Time has shrunk, and distances are closing up. In a world of online connections and faster transportation, political borders are much less separating than before. Homogeneity will always be there, but each passing day we are reserving more room for differences as we realize we cannot escape from them. Opportunities of civility, mutual learning, experiences of sampling different tastes, and positive engagement are burgeoning rapidly. Nevertheless, engagement does not always take place peacefully. Many sad incidents of the recent past have showed that violence continues to accompany us along our journey to the future. We have seen in this journey that when a calamity or violence strikes everyone is affected in one way or another, directly or indirectly; there is no absolute immunity from its tragic results. From the poorest regions to the most developed ones, all nations have grown much more interdependent, be it economically, politically, and socially, and this brings us to an awareness of the need for developing a culture of coexistence.
Organized by Finland Dialog Association and The Fountain, a bimonthly US-based periodical, Culture of Coexistence: The Art of Living Together seminar will take place April 24, 2012 under the auspices of the Finland Ministry of Culture and Sports. Academics from various countries will share their research on peaceful coexistence, with emphasis on civil society and faith-based movements, especially on a social movement of volunteers providing humanitarian services, opening schools, and organizing dialogue activities in over 130 countries inspired from Fethullah Gülen, a contemporary Turkish scholar and writer with powerful ideas on intercultural dialogue and education.