2014 Cities of Migration Conference

Berlin, Germany

An Agenda for Shared Prosperity

Berlin (Germany), June 4-6, 2014

The world is on the move. Urbanization and migration have created a rich field for experimentation in cities around the world. Local communities are welcoming immigrants and creating the conditions they need to integrate, participate and succeed. Together they can contribute to shared urban prosperity.

Join local government and community leaders, practitioners, experts, activists and policy-makers for a dynamic 3-day event that explores the practical realities and opportunities created by today’s hyper-diversity. Learn how we can work together to set a prosperity agenda for cities.

Day 1 –  Wednesday, June 4 (Opening Night)

Venue: Embassy of Canada to Germany

17:00 Registration
(participants pick up Conference Package at the Embassy of Canada)
Opening Night Cocktail Reception hosted at the Embassy of Canada to Germanyr
Welcome Remarks

  • Alan Broadbent, Chairman, Maytree (Toronto)
  • Eric Walsh, Minister and Deputy Head of Mission, Embassy of Canada to the Federal Republic of Germany (Berlin)
  • Dilek Kolat, Senator for Labour, Integration and Women’s Affairs, State of Berlin (Berlin)
Theatre: A Brimful of Asha (excerpt)Written and performed by Ravi Jain and Asha Jain (Toronto)Real-life mother and son, Asha and Ravi Jain, share the stage and tell this true, heartwarming (and very Canadian) story of generational and cultural clash.

Day 2 – Thursday, June 5

Venue: Beletage Conference Centre, Heinrich Böll Foundation

8:30 Late Registration
(participants pick up Conference Package at the Beletage Conference Centre)Coffee & Refreshments
9:15 Welcome Remarks
Keynote: Cities and the Case for MigrationThe world is on the move, and the world is moving to cities. As never before, cities are the home that every immigrant dreams of. City leaders have a vested interest in realizing the potential of migrant capital, promoting inclusive, resilient communities and working together to set an agenda for immigrant and city success. The opening plenary challenges us to rethink the role of city leadership, the impact of demographic change on cities, the idea of urban “citizenship” and how diversity and inclusion contribute to urban prosperity.

  • Khalid Koser, Deputy Director and Academic Dean, Geneva Centre for Security Policy (Geneva)

Mayors Panel: Re-Imagining the City: Setting an Agenda for Shared ProsperityDoes city leadership matter? As the level of government closest to the people, local governments are most directly and immediately impacted by the lives, successes and challenges of immigrants. Cities have a range of levers to deploy to create a foundation for future prosperity for all residents. Mayoral voice can be a particularly powerful tool to accelerate the path to inclusion. So, what are progressive city leaders doing to close the gap between the city we have and the city we want?Moderator: Melinda Crane, Chief Political Correspondent, Deutsche Welle (Berlin)

Coffee Break
Panel: Beyond Welcoming“Welcoming” is not a slogan, but a paradigm shift that implies both inclusive regulations and policies and a commitment to implementation and monitoring. The panel will discuss new ideas and strategies for moving beyond welcoming to an action-oriented agenda for building an inclusive society.Keynote: Rita Süssmuth, Member of the Christian Democratic Union party (CDU), former President of the German Federal Parliament and the former Federal Minister for Family Affairs, Women, Youth and Health

Moderator: Ulrich Kober, Director of Program Integration and Education Bertelsmann Stiftung (Gütersloh)

  • Naika Foroutan, Head Researcher of the HEYMAT project, Humboldt University of Berlin (Berlin)
  • Zabeen Hirji, Chief Human Resources Officer, Royal Bank of Canada (Toronto)
  • Sayu Bhojwani, Founding Director, The New American Leaders Project
12:30 Lunch
Keynote: The Power of Ideas: Arrival CityDoug Saunders, journalist and award-winning author of Arrival City, talks about city neighborhoods that incubate and launch immigrant success: “urban spaces where the transition from poverty occurs, where the next middle class is forged, where the next generation’s dreams, movements, and governments are created.[It is here] that serious and sustained investments from governments and agencies are most likely to create lasting and incorruptible benefit.” What are the conditions for investment? What works, and what doesn’t in arrival cities? Is there a recipe for immigrant success? This talk will be a mighty prelude to the Marketplace of Good Ideas.

  • Doug Saunders, Author of Arrival City and International-Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Marketplace of Good Ideas: Integration in PracticeFast-paced and hands-on, the Marketplace showcases the best of the “Good Ideas” collection at Cities of Migration. Discover successful strategies and promising city-level integration practices. Ask questions, make connections and learn how you can transfer these good ideas to your own city of migration.Read full description
Coffee Break
The Big Debate: Beautiful Game? Or Racist Quagmire?Be it resolved professional football is powerless to end racismWhere you find professional football pitches across Europe and the world, there’s a good chance you’ll find racism too. But a short drive from the stadium in any football city, you’ll find streets transformed into community fields, multicultural teams, and kids learning the right way to channel competitive fervor through proactive coaches, schools, and community-led anti-racism campaigns.


Is professional football lagging behind the public? Do stadium politics perpetuate negative social dynamics? Or, is professional football actually leading the shift?



Moderator: Sara Llewellin, Chief Executive, Barrow Cadbury Trust (London)


  • David Goldblatt, author of The Ball is Round: A Global History of Football, and  Visiting Professor of Politics at Pitzer College (London)
  • Sunder Katwala, Director, British Future (London)

Watch the debate trailer.

Closing Remarks
17:00 Cocktail reception
19:00 Berlin Neighbourhood Walks
(optional activity – pre-registration required)

    • Art and Neighbourhood in: Pankow (North East, East Berlin)
    • Our Görli, Citizens Park in: Görlitzer Park – Kreuzeberg (South East, West Berlin)
    • From Urban Wasteland to Garden of Delight in: Prinzessinnengarten (South, West Berlin)
    • Berlin, Past and Present in: Nikolaiviertel (City Centre, East Berlin)
    • Urban Youth at Home and School in:  Neukölln (South Berlin, West)


Read full description and view map.

Day 3 – Friday, June 6

Venue: Beletage Conference Centre, Heinrich Böll Foundation

8:00 Coffee & Refreshments
8:30 Welcome Remarks
Keynote: Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People“Changing hearts and minds” in newcomer and receiving communities, and creating more open and equitable institutions and systems, include asking hard questions about discrimination and the roots of bias, especially the “blindspots” that unconsciously inform our behaviour. Drawing on field-tested research and academic analysis, renowned expert Dr. Banaji will provide a profoundly personal learning experience on hidden biases and how they can adversely influence us at work and in our daily lives. Participants will learn how to reset unconscious defaults at a personal and organizational level.

  • Mahzarin R. Banaji, Professor of Psychology & Social Ethics, Harvard University (Boston)
Coffee Break
Urban Labs (break-out sessions)Urban Lab sessions offer participants an in-depth learning opportunity on a specialized issue or topic in the immigrant inclusion field. Each of five breakout session will bring participants with similar interests together to explore shared challenges, drivers, solutions and emerging issues. A moderated discussion, led by experts and practitioners in the field, will engage participants and provide practical insight and strategies that can be applied locally.

  • Politics Lab: Participation in the Urban Polis
    • Mekonnen Mesghena, Department Head Migration and Diversty, Heinrich Böll Foundation
    • Eva Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
    • Karen Schönwälder, Research Group Leader, Max Planck Institute
    • Simon Woolley, Director, Operation Black Vote
  • Economy Lab: Access to Employment
  • Arts and Culture Lab: Breaking through the Fourth Wall
    • Heather Shotter, Executive Director, Committee for Auckland
    • Ravi Jain, Actor and Founder, Why Not Theatre
    • Donna Williams, Chief Audience Development Officer, The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • Alanna Lockward, Curator and Founder, Art Labour Archives
  • Replication Lab: DiverseCity onBoard Case Study
  • Policy Lab: Practice to Policy, Lessons for Local Leaders
    • Howard Duncan, Executive Head, Metropolis
    • Jan Niessen, Director, Migration Policy Group
    • Audrey Singer, Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution
    • Keizo Yamawaki, Professor, School of Global Japanese Studies Meiji University

Read full description

12:45 Lunch
Keynote: Arrival to Entrepreneur: An Immigrant Success StoryAn entrepreneur and business leader will share a personal story about building a business after arriving in Germany as an immigrant from Turkey. She will share her challenges and strategies for success, and her insight on the complex vibrancy immigrants bring to their new communities.

  • Aynur Boldaz, Founder and Director, Forever Clean (Berlin)
Panel: Migration, Myth and MessageSeparating fact from fiction in today’s media-fueled culture has never been more difficult. What counts as evidence? What’s the secret to busting a myth? Media experts will explore a range of strategies – including polling, data collection, humour, monitoring, and campaigns – that are used successfully, or not-so-successfully, to talk about immigrants and immigration. This session will examine good practice in influencing public opinion, countering myths and misinformation and making your story stick.Moderator: Astrid Ziebarth, Director, Migration & Society, German Marshall Fund

  • Shikha Dalmia, Senior Policy Analyst, Reason Foundation (Detroit)
  • Kully Kaur-Ballagan, Research Director, Social Research Institute, Ipsos MORI (London)
  • Doug Saunders, Author of Arrival City and International-Affairs Columnist, The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
  • Ramon Sanahuja, Director of Immigration and Interculturality, Barcelona City Council (Barcelona)
Conference Closing Remarks

  • Mary Rowe, Director, Urban Resilience and Livability, Municipal Art Society of New York City (New York City)
  • Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree (Toronto)