Webinar: Refugees Jobs Agenda: From Welcoming Cities to Welcoming Economies

June 28, 2017

Photo by Marcelo Asher Quarantotto

Welcoming cities are open to the challenges and opportunities of diversity, migration and inclusion. Arguably more flexible and responsive than national governments, urban leaders understand that when immigrants prosper, we all do. Today welcoming cities across Europe and North America are at the forefront of the humanitarian response to the refugee crisis. The urban agenda for refugees increasingly emphasizes jobs.

What is a welcoming economy? Can cities and employers work together to create a more receptive culture for refugees so that they can use their full talents? Cities in Germany and the United States are sharing promising practices with each other to learn what it takes to create an inclusive culture and inclusive economy. The Welcoming Communities Transatlantic Exchange – a partnership between Welcoming America, Cultural Vistas, and the Heinrich Boell Foundation – examines how different cities are advancing a local agenda of inclusion and addressing anxieties around new arrivals in their communities.

Join Dan Wallace, Welcoming America consultant (Berlin/New York) in a conversation with Dr. Toufic El Masri, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and ‘Migrant Firms’ Division (Hamburg) to discuss the internationally replicated Welcoming Cities model and promising approaches in American and German cities that promote a local economic integration framework which welcomes refugees as valued contributors to workplaces, local economies and vibrant communities.

This webinar is part of Refugees Jobs Agenda: a webinar series exploring refugees and labour market integration hosted by Hire Immigrants, Cities of Migration and Bertelsmann Stiftung

Webinar Video



Dan Wallace, Project Consultant, Welcoming America (Berlin/New York)

Dan Wallace is a project consultant at Welcoming America based in Berlin, Germany. He has six years of experience in integration issues in both government and non-government organizations in the United States, as well as in Germany through a consultancy with the Bertelsmann Foundation. Dan was the former Director of State & Local Initiatives at New American Economy, a coalition of 500 mayors and business leaders that uses economic data to advocate for immigration reform and local integration policies. Prior to that, Dan served as a Policy Advisor on Immigrant Affairs in the Office of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Dan has a Master of Education in Community Development and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee.

Dr. Toufic El Masri, Deputy Director, Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and ‘Migrant Firms’ Division (Hamburg)

 Dr. Toufic El Masri is deputy director at the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce and head of the division ‘Migrant Firms’. As the number of migrant firms is very large in Hamburg, the Hamburg Chamber of Commerce decided to establish this division in August 2015 in order to meet their specific needs. Toufic and his staff all have a migrant background and thus they benefit from their cultural and linguistic competences in their daily work. Toufic was born in Lebanon and his family moved to Germany when he was 7 years old. He speaks German and Arabic on a native-speaker level and he also learned English, French and Spanish. After school, he studied Business Administration with focus on Business Informatics at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg. After that, he received a doctorate at the Leuphana University of Lueneburg on ‘Competition in Network Industries’. He has professional experience in research (nanotechnology, network economics and health economics) and consulting (transaction advisory) and several years of teaching experience (business process modelling, statistics and economics). As his work has been empirically oriented, he is also very much interested in data analysis and also has practical experience in this area. Since August 2015, Toufic participated in several discussion rounds as a top-class speaker on the topics migration and integration.

Refugees Jobs Agenda Webinar Series

This webinar is part of Refugees Jobs Agenda: a webinar series exploring refugees and labour market integration hosted by Hire Immigrants, Cities of Migration and Bertelsmann Stiftung

• Refugees Jobs Agenda: Kick-starting Employer Action
• Refugees Jobs Agenda: Rethinking Employer Role and Leadership
• Refugees Jobs Agenda:  From Welcoming Cities to Welcoming Economies
• Refugees Jobs Agenda: Entrepreneurship Offers Employment Pathways

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