AEUB Caux Forum header 2018
Training Tracks
Addressing Europe's Unfinished Business 2018

Training Tracks 2018

1. Trustbuilding in a diverse world: history, identity, and equity
2. Strengthening your democratic skills
3. Mindfulness through Playfulness
4. Exploring a Culture of Peace through Personal Change and Well-being
5. Telling a new story - Questioning identities
6. Heart-centred approaches to the refugee crisis
7. Non-violent communication as a dialogue approach
8. Philosophical Counseling: New approaches to social inclusion
9. Migrants and refugees as re-builders and social entrepreneurs



1. Trustbuilding in a diverse world: history, identity, and equity

Trainers: Rob Corcoran and Ebony Walden

This training track offers specific leadership tools to overcome false concepts of ethnic/racial hierarchy, xenophobia and exclusion, and aims to build social cohesion that values every human being. The interactive sessions explore four key areas of learning for individuals seeking to build trust and social cohesion in our increasingly diverse communities.

The areas of learning are:  

  1. The role of each individual in becoming an authentic trustbuilder and agent for change;
  2. The power of history and memory in shaping community narratives;
  3. Dialogue design to build trust and discern core issues; 
  4. Steps to build diverse teams and networks across boundaries of race, culture, religion, and politics to build healthy, inclusive communities.

The training is based on more than three decades of domestic and internationally recognized community-based work by Hope in the Cities in Richmond, Virginia, USA.


Rob Corcoran is a trainer, facilitator and racial healing practitioner who has worked with diverse and polarized groups across North America and Europe and in Australia, India, South Africa and Brazil. He is the founder of Hope in the Cities, Initiatives of Change USAs flagship program, in Richmond, Virginia. He collaborated on a dialogue guide for President Clintons Initiative on Race, and has been consulted for the development of the W.K. Kellogg enterprise, Truth, Racial Healing & Transformation.” He is author of Trustbuilding: An Honest Conversation on Race, Reconciliation, and Responsibility (University of Virginia Press 2010).



Ebony Walden is a trainer and facilitator who has over a decade of experience as an urban planner and community builder. At Ebony Walden Consulting she facilitates workshops and engagement processes that explore race, equity, and the creation of more just and inclusive communities. She is also a lead trainer and facilitator with Hope in the Cities in Richmond, Virginia. 





2. Strengthening your democratic skills

Trainers: Stefanie Schuddebeurs and Laura Reijnders

This training track will provide participants with a profound insight into the importance and processes involved in democratic conversations that mirror both the right to speak as well as the right to be listened to.

How should we take decisions that fairly reflect the needs and interests of the group? What does that involve? This course is not meant for deep theoretical discussions about different norms of democracy or state building, but will explore instead what it means to have a democratic conversation in daily settings, where one is both authentic and inclusive of all interests, which to us is the crux of a strong democracy. This training track gives practical insight into the art of listening, offers exercises in which participants are invited to challenge their assumptions, and addresses questions on the power balance in groups.

Since this training track has a strong experiential learning approach, participants will gain new insights into the art of listening to themselves as well as to others. You will leave with a toolbox of exercises and models that you can apply in your own contexts to enhance democratic decision-making processes, for instance in (group) work and/ or project settings.   


Stefanie Schuddebeurs is a social entrepreneur with rigorous academic training in the fields of social psychology and anthropology and also has a Masters in Conflict Studies and Human Rights. In 2014, she set up the first Listening Academy of the Netherlands, through which she facilitates dialogues for multi-stakeholder groups for Dutch local and national governments as well as for training professionals and students to help them develop their listening and empathic capacities. Since 2017 she has worked in Florence, Italy, where she was involved in participatory design processes aimed at resolving urban issues. Before starting her own company, she worked as a policy advisor to the Dutch Minister of Justice and Security as well as in the Internal Affairs Dept on anti-discrimination policies, democratic renewal, and the active participation of citizens in the democratic process. She works on projects with IofC Netherlands, where she hosts listening workshops and is part of the participatory mapping team. Laura Reijnders is a communications professional and facilitator with a background in organizational anthropology. Laura works three days a week at IofC Netherlands where she is in charge of communications, with an emphasis on sustainable living, and more specifically food safety, food security, and energy. As a freelance trainer and facilitator she aims to inspire, empower and equip young professionals and students in their personal development. In particular, she focuses on deepening the understanding of assumptions, convictions and values that shape our frames of reference.




3. Mindfulness through Playfulness

Trainers: Txema Perez and Lana Biba

Txema Perez and Lana Biba of 2theatre / London Physical Theatre School will offer a full training course in ‘Mindfulness through Playfulness’ as an approach to building social cohesion in Europe.

The course will include platform theatre, mime techniques, character building, and voice exploration.  This training track will be a playful combination of mindfulness and theatre techniques. While working on awareness and empathy with others we will see how a small change in each participant can bring about a new group dynamic.

Platform Theatre – A group of actors will tell an epic story in a contained performing space. This genre is a compact version of theatre or film. It offers a deeper understanding of the dramatic structure of a piece and demands extensive cooperation between cast members.

Mime techniques – This session will illustrate full body control and captivating movement quality for public performances. This is an intensive dive into techniques such as ‘fixed point’ and ‘making visible the invisible’, from French classics such as Marcel Marceau to Modern Mime.


Txema Perez is a co-founder of the 2theatre international company and the London Physical Theatre School. Originally from the Basque country, he was trained there in the Stanislavsky method, after which he attended the Actors Studio in Los Angeles. In 2008 he moved to London for a two-year training course at LISPA, making London his base since then. His artistic career credits include several roles in TV and film in Spain and the UK (Ugly Betty, Benidorm), world tours with lead physical theatre roles, and  performances with Cirque du Soleil as part of a clown duo. He also has a masters in journalism and communications, and has worked as a broadcaster and TV reporter in Spain. His teaching experience includes workshops for drama students and coaching for professional actors in physical theatre, mime, puppetry and on-camera acting. So far he has taught in Canada, India, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, Ukraine and the USA. Lana Biba is an award-winning actress, director and teacher of physical theatre, mime, clown, mask, dance and puppetry. She is one of the co-founders of 2theatre and the London Physical Theatre School. Lana trained in Marcel Marceau techniques in Paris, at LISPA (Lecoq technique) and at the Actors Temple in London (Meisner technique). Credits: artist and teacher at Cirque du Soleil, lead in SOAP The Show world tour; director/MD at Roundhouse and New Diorama (UK) and Boulevardteatern (Sweden), as well as screen work in Law & Order UK, ITV. Teaching: The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama (UK), Stockholm Academy of Dramatic Arts (Sweden), Kiev National University of Theatre, Film and TV (Ukraine), and freelance coaching. Her teaching approach is based on the wisdom of the body, combining the technical aspects of mime, mindfulness, and the pleasure of Devised Physical Theatre. An all-encompassing focus such as this one has empowered many artists: ‘I saw my dream as a dot far away. Now it’s up close, and I see it’s an endless horizon,’ LPTS course participant, Ukraine 2017.

2theatre is an international, London-based award-winning company formed in 2011 by Lana Biba and Txema Perez, both graduates from the London International School of Performing Arts (LISPA). 2theatre’s work addresses the common themes of humanity that underlie cultural differences, aiming to create theatre that touches people all around the world. Previous work includes the Edinburgh Fringe success ‘Losing It’ and tours in Finland, Greece, Norway, Canada, India, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, the United Kingdom and the USA. 2theatre’s educational branch, the London Physical Theatre School, delivers courses at universities abroad, and is a casting partner at Cirque du Soleil.  /


4. Exploring a Culture of Peace Through Personal Change and Well-Being

Trainers: Tissione Parmar and Agata Stajar

Often social change focuses on structures and policies without acknowledging the need for personal and interpersonal change.

These personal and interpersonal dimensions are necessary in order to learn how to deal with the challenges of the world, how to identify the root causes of violence and how to deal with them. By focusing on 3 pillars, this training explores how violence can be prevented:

The Personal Pillar

Wellbeing - This refers to creating balance in our personal lives which takes into account our fundamental needs and our mental and emotional health.

The Interpersonal Pillar

Connecting to others through understanding and communication to reveal our common humanity and to create cultures of trust, rather than fear.

The Planetary Pillar

Connecting to our purpose for the world and our communities and also connecting to the natural world in order to work towards a vision of peace which includes the nature and environment.

The participants will learn how to connect with themselves and each other as a foundation for creating cultures of trust and social cohesion. They will explore concrete tools for the mind and body, and will explore emotions in relation to creating a culture of peace.


Tissione Parmar has conducted international workshops in various trainings and retreats and have worked with young peace-builders, NGOs, digital nomads, artists, change-makers and social entrepreneurs in several countries. Tissione is co-founder of Alive Peace, and has also been a previous facilitator for Euforia, Recipes for Wellbeing, the Arc and is now working for UNITAR’s Peacekeeping Training Programme. As a facilitator, he likes to create spaces which offer meaningful transformations and insights and has given workshops around the world and likes to explore the bridge between the personal and the collective political levels to do with creating social change, drawing from a variety of disciplines and methodologies including: mindfulness, emotional work, non-formal education, theatre for living, NVC, men’s groups, fighting monkey, group coaching, mind-body work and well-being. Tissione is currently also working with The Wellbeing Project which is focused on both cultivating a shift in the field of social change toward one that is healthier and more supportive of inner wellbeing, and on catalyzing the development of a new infrastructure to better support everyone working in the field.
Agata Stajer has been involved in human rights education since 2004. She is a co-founder of Alive Peace and a board member of the Youth Peace Ambassadors Network (YPAN), running international trainings on peace and human rights education, gender equality and peace activism. Agata was trained in the field of peacebuilding in a long-term project of the Council of Europe. Her methods of creating learning spaces for young people and designing their educational processes are deeply rooted in non-formal education focusing on participation, holistic and cooperative learning. Agata is also a lawyer specialized in Human Rights by profession and within the Human Rights Commission of the Polish Bar Association she works on the development of human rights education among young lawyers.

Alive Peace is an international project promoting a culture of peace through experiential workshops, trainings and retreats across Europe. It is a group of international facilitators with specialities in the fields of peacebuilding, international development well-being and youth work who create carefully crafted spaces which offer processes of exploration, insight and transformation. Alive Peace was co-founded by Tissione Parmar, Agata Stajer and Laura Aldrighetti and is based in Switzerland.


5. Telling a New Story – Questioning Identities

Trainers: Jean Brown and Amina Dikedi-Ajakaive

This training track offers the opportunity to explore the relationship between personal, community and global narratives. What are the historic narratives that inform communal relationships? What are the stories that shape identities? Is my personal story stuck or growing?

In an increasingly fragile and divided world stories can heal, stories can harm. We will explore an invitation to take responsibility for the stories we tell and to transform them for the future benefit of our communities and in the cause of peace. What might it mean to be an advocate for a new story’– the story of our shared humanity? 

Over the course of the sessions, each participant will have the chance to investigate their own sense of identity, and to prepare and tell an aspect of their own story as a tool for peace advocacy.

The areas of learning are:  

  1. The potential of each individual in becoming an ‘advocate for a new story’
  2. Skills in listening deeply to ourselves and others as a means for healing
  3. The role of storysharing as a tool for deepening connections and advocating for peace
  4. Exploration of the contexts in which the stories we each carry might be transformative
  5. Understanding issues of identity
  6. Experiencing a shared humanity

The training will help develop a new methodology and theme for the work of Creators of Peace.


Jean Brown is one of the elders for Creators of Peace and has been involved with CoP since 1994. Jean is the designer of the Creators of Peace Circles which have spread to 50 countries over the last fifteen years. She authored the CoP facilitation and training manuals and most recently was the convenor for CoP's 25th anniversary conference. Jean has worked full-time with Initiatives of Change for 50+ years, including for many years in India and the USA, pioneering projects such as 'Action for Life', a leadership programme for young people, and supporting reconciliation initiatives in South Sudan. She lives in Australia where, together with her family, she is actively involved with community initiatives and regularly mentors women around the world.



Amina Dikedi-Ajakaiye has been actively involved in the work of the Initiatives of Change (IofC) since 1982. Originally a teacher, Amina decided to change her profession and run a fashion business in Lagos. While involved in her profession, Amina remained involved with IofC volunteer work. In 2000, as a member of the IofC International Coordination Group, Amina and others ran international pan-African ethical leadership programmes across Africa. In 2013, Amina was contracted as Project Leader to support the South Sudan Initiative for Peace and National Reconciliation. From 1994 to 2013 Amina served as International Coordinator to the Creators of Peace (CoP).  She has been a Board member of IofC Nigeria since 2012 and a member of the IofC African Coordination Group (ACG) 2007 – 2010. From March 2014 to 2017 she served as convenor of the ACG. Amina is currently the President of Creators of Peace International. Through her work and her caring approach, Amina has earned the respect, trust and friendship of a large network of individuals throughout Africa and many countries beyond, from Presidents, and politicians, senior civil servants, traditional leaders, educators, business people and ordinary citizens. She has an ongoing involvement through these friendships in many countries, including the Great Lakes Region, Sierra Leone, Sudan, South Sudan, Ethiopia and Zimbabwe. She worked with the programme Agenda for Reconciliation for over 10 years. Amina is married and lives in UK.


6. Heart-centred approaches to the refugee crisis

Trainers: Jo Winsloe Slater and Bruna Kadletz

I don’t believe there is a shortcut solution to the current refugee problem. Humanity is in crisis —- and there is no exit from that crisis other than the solidarity of humans.

                                                                                            Zygmunt Bauman, NY Times 2016  

This training track draws on the experiences of two initiatives arising in response to the recent humanitarian crisis.  They have sought to bring fresh perspectives and find new ways to welcome, support and create connection between emerging communities of locals and their neighbours who were displaced from their homelands.

The sessions will be experiential, engaging hearts and minds and invite participation as we dig deep into what community means and ask what might be your own unique contribution to this most pressing of issues.  The training is open to both experienced volunteers and those wanting to know what they can do.

Sessions will explore:

  • Models of initiatives that connect and create community among and between people
  • Values underpinning a heart-centred approach
  • Awareness and practices of deep hospitality
  • The role of faith and faith communities
  • Understanding and tools to co-ordinate volunteering as a dynamic social witness practice
  • Leadership skills and qualities in the face of seemingly insurmountable issues
  • The shadow side of volunteering and humanitarian work


Jo Winsloe Slater is Project Manager of People of the Earth, a programme of St Ethelburga’s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace, London.  During the winter of 2015/16 she and other members of St Ethelburga’s staff took the independent initiative to volunteer on the Greek island of Lesbos, a hotspot for refugees seeking sanctuary in Europe.  The programme emerged from this heart-opening experience and comprises leadership skills for young adults, interfaith action and community building.  Over the last two years the programme has developed a dynamic social witness model of short-term volunteering to support organisations working with displaced people in Europe, and created vibrant social events for London locals and newcomers to meet beyond labels and in a space of shared humanity.  Jo has been co-ordinating projects in the fields of interfaith, social justice and social care in the non-governmental sector for over twenty years. She is a current trustee of The Forgiveness Project. Bruna Kadletz is an Associate of St. Ethelburga´s Centre for Reconciliation and Peace. She is a facilitator and the co-founder of Circles of Hospitality, a Brazilian organization whose focus lies on reclaiming a culture of peace and deep hospitality in times of polarization and intolerance against the other. In 2009, Bruna left a promising career in dentistry to seek purpose and meaning in life. Since then, her attention has turned to humanitarian crises, taking her to South Africa, Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey, Greece, the Balkans and other places. She has a Masters in Sociology and Global Change from the University of Edinburgh, with emphasis on forced displacement and climate.


7. Non-violent communication as a dialogue approach

Trainers: Olena Kashkarova and Angela Starovoitova 

Between what I think, what I want to say, what I believe I say, what I say, what you want to hear, what you believe to hear, what you hear, what you want to understand, what you think you understand, what you understand…They are ten possibilities that we might have some problem communicating. But let’s try anyway…

                                                                                                      Bernard Werber

We believe that deep understanding brings creativity to find solutions to all types of conflicts: from internal to inter-personal to social conflicts.

At this training track we will focus on exploring Non-Violent Communication as a dialogue approach, addressing two major challenges: 

  • how to understand another human being
  • how to be understood in a way I want to be understood

It will be an interactive process where experiential learning is key, and where participants will explore the method together through practice in groups and real-life examples. By the end of the track, you will be familiar with the simple and applicable NVC model of communication that consists of 4 steps and you will have experienced how this model can contribute to your life.

Olena Kashkarova got involved in dialogue work at first through the personal experience of a conflict over different historical narratives. Later, this led to her involvement in conducting dialogues for people with different views on Ukrainian past, initiating dialogues between people of different political opinions during Euromaidan revolution and becoming a co-founder of the Network of Dialogue Facilitators. She worked for UN Programme for Development as a Specialist on Reconciliation, now she serves as a member of IofC International Council and continues her work in Ukraine as a dialogue facilitator, expert on social cohesion and a trainer. Her major interests lie in learning and practicing Non-Violent Communication and exploring embodiment practices to develop an integral approach to dialogue.



Angela Starovoitova is passionate about building connections between people and communities. Her expertise is in non-formal education and participatory methods using an individual approach to creating a safe and trusting environment to inspire personal transformation and change of relationships. Angela has 18 years of international experience organizing and running workshops/conferences/long-term programs on ethical leadership, critical thinking, conflict resolution, trust- and peace-building. Angela is one of the founders of an International NGO 'Foundations for Freedom/Initiatives of Change'' having worked in Ukraine, UK, Switzerland, Germany, etc. Currently involved mainly with the 'Network of dialogue facilitators' in running dialogues, forums and other events on conflict-resolution, peace-building and social cohesion as an invited expert in some projects with UNDP, IOM, and OSCE in Ukraine.




8. Philosophical Counseling: New approaches to social inclusion

Trainer: Cristina Bignardi

This training offers a set of innovative tools for working with vulnerable groups, especially migrants, asylum-seekers, women and minors, and building bridges between such groups and the local communities.

During the past six years, Cristina Bignardi and her team have worked with migrants in Italy and developed a new methodology by combining several techniques: self-help groups, café philo, research communities and philosophical counseling.

This lead to a technique of listening and sharing the narrative dimension of one’s life and circumstances, using as pretext conventional wisdom and relevant quotes from philosophers and writers.

The innovative aspect in using philosophical counseling with vulnerable people is to try to give them a new way of thinking, a new contextualization about life. This is done through group discussion, starting from a proverb or a philosophical consideration. The participants have the opportunity to engage with and think critically about taken for granted aspects of their own cultural background and compare it with those of the other participants. This activity allows to solicit a more creative and assertive way of thinking, helping the person to overcome the negative experience and regain the capacity to hope and plan for a better future.

Participants at this workshop will:

  • learn how to frame migration issues, based on the example of the Italian context;
  • learn how to make a relevant analysis on the field, using Medical Anthropology approach;
  • understand how this inovative methodology helps asylum seekers to better understand the European Culture;
  • develop a new perspective in thinking about one’s life through these philosophical tools.


Cristina Bignardi, a graduate in History of Arts and Philosophy, is a trained Philosophical Counselor and has been working with migrants since 2001, through several projects focusing on multicultural dialogue. She has worked in the Psychiatric Department of Bologna University, first on Early Prevention of Psychosis and later as facilitator of a self-help group for asylum seekers and refugees. Cristina’s interests have been also focusing on women's rights and victims of war-rapes, food sovereignty, farming and sustainable development. Since 2012 she has been the coordinator of "Prevention has no color 2.0", a health programme for foreign women in Italy implemented by Pace Adesso/Peace Now. Currently she is an active worker on social inclusion.




9. Migrants and refugees as re-builders and social entrepreneurs

Trainers: Rishab Khanna, Catalina Quiroz and Emel Topçu

Migrants and Refugees as Re-Builders (KA2 Cross-borders Intercultural and Societal Entrepreneurs) is a partnership of organisations from the UK, Turkey, Sweden and Spain who are developing innovative training responses to support migrants and refugees from the Horn of Africa, the Middle East, Maghreb and Latin America.

The project is aimed at supporting adult educators of migrants and refugees in settling into their new communities, re-building their lives, and eventually contributing to the development of their home countries. During this training we will share some of the tools from our curriculum, like the Pyramid of Hate and the Pyramid of Hope, The Time Line for interfaith dialogue and democracy, and lastly, some simple methods of carrying out self-assessment to be a more effective adult educator and facilitator working with migrants and refugees.

Requirements for attending:  Willing to apply the training modules and competences you will test and experience with members of your organization and/or others, especially people working directly with refugees and migrants.

We are interested in doing a follow up of competences self-assessment to test the selected tools. We will be keen to learn participants’ interest in exploring possibilities of submitting an Erasmus+ project related to mental health and occupational therapy.


Rishab Khanna has a degree in Economic Development, Environmental Legislation and Management, International Law and Diplomacy and is passionate to bring harmony in the social and ecological systems. With the Initiatives of Change Sweden Rishab has had the opportunity to co-design a peace and development programme in Somalia, funded by SIDA (Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency), and deliver a program of social cohesion in a suburb of Stockholm, called Hope in Jarva. He is also a social entrepreneur supporting social enterprises in Uganda, Kenya and India. He has recently been asked to be a member of the Economy for the Common Good international expansion team and the GNH (Gross National Happiness) Sweden. He is also author of a book called Surging Beyond the Bottom Line - Insights into a Successful Integral Enterprise. He has co authored several other books including A Holistic Approach to Education with V.R. Purnatva. He has been co designing the Trust and Integrity in the Global Economy conferences for the last 7 years, and is part of the core team for developing it into a year round programme.  More recently he started working with a European Union funded project called Migrants and Refugees as Rebuilders, which is building capacity of adult educators in Sweden, Turkey, Spain and the UK to be more effective at their work with migrants and refugees. Catalina Quiroz is a PhD candidate and has been coordinating and working for over 25 years in educational projects focusing on capacity building, organisational change, participatory decision-making processes and ethical leadership at the Institute of Cultural Affairs and Initiatives of Change, UK. Currently, she is a Visiting Scholar Social & Solidarity Economy and a member of the Social Innovation Development Group at York St. John University. She is also co-leading, with organisations from Spain, Sweden, and Turkey, an Erasmus+ Strategic Partnership project called: Cross-border intercultural and societal entrepreneurs within Initiatives of Change, UK, as leader partner. Its aim is to enhance the teaching experience of adult educators working with migrants and refugees from Horn of Africa, MAGREB, and the Middle East to become social entrepreneurs within their host communities and re-builders of their communities of origin. As part of her Ph.D. studies with the Spanish Open University, UNED, she is researching the role of the social and solidarity economy as a potential economic model to achieve the sustainable development goals of the Agenda 2030. In the last 10 years, she has been leading Erasmus transnational collaborative and multidisciplinary teams. Her work has been focused on innovation in teaching methodologies for formal and non-formal education. She is interested in the implementation of value-based competences for adult educators working in the fields of social and solidarity economy, interculturality, and anti-discrimination. Her work has been supported and backed by Erasmus+ funding and the Commonwealth Education Hub.

A resident of Germany for fifteen years, Emel Topçu has specialised in topics such as Syrian refugees, volunteerism, adult education, human rights, women’s rights, minority – majority relationships, multi-culturalism and integration of migrants into European societies. She has published numerous articles, conducted research, training and consultancy both within and outside the EU. She has carried out this work with several organisations including the Council of Europe, Ministry of National Education, Democratic Citizenship and Human Rights Education Project, which aims to foster a more democratic society in Turkey by strengthening democratic citizenship and human rights education.

Currently she is researching into the impact of the influx of Syrian refugees on Turkey and the effect this has on communities and social cohesion.

Emel Topçu is also the General Manager of Migration, Education, Population and the Employment Research Centre and a Vice President of Faculty of Economics, Administrative and Social Sciences.