ICDO launched new methods that used diversity as an instrument of change for the society, in the cultural program, Music and Beyond. The project was part of the first, annual Suoni Dal Golfo Music Festival in Lerici, Italy.

Music and Beyond flyers with Villa Marigola in the background.

The festival took place from August 25 – September 9, 2017; involving over 70 musicians from all around the globe. ICDO hosted three distinct events for the musicians, aimed at providing comfortable spaces for open dialogue about modern day cultural, social, and political topics.

The first event was the Cultural and Musical Mashup, with the participants proving that everyone has more in common than they think, no matter where they call home. The highlight of the event was a joint performance of the musicians playing recognizable songs from their homelands, creating an anthem for the Suoni dal Golfo Music Festival.

“It gave the musicians the opportunity to create something beautiful that represented them individually but also united them,” said conductor Paolo Urbina, who felt this activity was a unique experience for everyone involved.

Rafael Arias, a participating musician at Music and Beyond, with ICDO banner.

Later that week, ICDO hosted the Music, Diversity, and Diplomacy Symposium. The event expanded on the topics of music and diversity, but also offered steps beyond that. Some key takeaways were Ed Vulliamy, a journalist from The Guardian, sharing his first-hand experiences of how diplomacy and cultural differences failed to prevent war in the Balkans. Meanwhile, Dr Lowstedt, a professor at Webster University, discussed Universal Declaration on Cultural Diversity. The Symposium was moderated by Alfredo Macchi, a Mediaset journalist.

President of ICDO, Josipa Palac, used the opportunity to recognise the importance of diversity to our future: “ICDO and this symposium stand to showcase how diversity can actually help in shaping societies in the future towards progress.”

The final event, Beyond Music workshop, saw over 40 musicians discussing solutions to contemporary problems, such as integration of migrants, using social media for the benefit of humanity, overcoming differences in cultural and religious views, and more.

ICDO team with some of the participating musicians.

The participants were given an opportunity to discuss options to expand and embrace cultural diversity while offering solutions to existing world problems. The workshop saw lots of creativity and enthusiasm, resulting in concrete steps and actions that could be taken to expand and embrace cultural diversity in contemporary society.

A representative from UNESCO, Paolo Petrocelli shared the vision behind EMMA for Peace: “When music speaks, everybody understands.”

The events hosted by ICDO for the Suoni Dal Golfo Music Festival were enjoyed by all the participants while providing great ideas on how to take action to improve our future.