Our Projects

Utilizing the Power of Identity and Culture to Build a Better World

UNESCO-OICD Arts and Identity for Social Transformation

OICD and UNESCO have developed a network of practitioners to showcase good practices in applying identity to arts for social transformation. In the first stage of the project, we designed and co-hosted a workshop entitled "Harnessing the Power of Identity & The Arts for Social Transformation" in October 2023. The workshop brought together over 80 participants from academia, civil society organizations, educators, artists, and practitioners to share best practices and discuss common challenges in their respective contexts. The event provided a platform from which to synergize initiatives and good practices for managing diversity and addressing the root causes of conflicts and violence, fostering inclusion, social cohesion, reconciliation, and peacebuilding in Eastern Africa and beyond. This platform was used, in turn, to create and publish a toolkit of best practices - now available for download - for use across education and civil society. The toolkit was then used to train an OICD AI chatbot - likely the first tool of its kind in the sector and freely available here - so that NGOs and others can get bespoke advice on guidance on incorporating the tools into their specific contexts.

IMPACT - Arts and Identity for Social Transformation

We have worked extensively with Culturans to build a program framework called IMPACT, or Identity Method for Practical Arts & Culture Transformation. IMPACT addresses challenges of identity-based conflict, democracy, civil peace and cultural heritage through arts-driven and human science solutions. It combines identity-based research, analysis and strategy, with Culturans’ work to deliver solutions that respond to the urgent needs of local communities and citizens through creating cooperative networks of cities. Read more about IMPACT.

Equipping Climate Change Activists with Identity-Based Tools to Engage Divided Audiences

Current levels of polarization in the US and beyond mean that activists and educators are finding it challenging to provide critical information in ways that resonate with particular audiences.

Working with the Dallas-Fort Worth chapter of the Climate Reality Project, the OICD with social environmental sustainability expert Chip Pitts, has developed a short course to provide climate activists with identity-based tools which can help in transforming public attitudes towards the environment.

The course helps augment the use of the “information deficit” model - still used by most climate scientists and activists - with the OICD's identity-based approach.

The course will be piloted with the first cohort of activists through November-December 2021.

Preventing Crime and Building Self-Sufficiency

The John Howard Society (JHS) of Ottawa works to prevent crime, reduce poverty and build self-sufficiency within its network of clients. Through an adaptation of OICD's EMIC™ method, the OICD is helping JHS caseworkers analyze the identities of their clients and build intervention strategies.

Read our Identity Digest article about this work here

Read more about their cause here

Identifying and Utilizing Hidden Opportunities for Peace Building

Conflict transformation and peace building are sectors which heavily rely on whether identities and identity dynamics are understood well to be effective.

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We are now partnered with AfriNov, Africa Center for Nonviolence & Sustainable Impact, based in Kenya. The OICD and AfriNov are currently working to build identity-based strategies, in dialogue with community development offers in the region, to build sustainable peace and identities conducive to nonviolence.

Find out more about AfriNov here

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Our work with Embrace Dialogue (ReD), is a partnership working to create spaces for mutual understanding among conflict groups. We have been training ReD members in the OICD’s EMIC™ method, so they can use those tools to better promote peace to the region.

Read our Identity Digest article about this work here 

Read more about their cause here

Providing Teachers with the Tools to Teach "Identity Literacy"

Our Education Project focuses on giving teachers the tools to help children understand how their identities function. This improved "identity literacy" can help the child to recognize and resist divisive cultural narratives as well as effectively process and manage discriminatory attitudes and behaviors in themselves and others.

This project, in collaboration with educators and academics, allows the teacher to gain an understanding of how identity works as a psychological and social system in children and in adults. It also encourages educational institutions to integrate identity perspectives into their policies and strategies, including approaches to community outreach and cohesion building.

Unlocking Equality through Highlighting Critical Human Dynamics

Decreasing discrimination, prejudice and marginalization through policy making is challenging when our models of how society works are incomplete. Through our workshops, attended by policy makers from various sectors, and consultancy services - offered to international organizations and governments - the OICD is helping policy makers to incorporate identity and culture dynamics as a means to increase social, political and economic inclusion.

See all our past workshops below.

Click here for an article on OICD-IAI Kenya policy advisory project.

Demystifying Critical Dimensions of Disruption

Impact Analysis is a sector which compiles the future impact a building project may cause on the surrounding communities and environment. The OICD has helped Narratives Inc. to access and represent IA data in new ways, highlighting the way in which environmental impact can have knock on effects on the cultural and identity profiles of entire human communities.

Learn more about their cause here

Overcoming Invisible Barriers

Identity and culture are critical components to consider in both economic and social development. Through our knowledge and training workshops, we draw attention to how identity and cultural information has the potential to solve many conflicts in a plethora of sectors, contributing to the release of human potential.

See below for all our past workshops

Delivering Powerful Tools for Local Change

Understanding how the forces of Identity and Culture play a key role in creating conflict or cohesion can dramatically increase the ability for change agents to reach their goals. Our instructor-led training program in partnership with St. John’s Malta delivers an introductory course on identity and conflict, providing some key frameworks and tools for community leaders, professionals and practitioners from a range of backgrounds.

Click here for more information about their work 

Our Past Workshops