Welcome to the first in a four part blog series which will be appearing on Identity Insight, as well as the official conference website, in the lead up to the 2013 Kyoto Conference.

This week’s entry focuses on the Session Topics, which have been designed to familiarize the participants with theories of identities and the role of identity within conflict studies, and encourage them to think about potential applications in the field of peace building and cohesion.

The first session, “Identity, Conflict and Cohesion”, reveals a theoretical approach to understanding a dynamic relationship between identity and conflict. This session would lay the foundation for fruitful discussions of issues and topics, related to the theme of the conference, across the two days.

The second session, “Building Capacities for Utilising Identities in Promoting Peace and Cohesion”,  explores existing practical projects, approaches and interventions that somehow utilise an understanding of identity dynamics.

Moving into the second day of the conference, the third session, “Identity-Based Solutions: Regional Perspectives”,  explores various world conflict/cohesion-building contexts, exposing how identities are at play in maintaining a state of conflict or sectarianism.

The fourth and final session, “Engaging Identities: Proposing New Tools, Techniques and Interventions”, will consist of a panel of students  from the Graduate School of Global Studies, at Doshisha University. The students will present their work on exploring how to apply a systematic set of theories and methodologies to proposed interventions focused on targeting identities in a given region.

Through these sessions, we expect to bring a fresh outlook to the existing discourse on identity and conflict, which we hope will be taken forward and incorporated into future initiatives, both academic and applied.

There are a number of ways you can engage with this year’s conference, even if you are unable to attend.

Facebook: Like the OICD on Facebook for conference updates and information.

Twitter: Follow the official OICD Twitter account (@OICD) for conference updates. We will be running a live Twitter feed throughout the conference weekend, using the hashtag #identityconf2013, and we want to hear your voices! Make sure to tweet us with your thoughts and questions during the conference.

Instagram: Follow the OICD on Instagram (@OICD) to see live pictures from the conference. We will be using the same hashtag (#identityconf2013).

Flickr: Photos from the conference will be posted to the OICD Flickr Photostream, which will be available during and after the conference weekend. It can be accessed via this address: http://www.flickr.com/photos/identityconf2013. If anyone attending the conference would like to submit photos to the stream, please email them to [email protected].

And, of course, we welcome your engagement on the OCID blog, Identity Insight, and on the official conference website: http://www.grmconference.org/p/spage.html.