Exchange of experiences with diversity challenges during Doing Diversity Lab

How do organizations such as schools, sports clubs, and cultural institutions deal with daily diversity challenges? This is the focus of the research by Dr. Laura Westerveen, Dr. Mark van Ostaijen, and Prof. Susanne Janssen from Erasmus University Rotterdam within the Doing Diversity project. On November 30, they organized their first Diversity Lab, bringing together organizations participating in the research to discuss the practical implementations of diversity.

The Doing Diversity research project explores how diversity is handled in practice within organizations across various sectors and neighborhoods in Rotterdam North and South. All organizations involved in this research and at the Diversity Lab: RHV Leonidas (North) and HC Feijenoord (South), cultural institutions De Doelen (North) and Theater Zuidplein (South), and high schools Erasmiaans Gymnasium (North) and OSG Hugo de Groot (South).

Practice-oriented learning

This project stimulates practice-oriented learning through new methods such as shadowing and co-creation. Participants in the research are not passive observers but active contributors to understanding and addressing diversity issues. This practice-oriented learning process not only enhances the effectiveness of the research but also creates a fertile ground for mutual knowledge transfers between researchers and practitioners.

A moment of reflection, exchange, and co-creation

The first Diversity Lab was a crucial and unique moment in the research process. It provided an opportunity to bring together all participating organizations, share initial research results, and exchange experiences. The Lab also contributed to data collection.

The meeting began with the sharing of interim research results, followed by a group discussion where participating organizations and researchers exchanged experiences and discussed personal case studies. After the group discussion, specific cases related to diversity issues were discussed in separate groups. It became evident that the diverse organizations could offer valuable support and insights from different perspectives. The outcomes of these discussions were particularly valuable due to the cross-sectoral nature of the group, highlighting various approaches taken by the organizations.

Future outlook and organizational engagement

The meeting concluded with a look ahead at the further progress of the research project. Mutual expectations for the continuation of the research were also discussed.

More information:

Doing Diversity is a postdoctoral project of the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens. Read more about the project here.


More information

Vital Cities and Citizens 

With the Erasmus Initiative Vital Cities and Citizens (VCC) Erasmus University Rotterdam wants to help improve the quality of life in cities. In vital cities, the population can achieve their life goals through education, useful work and participation in public life. The vital city is a platform for creativity and diversity, a safe meeting place for different social groups. The researchers involved focus on one of the four sub-themes: 

  • Inclusive Cities and Diversity 

  • Resilient Cities and People 

  • Smart Cities and Communities  

  • Sustainable and Just Cities 

VCC is a collaboration between Erasmus School of Social and Behavioural Sciences (ESSB), Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication (ESHCC) and International Institute of Social Studies (ISS). 

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