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Cities of Migration

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

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In this issue:
Ready, Set, Go! The Opportunity Agenda Takes Off!
Politics of Optimism: Highlights from the Cities of Migration Conference
Marketplace of Good Ideas
Successful Immigrant Employment Idea Recognized with Award in New Zealand
Looking Ahead

City Leaders Panel Ready, Set, Go! The Opportunity Agenda Takes Off!

From city leadership to municipal levers of power, media managment to mainstreaming new audiences, from the marketplace to the corporate boardroom, ideas were flying off the shelves at the 2010 Cities of Migration Conference in The Hague last month. 175 migration experts, practitioners and city leaders from over 75 cities and 22 countries took the conference's opportunity agenda to heart and made it their own. Over two short days, participants from cities as far flung as New York and Berlin, Birmingham, Singapore, Auckland and Montreal shared their stories of local integration success. It gave us the opportunity to imagine how these ideas might travel home with us and make a contribution to the prosperity and well-being of our own cities of migration.

Conference feedback has been positive, with a strong endorsement of the "politics of optimism." Participants want to continue to hear positive messages about the value of diversity and practical lessons based on the success of local integration initiatives by police, health professionals, municipal leaders, educators, activists and media -and many other city actors.

We would like to thank all of our speakers, participants and our partners for helping to make the event such a success.

For those that couldn’t join us, we invite you to look at what our participants and local media reported out from cities like London, Paris, Toronto and Barcelona.

Some of our video clips, and pictures are already available – with more session summaries and interviews to come in our December newsletter.

If you have ideas or feedback to share with us, please let us know – your input is invaluable to our work.

All good news!

  Kim Turner
Project Leader, Cities of Migration 


Politics of Optimism: Highlights from the Cities of Migration Conference

Highlights from the conference include Alan Broadbent, the Chairman of Maytree, speaking on the politics of optimism, and Ratna Omidvar, president of Maytree, on the power of good ideas. Our closing keynote, Wim Kok, the former Prime Minister of The Netherlands and President of the Club de Madrid talked about the importance of a shared society.


From Alan Broadbent, Chairman and Founder, Maytree:

Alan Broadbent opened the Cities of Migration Conference by thanking Deputy Mayor Marnix Norder and our host city of The Hague, “a legendary city that has a special meaning to all of us who are interested in justice and progress.”

Broadbent described Canada, like most countries, "as a nation increasingly reliant on the energy of immigrants and actively seeking to attract the best and the brightest from around the world."

Doing this well and for the right reasons is important:

"Integrating immigrants quickly and effectively is a vital obligation to nation building we all share. It does nobody any good to integrate newcomers slowly and grudgingly and that I think we must reject outright. Cities of Migration is a significant initiative in this process; it aims to catch people doing something right….it’s a salutary change [to focus on] people doing something right and getting them to share it with each other.”

  • To listen to Alan Broadbent’s remarks, click here

Ratna Omidvar, President, Maytree, on the story of Cities of Migration: “To change the discourse, we not only have to aspire to a better idea, we have to show success on the ground. Cities of Migration looked... and we found gold."
  • To watch a videoclip of Ratna Omidvar’s remarks, click here.
  A call to leadership from Wim Kok:

The closing speech was delivered by Wim Kok, the former Prime Minister of The Netherlands and current president of Club de Madrid. For Kok, “Real cohesion is more than the social. People need to be included in society in every way.” 

Club de Madrid is an organization whose members include 75 current and former heads of state from 54 countries who are committed to promoting democratic leadership for social cohesion and shared societies.

For more on Wim Kok’s remarks:


Vince Donovan Marketplace of Good Ideas

As the core of the Cities of Migration project, good ideas were also the focus of our conference.

The Marketplace of Good Ideas featured stories from 12 different cities and brought the city-to-city learning exchange alive to a rapt audience.

Participants were captivated by police-led projects from Cardiff and Madrid on language training and recruitment practices that emphasized trust and inclusion over security issues; youth leadership initiatives from Amadora and Oldham; smart city strategies from Auckland and Toronto; health promotion strategies from Hannover and London; and the emotional intelligence and success of innovative planning initiatives in Turin and Duisburg. As with our Integration Learning Exchange, marketplace participants interacted directly with the good ideas, looking for solutions, finding answers and making good connections.

Ideas on the move
We know that our good ideas are traveling and being adapted and we want to share these stories with you. Read about transportation flows between Copenhagen and Dublin, or how innovative labour practices from Bologna  struck a note in Mauritius.

Have a look at innovative and emerging new practices in Good Ideas We Are Watching where we have started to profile good ideas as they develop, evolve and travel towards success.

Share a good idea you are watching!


Successful Immigrant Employment Idea Recognized with Award in New Zealand

In the Marketplace of Good Ideas, one of those good ideas was OMEGA (Opportunities for Migrant Employment in Greater Auckland). OMEGA brings together recently-arrived skilled migrants and pairs them with local mentors who provide one-on-one support, advice and local knowledge to help them find jobs.

In fact, marketplace participants learned how a city exchange with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council (TRIEC) was the inspiration behind the program.

The results have been impressive: 188 mentoring programmes have been completed and about 80 per cent of mentees who complete the program find appropriate work. They have ended up in an array of roles, including project manager, IT manager, HR manager, lecturer, engineer, health and safety officer and social worker.

The idea has clearly caught on. OMEGA has just been recognized with the EEO Trust 2010 Tomorrow’s Workforce award. This award recognizes innovative responses to New Zealand's workforce challenges.

Watch Vijaya Vaidyanath, CEO, Waitakere City Council (NZ) and OMEGA board member, as she speaks on the City Leaders Panel at the 2010 International Cities of Migration Conference.

Article reprinted from the Maytree Newsletter


Greg Clark Looking Ahead

Our December newsletter will  include lessons learned from conference sessions with media leaders, city leaders, Townhall experts and commentators, as well as more stories, videos, audioclips, and links to media coverage. So, stay tuned!

You can also look forward to new Good Ideas in Integration, stories of city success from across the urban landscape and a new season of webinars in our Learning Exchange.

Through Cities of Migration, global cities share stories of the success and opportunity that immigration brings locally and nationally. So, if you have feedback on our stories, conference, or updates on your own work, please send us a quick email.

- The Cities of Migration Team


Follow CitiesMigration on Twitter

Follow Cities of Migration on Twitter


Featured Good Idea

Madrid Police

Madrid, Spain
On the Front Lines of Integration

In Madrid, police officers create confidence in community policing through consultation and local recruitment. Read more.


Good Ideas Video Gallery


In a curated video gallery, Cities of Migration showcases good ideas in integration from cities all around the world.

Watch the videos on our Youtube channel.


Contact Cities of Migration

Cities of Migration Secretariat (Toronto)
Kim Turner, Project Leader
Reva Seth, Communication Coordinator
Evelyn Siu,  Project Coordinator
For all regions, including UK, EU and NZ, contact:


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