Launched on 19 May with a Public Dialogue on youth ‘Generation #Insta’, the VM will continue with
events and discussions till June 29th, closing out 63 online events in 42 days.


The Anna Lindh Foundation Virtual Marathon for Dialogue in the EuroMed region officially started on May
19th, the initiative was designed to promote the Intercultural Dialogue as the way to build sustainable
societies in the Euro-Mediterranean Region, in times when rethinking our development models became
more urgent due to the Covid-19 epidemic. The constructive approach at the base of the project
materializes in a series of activities of the ALF civil society Network and partner organizations, associated
with a series of Weekly Public Virtual Dialogues, all to be held till 29 June for a total of 42 days and 63
online events (Check out the Virtual Marathon website to discover the full program: https://in.prismanetwork.eu/virtualmarathon). The Anna Lindh Foundation organized the initiatives to stimulate a broad conversation and reflection on significant issues, to facilitate the exchange of perceptions and ideas, and to
jointly address social and cultural challenges affecting societies of the Euro-Mediterranean region. The
number of days, 42, is highly symbolic, being the length of a Marathon and the number of ALF members.


The first online event, “Generation #Insta: the new faces of positive social engagement in the Euro-Med,”
targeted the modern pillars of ideas circulation: the new ways communication takes place in the third
millennium and the forces behind positive social change, especially among youth actors. In recent years
many have been examples of how web and social media helped to implement the positive influence by
youth, both as individuals and through their involvement in institutions, organizations, movements, and
non-formal groups.

The public event explored the new opportunities to open doors for young influencers in order to shape
policy and media narratives and contribute to the Green Deal objectives towards the 2050 deal and digital
transitions. Recommendations, suggestions, and action points were produced during the panels. The event
was moderated by Aissam Benaissa (Connect NordAfrika).


Zlatko Lagumdzija, Former Prime Minister of Bosnia and Herzegovina (Club de Madrid), pointed out a
keyword for the day “the keyword is ‘shared’: how we are going to live in a world with shared values,
shared knowledge and education, but also to maintain who we are and our ethnic identity ….”. Kristina
Xhiveli (environmental specialist, TakeMeToTheCop, Albania) gave a clear message to the next important
date for environmental global strategies “climate change has to do also with other conflicts, like
polarization…. COP 26 should acknowledge this”. Krzysztof Wasilewski (Kozsalin University of Technology,
Poland) talked about the role of media, still relevant, “media should be engaging to bring people to have a
dialogue, in the global sense, to communicate with each other, to argue but not aiming at conflict, but
agreement. Even though people remain with their own opinion, we can reach a global solution”. Hamza AlShayeb (Space for Sustainable Development, CCIVS partner, Jordan) explained the unique occasion for
youth and society: “youth work is hard with trying to create their own space, to use social media to be
involved. Involving youth in communities and decision-making can improve dialogue between youth and
decision–makers and create a lot of new opportunities”. About youth energy talked also the Moroccan
journalist Khadija Amahal: “this event is taking place due to the request of young people. Institutions need
to have discussions on larger scale, to become aware of youth concerns, and to connect young people to
decision-makers”.


Elisabeth Guigou, President of the Anna Lindh Foundation, expressed her satisfaction for the first event
“Young people are the core of this conversation, and we start off the Virtual Marathon for Dialogue in the
Euro-Med speaking with (and about) them first. Intercultural Dialogue among young people can pave the
way from the structures of war to a culture of peace, step by step, by promoting a shared approach that
puts the values of humanity at the center of the reflection and the relations and helps developing initiatives
for social participation, Dialogue, empathy, and solidarity, both in our increasingly multicultural societie
and across the Mediterranean shores.” The whole Marathon is about improving communication within and
among societies because, as told by Guigou, “Intercultural dialogue is the only way forward towards a
sustainable future for all, based on mutual respect that helps to grow together and does not erase
differences.”


The next event, to be held on 26 May, will focus on “Digital Threats and Opportunities for intercultural
dialogue.” Further event are taking place online in the 42 countries of the ALF network:
https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/anna-lindh-foundation-virtual-marathon-dialogue-euromed
https://www.facebook.com/groups/3909240492445240


The Anna Lindh Foundation is an international organization, born in 2004, working from the Mediterranean
to promote intercultural and civil society dialogue in the face of growing mistrust and polarisation.
Headquartered in Alexandria, ALF has coordinators and management staff based across more than 40
countries ALF: https://www.annalindhfoundation.org/