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calendar 19 Nov 2020

How can we build more inclusive societies?

Diversity, inclusivity and multiculturalism on the agenda as Expo 2020’s latest thematic week promotes greater common understanding

Expo 2020 Dubai this week gathered experts from around the world to discuss how we can work together to foster greater common understanding for more inclusive societies.

The latest in a series of thematic weeks designed to consider solutions to key challenges that affect us all, Tolerance and Inclusivity Week spotlighted initiatives that enhance multiculturalism, co-existence and interfaith understanding – as well as increase accessibility and support indigenous communities and cultures.

Speakers included Her Excellency Reem Al Hashimy, Director General of Expo 2020 Dubai Bureau and UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation; accessibility and inclusion activist Caroline Casey, Founder of The Valuable 500; and Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education at the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

The event showcased a number of Expo-backed initiatives already making great strides to promote inclusivity and encourage peaceful co-existence, such as Globe Media, a Russia-based initiative boosting accessible tourism for people of determination, and Japan-based WheeLog, which has created an interactive map that allows wheelchair users to clearly see the accessibility of public spaces.

Both projects are grantees, or Global Innovators, under Expo 2020’s global innovation and partnership programme Expo Live.

Featuring a sneak peek of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Al Wasl Opera and a session on ‘Dignified Storytelling’ – avoiding stereotypes, stigmas and biased narratives, while ensuring respect for social and cultural norms – the event concluded with a World Majlis that explored how institutions and economic systems can better meet the needs of people within the means of our planet.

It was the fourth in a series of 10 thematic weeks – launched in October 2020 with Space Week – that bring together influential policy-makers, thought leaders, Expo participants and the public for Q&A sessions and panel discussions that will help shape the thought-provoking content and conversations taking place during Expo.