Sociale verandering, burgerschap, ontwikkeling en diversiteit, lokaal maar ook globaal. Dat staat centraal in de Summerschool die bestuurslid van het Humanistisch Verbond Caroline Suranksy organiseert in maand juli in India. Verschillende deelnemers bloggen over dit onderwerp de komende weken in het Engels. Suransky introduceert.

Door: Caroline Suransky, International Coordinator of the Summer School

The Kosmopolis Platform of the University of Humanistic Studies (the Netherlands), in cooperation with Azim Premji University (India), theInstitute for Reconciliation and Social Justice of the University of the Free State (South Africa), PUSAD-Paramadinaand the Center for Religious and Cross-Cultural Studies of Gadjah Mada University (Indonesia) and HIVOS (Humanist Institute for Cooperation with Developing Countries), has organized the 13th annual edition of the International Summer School on Pluralism, Development and Social Change in Bangalore, India, from July 7 to July 24 2015. Previous summer schools took place in The Netherlands, India, Indonesia and South Africa.

The summer school consists of a 17 day full time program of lectures, excursions, seminars, literature study, discussion, guided individual – and small group work and assignments. In the 2016 summer school are nineteen participants, who come from India, Indonesia, the Netherlands, South Africa, Zimbabwe and Kenya. All of them work in Civil Society Based organizations in the realm of Human Rights and Social Justice and/or are graduate students in Humanities, Social Sciences and Law. The staff of the summer school consists of an international team of academics and CSO-based professionals from India, Indonesia, the Netherlands and South Africa. The 2016  staff group includes: Sitharamam Kakarala, Henk Manschot, JC van der Merwe, Zainal Abidin Bagir, Ihsan Ali-Fauziand Caroline Suransky.

The summer school aims to: (1) bring together a diverse and international group of participants who are interested in social change and wish to enhance their critical understanding of social theory of change, practices of pluralism and the politics of difference at local and global levels; (2) intensify links between development practitioners and scholars in order to (1) enrich both their knowledge bases with new perspectives, insights and skills, and (2) stimulate the creation of international networks of civil society initiatives around issues of social change and pluralism; (3) facilitate international dialogue on theories and practices of pluralism and professional and personal experiences with cultural- and other forms of diversity and difference, leading to a critical international comparative analysis of pluralism approaches in various social, political, economic and ecological contexts; (4) integrate theoretical and practice-based knowledge of all participants and help them to translate it into new insights, strategies, policies and/or practices for pluralism; and (5) create a learning environment in which participants simultaneously learn about as well as simultaneously live with difference in a pluralist, international and intercultural setting. Critical reflexivity, reading and writing, dialogue, experiential learning, active participation and skills training are central to the program.

All participants will write a blog about their personal experiences on a particular day in summer school.  We hope that you will find their stories informative and that you enjoy reading them.

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Dr. Caroline Suransky works  in the Dept. of Globalization and Dialogue Studies Department of the University of Humanistic Studies in the Netherlands and is ‘visiting professor’ at the Institute for Reconciliation and Social Justice at the University of the Free State in South Africa. In collaboration with many universities and civil society based organizations in the Global South, Caroline has coordinated annual international summer schools since 2004.