked together with the SAP Germany Corporate Representative Nina Straßner, Head of Diversity & People Programs, Germany, to create a creative communication campaign concept by intertwining gender diversity and leadership issues within SAP. The Projects named ‘Experiencing Diversity as a way of life for employees at SAP’: Chances and challenges for an inclusive, diverse and agile workplace.” focused on creative concepts to communicate and experience lively the “diversity and inclusion” at SAP.
SRH International Master students, worked out through recent scientific studies on agile management where they applied many creativity and D&I skills. SAP department continued the work to improve the idea of the #bealeadernotaboss campaign, by adding further video material as well as more content and a campaign specific design for the booklet.
The second project was focused on personal storytelling regarding diversity and inclusion. Creative teams in Conception. Strategy and Design were formed and professionally guided through the process according to the interest and specific knowledge of each student. The outcomes were a Booklet with key Diversity Terms presented in a creative manner for SAP as well as an additional Group video named "One world - one struggle" with text, music and a diversity logo.
Creative Lecture Series on Art and Diversity in Berlin during SuSe21 and WiSe21/22 ‘Interdisciplinary creative project oriented work”: Art and Diversity Project at Berlin School of Design and Communication (BSDC) in cooperation with Prof. Ralf Kemmer and Prof. Ricarda Wallhäuser (SOPA)
Focus: Highlighting and making visible the richness and potential of the diverse artistic scenes in Berlin
Brief Description: Students related and networked with Berlin artists to explore the concept of diversity from their perspective and to find common ways to sensitize about it in the creative scene of Berlin.
Outcomes: Students created an art catalogue with unique contributions from Berlin artists. The work will be published soon.
Additional activities in cooperation with (S.A.C.S.) and Academic Director: Prof. Dr. Arnold Groh:
MMPI-2-screening of AIDS orphans in East Africa (with DAAD support): Cooperation with the University of Minnesota (USA), Makerere University (Kampala, Uganda) and the Ocean One Social Centre (Soroti, Uganda); Data collection in Uganda and Rwanda.
Cross-Cultural Olfactory Survey (with DAAD support): data collection at UN and in India (Soliga; also supported by Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi), Cameroon (Bagyeli), Uganda (Batwa, Teso), Ethiopia (Hamer), Panama (Emberá, Wounaan), Perú (Bora, Yagua, Cocama), Colombia (Emberá, Yagua), Brazil (Marubo, Tuyuka), French Guyana (Wayampi).
since 2017: Cross-Cultural Study on Orientation towards Cardinal Directions: Data collection at UN, in Latin America and in Africa.