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Integration Workshops for Communities

Integration workshops for community-level managers

For communities, integration is now a key factor determining their overall appeal, since more than 15 million non-Germans have made Germany their home and one schoolchild in three has non-German roots. All in all, the topic of integration has become a key challenge for the country’s cities and towns, one that will greatly impact their future. Integration can only be successful if local-level actors approach the task systematically and with an interdisciplinary mindset. Moreover, in shaping their policies, they must work together with immigrants and the organizations representing them. In addressing this challenge, a number of questions arise:

  • How can collaboration be promoted at the local level?
  • How is it possible to identify the numerous opportunities that immigrants offer their communities?
  • How is it possible to shape the efforts of both Germans and immigrants in the area of integration and social participation?

Workshop for local-level managers

Is your city or town faced with the challenge of developing an approach to integration that will endure over time? If so, the Bertelsmann Stiftung’s nonprofit integration workshop for communities can help you learn how to structure this process in a way that is both inclusive and focused. It offers a joint learning experience for all relevant actors.

The workshop’s goals are:

  • Supporting communities in a concrete way as they develop an integration strategy
  • Disseminating successful approaches and encouraging sustainable structures for dialogue
  • Anchoring a paradigm shift away from a “single-issue perspective” to one that accounts for all relevant constituents and policy areas

Its target groups are:

  • Community-level policymakers in decision-making positions 
  • Public administrators at all relevant levels
  • Immigrants and members of organizations representing immigrants who are active in community life

The Bertelsmann Stiftung has developed the workshop on a national scale in collaboration with three experienced moderators. It is geared toward local-level policymakers and public administrators as well as immigrants who are active in their communities. Pre- and post-workshop meetings for decision makers take place on-site in the community in question.

Day 1 Increasing awareness and positioning: From initial assessment to strategic approach

On the first day of the workshop participants examine the community’s current situation through activities ranging from an assessment of prevailing attitudes toward integration and an evaluation of existing projects to an analysis of available data. Best practices from other communities are also introduced. Participants then formulate their desired goals. Concrete answers are also developed for the following questions:

  • What does “integration” mean in our community?
  • How can we promote communal life in our city or town?
  • Which subjective viewpoints currently exist? Which structures for facilitating dialogue are in place?
  • What are the relevant areas requiring action? What can we take pride in? What requires change?
  • What do current facts and figures imply regarding population trends, economics and social affairs?
  • What are the main goals being pursued in each policy area?

Day 2 The big picture: From marginal issue to key factor determining community appeal

On the second day of the workshop participants examine strategic planning as an interdisciplinary effort covering all policy-related fields. Overriding goals and concrete projects are developed based on actual data for the selected policy areas, with a discussion of the structures and processes needed for implementation. Concrete answers to the following questions are developed:

  • What is the untapped potential that immigrants inherently have to offer?
  • How is it possible to plan integration policies in a strategic manner?
  • What might overarching goals, annual targets and potential projects look like for specific policy areas?
  • Which key data are necessary for measuring success?
  • What might on-the-ground community project management and networking efforts look like?
  • Which concrete steps must be planned?

Moderators and fees:

The workshop was developed on behalf of the Bertelsmann Stiftung by three experienced moderators -- Ellen Ehring, Dr. Winfried Kösters and Hans Wietert-Wehkamp -- and tested in two cities for the purposes of quality assurance. Additional moderators with a variety of backgrounds have been specially trained to lead the workshop.

The cost of each workshop is €6,000, which includes pre- and post-event meetings held on-site in the community in question, but which does not include travel costs. Workshops are limited to a maximum of 40 participants. The Bertelsmann Stiftung does not benefit financially from the workshops.

Take advantage of the experiences gained by other communities and get ready for the future by responding to the challenge of integration as it impacts your own city or town.

Interested? Please contact one of our project managers.

Contact Person
Headshot of Wolfgang Wähnke Wolfgang Wähnke
+49 5241 81-81155
Photo of the contact person Petra Vollmer
+49 5241 81-81111
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