Wednesday, May 11, 2016 - 16:00

Enriching Encounters: What's Trust Got to Do with Migration?

In 2016 the Caux-Initiatives of Change Foundation marks 70 years of trustbulding. This year, trustbuildling is more relevant than ever: with migration on the rise, individuals from different walks of life are led to encounter one another.
These encounters can often lead to confrontation, mistrust or simply indifference. They can also lead to enriching encounters. How to build trust to transform those unlikely encounters into enriching ones is what this Human Library is all about, linking the personal experience to a global phenomenon.
Come discover our human books with an introduction by Cornelio Sommaruga.







Human Books include:


Dr. Imad Karam is the Executive Director of Initiatives of Change Internaitonal, an Association of 35 Member national socieities and programmes with Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations, and Participatory Status at the COuncile of Europe in Strasbourg. Previously and over the last 14 years, Dr. Karam was engaged in different capacities int he work of Initiatives of Change. Dr. Karam  grew up in Gaza city, Palestine and moved to the UK in 2002 where he completed a PhD degree on the impact of the media on Arab youth identity. He has since published several academic papers in this subject. Dr. Karam is also an accomplished film maker. His latest work is the award winning documentary Beyond Forgiving, which depicts the journey of two South Africans to bring healing and reconciliation to their country post-Apartheid. He is currently making a film about the peacemaking legacy of Dr Frank D Buchman, the founder of Initiatives of Change/MRA (Photo courtesy of Pete Sherrard for Changemakers Magazine). 


Jens J. Wilhelmsen was a member of an underground resistence group during the German occupation of Norway in World War II. After the war, he had a unique experience of living a decade in Germany (1948-53) and Japan (1953-58). In his book "Eyewitness to the impossible," due to appear this spring, he describes these two nations' struggle to come to terms with their immediate history and the work to build trust between them and their neighbours. With reviving nationalism threatening hard won unity in both Europe and South East Asia, the author's experience should be highly relevant.  


Leonard Doyle is the Director of Media and Communications for the International Organization for Migration, based in Geneva, Switzerland. He has previously worked with IOM in Haiti and the Philippines in humanitarian emergencies as a spokesperson and in community engagement.. Prior to that he was Washington Editor and Foreign Editor of The Independent (UK). In his career he also worked on The Observer and The Guardian. He has been a foreign correspondent in New York, Washington DC and Brussels and had reported from Asia, Africa, Europe and the Americas. He was educated at University College Dublin and the College of Europe Bruges.



As Head of Communications and Chief Spokesperson for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), Melissa Fleming leads communications efforts around the globe and serves as Chief Spokesperson.Operating in 120 countries, UNHCR provides shelter and help for over 30 million people who have fled wars and persecution. Ms. Fleming serves as Spokesperson to the High Commissioner for Refugees, António Guterres. She introduced strategic communication planning designed to increase empathy and support for refugees and the forcibly displaced.  She leads global media outreach and campaigns with a new emphasis on multi-media production and social media. Melissa joined UNHCR from the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA), where she served for eight years as Spokesperson/Head of Public Information during the period the organisation made headlines for its inspection work in Iraq, Iran and North Korea and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. Prior to IAEA, she headed the Press and Information team at the Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe. She started her career as a journalist and worked at Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. She received a B.A. in German Studies from Oberlin College and a M.S. in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University.


When and Where?

  • 11 May, 2016 from 16:00-17:30

  • UN Library in Geneva, Switzerland

  • Find out more at

  • Do you need a UN badge? Register at, bring a valid ID and a copy of this invitation on the day of the event to the Pregny Gate, located at 8 -14 Avenue de la Paix, 1211 Geneva 10.

All content on this web site, unless otherwise indicated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 License 2019