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In our globalised times of constant changes, diversity has become a fact of life in Europe. It is sufficient to wander around a European city to see how our societies are more diverse than they have ever been. This diversity – or, in some cases, even “super-diversity” – has brought about a long list of benefits: it fostered the development of new businesses, contributed to establishing new cultural manifestations and even helped with the renewal of entire neighbourhoods in cities. The benefits of integrating diversity have proven to be considerable according to extensive research, which has shown that diverse communities, organizations and institutions may enjoy a performance advantage.

And yet, in many cases, this benefit is still misunderstood: diversity is more often seen as a problem to solve or as a danger, rather than an opportunity. As a consequence, in many areas, diversity still has an untapped potential, hidden behind a barrier of misunderstanding and mistrust. This situation is not only unfair; it is self-defeating. In a globalised economy in which success often means the ability to innovate and to let knowledge circulate, not being able to integrate diversity risks heavily damaging on the long-term the economic well-being of Europe and its ambition to remain one of the biggest and most performing economies in the world.

It is therefore in the best EU’s interest to recognize the value of diversity and learn to manage it correctly, especially in times of crises, for the benefit of all. In the framework of this global pandemic, many topics will be addressed during this series of webinars, such as access to divers finance, the benefits and resilience of divers cities and communities, the essence of migrant entrepreneurship,  the role of Corporate Social Responsibility,  the positive effects of diversity and its added value to our European culture, society and economy, while offering some perspectives on the way forward gathered in the framework of the EMEN project on supporting migrant entrepreneurship.