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Berlin Future Forum

THE BFF 2016 THEME


From Multicultural Conflict to Transcultural Coherence



There exist 6,000 distinct languages and 10,000 different ethno-cultures on the planet, and 80,000 separate academic disciplines to study everything in and of the universe.


With the advancement of the transportation and the information-communication technologies in the 20th and 21st centuries, humanity is exposed to the tremendous richness as well as diversity of the human cultures in a way completely unprecedented in history.


We live in a world of immense cultural diversity, the likes of which no previous generation has experienced, posing a host of challenges, which we have not found ways to resolve. One of the prevailing challenges posed by this diversity is the multicultural conflict that rages throughout the Western world.


The noted linguist Sebastian Shaumyan has developed the conception of language as the folk model of the world. “Language as the folk model of the world is a bond of thought and sound that serves as an interpretation of the world imposed on all members of a speech community.”


Therefore, a language is a conventionalized communicative interpretation of thought that stands between thought and reality as a particular folk model of the world. The fact that there are 60,000 distinct languages means that there are 6,000 different interpretations of reality and 6,000 distinct speech communities in the world.


Furthermore, there exist 10,000 different ethno-cultural units in the world some of which share the same basic language and yet differ from one another in ethnicity and culture.


Multiculturality is a reality of the present world. In the reality of multiculturality, multiculturalism assumes the equality in value of all different cultures and seeks a common ground amongst all cultures for mutual acceptance and accommodation without understanding the significance of the differences that exist and separate one culture from another.


Although it may be fair in its assumption and noble in its intention, multiculturalism lacks in the critical understanding concerning the inherent differences existing between and amongst cultures and the possible and actual consequences that arise from the existence of the differences.


Transculturalism does not assume equality in value of all different cultures because the concept of value as such is inherently relative and diverse and differs from one culture to another, nor does it seek a common ground for mutual acceptance and accommodation but a higher ground from which to apprehend and appreciate the differences and to relate to each culture in a manner that is most appropriate.


Transculturalism, which is an in vivo application of transdisciplinarity and transparadigmatic mode of thinking, concerns that which is at once between cultures, across different cultures, and beyond all cultures. Its purpose is to develop a higher perspective and knowledge of the present world with which to efficiently meet the challenges of immense multidimensional diversity and to effectively attain resolutions.


At the Berlin Future Forum 2016, the transdisciplinary panel of participants will engage in a deep dialogue and creative discussion with the objective of developing a set of practicable initiatives (“Berlin Future Initiatives”) for transforming multicultural conflict to transcultural coherence.



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About the art:

Title: MultiCultural Cooperation Vortex 4

Author: GDJ, Librarian

Created: February 29, 2016

Cost: Offered for free through OpenClipArt.org

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