The resilience of diverse cities and communities in times of crisis
The Secretary-General of ALDA, EPIC lead partners, Antonella Valmorbida, had the honour to be one of the three panelists in the 2nd webinar of the EMEN (European Migrant Entrepreneurship Network) project series.
In addition to presenting the EPIC project, Antonella discussed the key role of local communities and local authorities in the face of the pandemic.
In our globalised times of constant changes, diversity has become a fact of life in Europe.
It is sufficient to wander around a European city to see how our societies are more diverse than they have ever been. This diversity – or, in some cases, even “super-diversity” – has brought about a long list of benefits: it fostered the development of new businesses, contributed to establishing new cultural manifestations and even helped with the renewal of entire neighbourhoods in cities. The benefits of integrating diversity have proven to be considered according to extensive research, which has shown that diverse communities, organizations and institutions may enjoy a performance advantage.
And yet, in many cases, this benefit is still misunderstood: diversity is more often seen as a problem to solve or as a danger, rather than an opportunity. As a consequence, in many areas, diversity still has an untapped potential, hidden behind a barrier of misunderstanding and mistrust. This situation is not only unfair; it is self-defeating. In a globalised economy in which success often means the ability to innovate and to let knowledge circulate, not being able to integrate diversity risks heavily damaging the long-term economic well-being of Europe and its ambition to remain one of the biggest and most performing economies in the world.
It is therefore in the best EU’s interest to recognize the value of diversity and learn to manage it correctly, for the benefit of all!