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CoM Newsletter

Friday, June 27, 2014

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In this issue:
Cities of Migration Conference in Berlin
Mekonnen Mesghena: An Agenda for Shared Prosperity
Mayors on What Makes Cities More Inclusive
Berlin to Brazil: Diversity Scores in Football
Outsmarting our Brains to Overcome Hidden Biases
Quick! I am Sick! Mobile Technology for Newcomers
Ratna Omidvar interview with Körber-Stiftung
White Majority Populations on the Margins
Edward L. Glaeser: Triumph of the City
Good Ideas in the News

Cities of Migration Conference in Berlin

Scenes from the conference 

Thank you! Berlin welcomed participants from over 120 cities in 35 countries to the Cities of Migration Conference last month for 3 short days brimful of ideas, debate, conversations, questions and laughter. Issues ranged from the “collective ecstasy” of sport in the fight against racism to ‘fun and functional’ city-building strategies for inclusion. We talked about harbour cities, rust-belt cities, welcoming cities, and suburban cities. Cities as places where people not only live and work but can also experience opportunities to dream, get involved and leave their mark. We have a rich trove of stories, expertise and experience to share, today, and over the next few months! I’ll let these photos speak for themselves!



Mekonnen Mesghena Mekonnen Mesghena: An Agenda for Shared Prosperity

Migrants don’t just go to Germany, Denmark or Great Britain but quite specifically to Berlin, Copenhagen and London, said Mesghena of the Heinrich Böll Foundation, our co-host at the 2014 Cities of Migration Conference in Berlin. “Cities have always been laboratories of social innovation and pioneering places of change for precisely the reasons of social and cultural diversity that makes them stand out. The success of many large cities is largely to do with the fact that the hopes and dreams of those people who have decided to settle in them can come true.”

Read the opinion


Mayors' Panel Mayors on What Makes Cities More Inclusive

As the level of government closest to the people, city administrations can directly and immediately impact the lives of immigrants. At the 2014 Cities of Migration conference in Berlin, city leaders from Hamburg, Helsinki and Detroit made the case for why migration matters now and for tomorrow’s great cities, and how mayoral voice can be a particularly powerful tool to ease the path to inclusion for newcomers.

Join the discussion


children playing football Berlin to Brazil: Diversity Scores in Football

Can football fight racism? As national teams representing the best in football lined up to vie for supremacy in Brazil, President Dilma Rousseff described the World Cup as “the cup for peace and against racism” among other things. Back in Berlin at the 2nd International Cities of Migration conference, two prolific thinkers weighed in on the motion: Be it resolved professional football is powerless to end racism.

Join the debate


Dr. Banaji Outsmarting our Brains to Overcome Hidden Biases

Diversity has emerged as a business-critical factor in the ability to innovate, attract clients and partners, and retain and cultivate the best talent amidst changing demographics, unpredictable business climate or political regimes, says Dr. Mahzarin Banaji, Harvard University professor of social ethics. She recently spoke at a RBC Inclusive Leadership event. She also delivered a keynote speech on Blindspot: Hidden Biases of Good People at the 2014 Cities of Migration Conference in Berlin.

Uncover your biases


iamsick staff Quick! I am Sick! Mobile Technology for Newcomers

With various studies conducted over the past few years indicating that language is an enormous barrier for many newcomers when accessing healthcare, iamsick.ca, a Canadian social enterprise has come up with a solution to bridge the gap through web and mobile technology. Using publicly available data, the app provides a curated listing of all emergency rooms, urgent care centres, walk-in clinics, and pharmacies. It also helps you find physicians and pharmacists who speak your mother language.

See the Good Idea to Watch


Ratna Omidvar Ratna Omidvar interview with Körber-Stiftung

The president of Maytree Foundation on how Germany can make itself more attractive to highly skilled immigrants against the background of demographic change and international competition.

Watch the interview


fenced off area White Majority Populations on the Margins

Working class communities in Europe can no longer rely upon the availability of secure jobs and are often forced into lower-paid and more precarious work to get by. Debate about marginalization in Europe tends to center on its minority populations. Research by Open Society Foundations on white working class communities has found a reality at odds with what the media tends to portray.

Look beyond the stereotypes


cover of Triumph of the City Edward L. Glaeser: Triumph of the City

Despite the bad rap cities get for being dirty, poor, unhealthy, crime ridden, expensive and environmentally unfriendly, a Harvard specialist on the economics of cities is keen to prove that they are actually the healthiest, greenest, and richest (in cultural and economic terms) places to live. According to Edward Glaeser, the city is humanity's “greatest invention and our best hope for the future.”

Read the review


Good Ideas in the News

Arrival City: The Bookclub: Kicking off on September 16, Cities of Migration and the Centre for City Ecology are bringing together people from all over the world to talk about how cities are shaped by the constantly changing patterns of migration, settlement and everyday life and how this impacts the 21st world as we know it. For ten weeks we will have lively discussions, participatory activities, and engaging material as we discover Arrival City. More

New York to Issue ID Cards for Undocumented Immigrants: New York City’s 500,000 undocumented immigrants will be able to open bank accounts, visit libraries and use medical clinics, thanks to an official municipal identification card approved by the City Council. Similar cards have been created in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New Haven, Connecticut, which began its program in 2007. More

#MigrantsContribute! Find out how migrant community groups in Britain are working together to get messages across to the population about the positive case for migration. More

Welcoming Migrants: Cities Offer a Beacon of Hope: Blog by Manjula Luthria, leader of the International Labor Mobility program at the Center for Mediterranean Integration. More
Welcoming Migrants: Planning for Inclusion: Blog by Casey Weston, member of the the International Labor Mobility program at the Center for Mediterranean Integration. More

World Mayor 2014: Voting is now taking place for the winner of the 2014 World Mayor Prize and the runner-ups. You are invited to select by email from a list of 25 finalists and describe why the mayor you voted for deserves to win. Voting closes in October 2014. More

App for Doctors: Do I Treat This Immigrant?: An ironic website that automatically detects if a doctor in the UK should treat an immigrant asking for treatment. More

Immigrant heritage month marked in U.S.: Although the United States’ has a long history as an immigrant country, this June marked the first annual Immigrant Heritage Month. Welcome.us, a “non-profit dedicated to celebrating a United States that is fueled by an immigrant tradition,” is leading the effort to corral activities under the banner. More


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Featured Video

Debate still shot

The Big Debate: Beautiful Game? Or Racist Quagmire?

Watch the video on our Youtube channel


Good Ideas Index

Search Good Ideas by themes in English, French, German, Spanish


Share Your Story!

At Cities of Migration, our Good Ideas about successful integration practice are travelling from city to city.

They also travel from reader to reader. We want to share these stories with you.

Do you have a Cities of Migration story to share? Contact us: citiesofmigration


Contact Cities of Migration

Maytree (Toronto)
Ratna Omidvar, President
Kim Turner, Project Leader
Evelyn Siu, Project Coordinator
Salma Ali, Project Assistant

For all regions, including UK, EU, US, and NZ, contact:



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