Programme Workshop 2 – Identities and Polarisation

Atrium 5 / Friday, 25 May 2018, 09:30 – 11:45

Organised by: European Volunteer Centre (CEV) & the European Federation for Intercultural Learning ( EFIL)


09:30 – 09:40 Introduction

  • Gabriella Civico, CEV Director

Overview of the current situation related to the development of identities and tendency to polarisation in the current digital world.

09:45 – 09:50 Presentation of the World Cafe

09:50 - 11:20 World Cafe

Discussions in moderated small groups:

  • Online Extremism & Radicalisation - causes and prevention.

Moderator: Maram Anbar, Trainer and Consultant on Youth and P/CVE

  • Prevention of online Hate Speech.

Moderator: Manu Mainil, No Hate Speech Campaign Coordinator (BIJ)

  • Non-formal education fostering competence for the digital world.

Moderator: Izabela Jurczik-Arnold, Head of Training at European Federation for Intercultural Learning

  • Erasmus+ Virtual Exchanges - new online educational programme.

Moderator: Jose Diez Verdejo, European Commission DG EAC Unit C3 – International Cooperation

11:20 – 11:45 Conclusions and agreement on final recommendations

No interpretation available


The session will take the form of an interactive discussion and will an overview of the current situation related to the development of identities and tendency to polarisation in the current digital world.  The participants in the session will contribute with their perspectives and examples of practices on how to use digital tools for bringing people together and counteract “othering”, hate speech and polarisation.

The overall objective will be to consider the contribution that digital technology makes to how citizens view their own and other’s cultural identities and what can be civil society’s response.

The discussion will focus on how digital technology:

  • Opens up new opportunities for connection between citizens, broadening perspectives and awareness of different human experiences, cultures and realities, leading to a greater tolerance and understanding between citizens.


  • Leads people to revert to so-called “echo-chambers” of like-minded people and so further reducing the opportunities for citizens to develop more tolerant and understanding viewpoints concerning different cultures and life-style approaches.

Examples will be shared from the experts and participants in the session of the different and varied realities across Europe. The impact of digitalisation will be discussed taking into account the differing characteristics such as geography, social and economic inequalities, and also differing cultural traditions and heritage that can be found in different parts of Europe.

The conclusion of the session will seek to identify:

  • What are the dangers and risks associated with digitalisation in a population of increasingly disempowered citizens as a result of shrinking civic space and reduced emphasis on civic education and critical thinking skills in education systems as concerns identities and polarization.   
  • The ways in which civil society can contribute to reducing polarisation and further increase intercultural awareness and understanding amongst citizens.
  • How digital technologies can be best harnessed for this purpose in different circumstances and become part of solutions.

Work organisation


Workshop 2 – Identities and Polarisation