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Education University of Groningen Summer Schools

Developing Across Differences: Building Intercultural Viability in Organizations

The development of collective intercultural adaptability
Building intercultural viability poster

The whole is more than the sum of its parts. In its positive sense, that maxim describes the synergistic potential of organizations to combine unity and diversity into innovation. But it also can mean that the collective organizational culture can perpetuate ethnocentrism and inequity, despite individual development.

This course will show how to integrate tactical training in intercultural communication with strategic organizational transformation towards the goal of generating sustainable viability in unpredictably changing global and domestic social conditions.

Why Attend?

Join this course to help your organisation—or those of your clients if you are an external consultant—pursue the strategic goal of sustainable adaptive potential to social change.

In addition to predictable changes such as increasingly multicultural societies and greater emphasis on equity and inclusion issues, future social situations are sure to include unpredictable changes such as the ones that have occurred during the Covid pandemic. Since organizations cannot prepare for such changes specifically, they need help in developing a general adaptive capacity.

The course will use the new concept of Intercultural Viability™—the probability that an organization can adapt to unpredictable changes in multicultural social conditions—to guide advanced practical applications of a constructivist paradigm, a model of perceptual development, and coherent activities that foster intercultural consciousness.

Participants will learn how to approach organizational adaptive capacity in a coherent way, how to explain it to stakeholders, how to coordinate program design elements, and how to select appropriate assessment methods.

Practical information
Dates & location

10 - 12 July 2024

Academy Building (Broerstraat 5) or Harmonie Building (Oude Kijk in Het Jatstraat 26)



May be appropriate for some MA students; contact the organisers for consultation about eligibility


(includes course and materials, optional evening programming)

Academic coordinators

Dr. Milton Bennett

ic rug.nlor info
Level requirements

The DAD is for multipliers who help individuals, organizations and societies better recognize, appreciate and use differences as a way of better communicating, working and thriving together.

These are (in-house and external) trainers, educators, consultants, coaches, researchers, scholars, facilitators, HR staff, advanced-level (MA+) students, and professional development specialists with 5+ years of experience/study in the greater Differences field. Contact the organisers at ic or info for consultation about appropriateness and eligibility.

It is expected that the participants have a sufficient command of the English language to actively participate in the discussions and to present their own work in English.

Participant profile

This course is for you if are a mid- to senior-level in-house professional or consultant/trainer/multiplier/educator who helps those who:

  • Are implementing diversity and inclusion initiatives within their organisations;

  • Offer training and on-the-job professional development to help colleagues better communicate and collaborate;

  • Work with those who appreciate “hard science”-based evidence for making system-wide and personal change.

Learning outcomes

After this course you —and those you work with— will be able to:

  1. Recognize the challenge of preparing organizations for unpredictable social change
  2. Acquire conceptual tools for understanding and explaining the idea of collective intercultural adaptability to emerging social conditions.
  3. Consider various methods for tactical and strategic intervention that will support collective intercultural development.
  4. Learn how to select appropriate assessment methods to create credibility, diagnose needs, and demonstrate effectiveness.


18 hours of in-class learning and active participation using experiential methods.

 Upon successful completion of the programme, the Summer School offers a Certificate of Attendance that mentions the workload of 18 hours (28 hours corresponds to 1 ECTS). Students can apply for recognition of these credits to the relevant authorities in their home institutions, therefore the final decision on awarding credits is at the discretion of their home institutions. We will be happy to provide any necessary information that might be requested in addition to the certificate of attendance.

Course schedule

Sunday, 7 July
15.00-18.00 Optional networking event

Wednesday, 10 July - Friday, 12 July

The instructor will provide a new conceptual structure that uniquely focuses on how relationships of individual and collective intercultural competence can increase an organization’s adaptive potential. Participants will practice using the concepts in reflecting on their own work. Several case studies from administration of the Intercultural Viability Inventory (IVI) will be discussed as examples of this approach to generating a sustainable climate of respect for diversity.

Introduction to lecturer

Milton Bennett, PhD
Thanks to Dr. Milton Bennett’s four decades of seminal contributions —including the groundbreaking Developmental Model of Intercultural Sensitivity (DMIS)— the study and practice of intercultural development holds, today, a core position within the greater Differences field.

A consummate teacher and eloquent communicator who is frequently requested to comment on current affairs, Milton has held a tenured position at Portland State University (US), executive development positions with Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business (US) as well as several corporate universities, and currently maintains adjunct appointments in Europe.

In addition to his ongoing research, consulting, and training, he has recently introduced the Intercultural Viability IndicatorTM, an instrument designed to assess and support organizational-level intercultural competence.

Application procedure
Deadline for application
Registration closes on 1 July 2024.
Date of selection
Within 72 hours following registration, you will be contacted directly by the organisers about your application.
Participants submit payment and details about their interest at the link below (click the "Apply now!" button). They will be contacted directly by the organisers about their experience and the suitability of the course.

Please note that as all courses are subject to meeting minimum enrolments, the DAD team will confirm on or before 17 May 2024 that your course is taking place. We strongly advise you not to book non-refundable travel until you have received this confirmation. In all cases, refunds for courses are not available except in the case of course cancellation by the DAD organisers. In the case that your preferred course is cancelled, you are welcomed to enroll in an alternative course or request a refund. You will be notified on or before 17 May 2024 if the DAD course is cancelled. This policy is different from that of other University of Groningen Summer School and Language Centre courses. Full details are available on the Developing Across Differences (DAD) Learning Lab & Community Week Terms and Conditions page.

Last modified:08 May 2024 11.49 a.m.