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Intercultural perspectives for sustainability communication: Dialogue in Madrid

November 16, 2023

Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian explores cultural understanding and a human-centered approach in sustainability communication with students and researchers in Madrid.

Leyla Tavernaro-Haidarian is International Course Manager at FHWien der WKW and is also responsible for our English Bachelor’s program in Corporate Communication. The focus of her teaching lies in sustainability communication. In this capacity, she was invited to conduct several lectures on sustainability and communication from November 10 to 14, as part of the UNESCO Chair for Communication at Universidad Rey Juan Carlos (URJC) in Madrid. Faculty members and researchers from the Chair, along with master’s students, came together to delve deeper into the subject.

Cultural Differences Influence Sustainability Communication

From discussions with faculty and students, it became evident that cultural biases can lead to suboptimal communication. To enhance sustainability communication, it is crucial to first question these unconscious assumptions within oneself. The instructor and researcher brought in her personal research experiences at the UN and shared theoretical and practical approaches from the Global South.

Humanism as a Vital Foundation for More Sustainability

The results of reflections from discussions on CSR pointed in a clear direction: that we are moving towards a direction where a human-centered and values-driven understanding of sustainability takes center stage. Additionally, collaboration and a learning mindset are necessary because sustainability is a constant and dynamic process:

A cultural and intellectual transformation is essential to address the central environmental issues stemming from selfishness, greed, and apathy.