Creating a society for all: Expo 2020’s Tolerance & Inclusivity Week to work towards peaceful co-existence

DUBAI, 13 November 2021 – Speaking to all genders, faiths and backgrounds, and creating opportunities for people of determination and marginalised communities are among the aims of Expo 2020 Dubai’s Tolerance & Inclusivity Week as it seeks to create a society for all.

Running from 14-20 November and held in association with the UAE Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence, the week will drive conversations on how social spaces, physical environments, and modes of storytelling can be rendered more inclusive, with the aim of fostering multiculturalism and peaceful co-existence.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan Mabarak Al Nahayan, UAE Minister of Tolerance and Coexistence and Commissioner General of Expo 2020 Dubai, said: “Understanding and respecting different civilisations and cultures is key to creating a peaceful, thriving society. By hosting Tolerance & Inclusivity Week as part of the UAE’s National Festival of Tolerance, Expo 2020 Dubai will unite 192 nations as we seek to utilize the principles of coexistence, fraternity, hope and joint action in the UAE and worldwide, towards creating a better future for all of humanity.”

Tolerance & Inclusivity Week will open on 14 November with a ‘Designing for All’ session, exploring how we can build inclusive workplaces and communities that cater to and reflect the needs and experiences of everyone, with a focus on people of determination.

Coinciding with UNESCO’s International Day of Tolerance on 16 November, Expo 2020 will host a number of significant events, including a youth forum highlighting the creative and resilient abilities of young people from different nationalities and backgrounds, and the launch of the Global Tolerance Alliance, a UAE initiative to make tolerance and peaceful coexistence an integral part of our lives.

His Excellency Sheikh Nahayan will unveil the alliance at 1116 GST at a closed-door event taking place at the Italy Pavilion. The unveiling will also be streamed live as part of the Tolerance and Inclusivity Business Forum, co-curated with Estonia and held at Dubai Exhibition Centre, which will focus on diversity and inclusion in the workplace, and how digital inclusion can remove barriers and help businesses achieve sustainable growth.

The same day, the Italy Pavilion will also host the Global Interfaith Summit, where religious leaders from all faiths and from all around the world will discuss overcoming intolerance and mitigating the effects of extremism. Speakers include Her Excellency Marina Sereni, Italian Deputy Minister of Foreign AffairsHis Eminence Dr Muhammad Al Duwaini, Deputy of the Grand Imam of Al Azhar; and His Excellency USG Miguel Angel Moratinos, High Representative for the U.N. Alliance of Civilizations.

Throughout the week, social enterprises from the Expo Live Innovation Impact Grant Programme will present their innovative ideas for creating more inclusive societies – from upskilling and integrating migrants and refugees, to digital tools that help connect and integrate people, to breaking down barriers to employment.

The Expo Live Impact Series takes place from 15-19 November at 1600 at The Hub, The Good Place, and is an opportunity to hear from grantees such as Picha Eats, a sustainable food business in Malaysia that trains refugee chefs, and Danish start-up Be My Eyes, an app that connects blind and low-vision people with sighted volunteers.

Meanwhile, the World Majlis series addresses the theme from a range of perspectives – from examining the role of art in fostering care for people and planet in ‘Art for Good’ on 14 November, to the need to ensure human-centric and ethical technological progress in ‘Digital Brain, Digital Morality’ on 18 November.

Gender inclusion is the focus of the Women’s World Majlis at the Women’s Pavilion on 17 November, which will explore how the UAE established its Ministry of Tolerance and Coexistence to encourage greater prominence for women in the workplace, and how it is particularly relevant in times of recovery, post-crisis.

Tolerance & Inclusivity Week will conclude with ‘Openness and the Path to Prosperity’, part of the Cultures in Conversation series curated by Expo’s Programme for People and Planet. Held at the UAE Pavilion, it will look back at the UAE’s experience of inclusivity, culture and education, through an intimate conversation between two of the country’s leading champions of cultural and public diplomacy, HE Dr Zaki Anwar Nusseibeh, Cultural Adviser to the President of the UAE and the Chancellor of UAE University, and HE Noura bint Mohammed Al Kaabi, UAE Minister of Culture and Youth.

A raft of cultural events – spanning music, dance and film – will bring the theme to life for visitors, who can also explore tolerance, inclusivity and cooperation at their own pace, with specially-curated, self-guided tours available via the Expo 2020 app. For example, the Breadth of Humanity journey takes in key organisations and institutions around the site that promote equality and inclusivity.

Tolerance & Inclusivity Week is the fourth of 10 Theme Weeks in Expo 2020’s Programme for People and Planet, offering an exchange of inspiring new perspectives to address the greatest challenges and opportunities of our time.