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Knowing me, Knowing you
How can we help people to understand each other better?
The world has never been more connected than it is today, whether that is through tourism, trade, migration or the internet. People and places are connected in ways we couldn’t have imagined 25 years ago. But despite all the positive things these connections bring to our lives, we often hear only about the negative things: the tensions, arguments and conflicts that exist between people with different ways of life, different attitudes and beliefs – or perhaps people of different ages or gender.
This brief is about designing something that celebrates difference and/or highlights the things we have in common. It is about finding ways to help us look beyond things like race, religion, gender, culture, language or sexuality, to spot the similarities between people – the things that remind us we are all human with the same hopes and fears. How can we get people to talk to and listen to each other so that, though they may recognise the differences between them, they also understand and respect each other?
Research the topic:
Identify a range of specific reasons why you think some people have negative feelings about other people.
These might be some examples:
- Feeling of loss of identity and culture (“my neighbourhood or country is changing too fast”)
- Negative media coverage (“foreign workers are taking our jobs”)
- Lack of opportunities to understand others (“they live near me but we don’t really mix”)
What other examples can you find?
Then discuss with your team what you think about these problems. Where do you notice them? For further research you might want to look through recent local or national news items for relevant stories, and talk about these news items with your teachers, your friends and family.
Design the solution
Design a product, campaign or service that will help overcome these problems and lead to a greater understanding, or more mixing, between different groups.
Examples could include:
A Product: Create a new game that brings people together to share their culture and learn about other cultures.
A Campaign: A campaign that encourages people to celebrate common elements of humanity, such as the right to education, or a campaign that encourages people to celebrate difference.
A Service: A service that facilitates intercultural interactions; such as a delivering cooked meals from different countries from around the world to families or individuals in need.