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European Cultural Foundation

Case Study: ‘How People Live their Lives in an Intercultural Society’ Conference

Client: European Cultural Foundation

Date: June 2010

The European Cultural Foundation (ECF) is an independent, Europe-wide, non-profit-making, cultural foundation.  Established in 1954 and based in The Netherlands, it is dedicated to promoting cultural understanding and activity in Europe, and the cultural dimension of European integration.  The Irish Committee of the ECF was established in 1984 to ensure Irish participation in the Foundation’s work.  It aims to promote:

  • Cultural, social, scientific and educational activities of a multinational nature and a European character.
  • Research into cultural developments that have implications for Ireland and other European countries.
  • Direct contact between Ireland and other members of the ECF network.
  • Mutual understanding between Ireland and other European countries, and an appreciation of mutual problems and needs.

The Patron of the Irish Committee of the ECF is President Mary McAleese.

DHR Communications has worked with the Irish Committee of the ECF since 2008.  The main focus of our work has been a major nationwide consultation project – supported by Atlantic Philanthropies – whereby we organised and facilitated ‘strategic conversations’ in various locations throughout Ireland.  These brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss interculturalism and related issues.  This series of conversations – which took place over an 18-month timeframe – culminated in the publication of a report, ‘How People Live their Lives in an Intercultural Society’, and a conference of the same name.  DHR Communications oversaw the production of the report and project managed the conference, which took place at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin in June 2010.

The ECF conference focused on how communities around Ireland have adapted to acommodate diversity and how the recession has impacted on efforts to promote interculturalism.  DHR Communications worked with the Irish Committee of the ECF in the run-up to the event to identify and agree media angles; the format for the event; the invitation list; and conference speakers.  Contributors to the event included: President Mary McAleese; Rory O’Donnell, then Director of the National Economic and Social Forum; Katherine Watson, Director of the ECF; Diane Nurse, National Planning Specialist with the Health Service Executive; and Des Tomlinson, Intercultural Programme Coordinator with the Football Association of Ireland.

ECF Conference
President McAleese chats to Miriam Hederman, a member of the Irish Committee of the ECF, as she enters the conference in the Chester Beatty Library

The key outputs DHR Communications delivered for the ECF conference included:

  • Venue procurement and liaison with the venue to organise all elements of the event.
  • Procuring audiovisual and catering services.
  • Developing all conference materials, including the programme and briefing notes for speakers.
  • Liaison with all event speakers, including with the President’s office; ensuring adherence to protocol in relation to the President’s attendance at the event.
  • Management of invitations and registration.
  • On-site support on the day.
  • Development and management of a PR strategy to highlight the issues raised at the conference and the findings of the ECF report.

Further information on the European Cultural Foundation is available at: www.eurocult.org.

Feedback from those involved in the ECF conference, and in other events organised by DHR Communications on behalf of our clients, is available here.