Organization for Intra-Cultural Development

Contact Information

  • Where – Japan
  • Website – oicd.net/oicd/
  • Contact Person – Dr. Bruce White
  • Email – bwhite@oicd.net
  • Address – Doshisha University, Karasuma Campus, Kyoto, Japan
  • Other – Twitter, Facebook

Areas of Expertise

The Organization for Intra-Cultural Development (OICD) has expertise in a range of areas, including:

Main Aims and Objectives

The Organization for Intra-Cultural Development (OICD) creates and disseminates tools and interventions that utilize the structure and workings of identities to transform conflict and build cohesion.

Recent advances in the social, behavioral, political and neurological sciences demonstrate that identities are complex systems that operate within their own internal parameters and mechanisms. Understanding and targeting processes within these culturally-determined identities (intra-culturally) unlocks the potential to target destructive identities and regenerate cohesion between individuals and communities.

The analytical tools, the systematic strategic methodologies, and the field-based interventions and working practices associated with the understanding and utilization of identities are referred to collectively as Intra-Cultural Development.

The OICD is a group of academics, practitioners and professionals committed to applying this emerging knowledge and practice to conflict transformation and cohesion building in communities and societies around the world.

Goals:

  • To engage with governmental and non-governmental agencies and industry to assist in the creation of – multicultural and social cohesion programs/policies; conflict response/prevention/resolution interventions; state rebuilding strategies/programs;
  • To create targeted projects for the empowerment of solution-orientated identities in areas of violent and symbolic conflict;
  • To evaluate existing and develop new applied approaches to reduce and prevent the formation of sectarian identities;
  • To build curricula which highlight the mechanisms of identity formation for use in schools, universities, NGO, government and industry training programs;
  • To establish and support publishing outlets for work which attempts to make academic research on all aspects of identity accessible to the public and policy sectors;
  • To conduct and compile innovative research on the formation and maintenance of social identity;
  • To create wider networks of professionals, academics and policy makers who share an interest in contributing to the above aims.

Upholding the Principles of Conflict Transformation

Concept No. 1 – Identity is at the heart of everything

Who do people think they are? What stories do individuals use to identify themselves as members of small groups, national, or international communities? These questions lie at the heart of all the social, economic and political actions and decisions that people make in their lives.

Concept No. 2 – Solutions lie within

Underneath discrimination and conflict problems lie core questions of identity–do people feel that they are the same or different from each other and how so? Solutions can be found by exploring what is going on between communities (inter-group solutions). However, a focus on how people have conceived themselves as members of their own cultural groups (intra-group solutions) can reveal new opportunities to repair and regenerate divided communities.

Concept No. 3 – People respond to new expressions of who they are

Individuals respond to newly expressed ideas of who they are and who they can potentially be. This “reframing” of the cultural histories and traditions that people use to express themselves can often cause large scale violent human conflict (e.g. Bosnia, Rwanda). This very same reframing of identities, however, can be effective in building cohesion, preventing conflict and solving problems.

Where and with whom?

OICD is based in Kyoto, Japan, but works in various locations around the world.

OICD works with a diverse range of anthropologists, psychologists, government officials, and academic scholars.

Main activities in the field of conflict transformation

The OICD can currently offer interdisciplinary workshops that help professionals from governmental and non-governmental agencies and organizations integrate Intra-Cultural Development theory and practice into their programming. Workshops can include some or all available tools and perspectives an d cane be tailored to a wide range of human development challenges.

An Intra-Cultural Development Program (ICDP) systematically progresses through all the phases of Intra-Cultural Development, supplying the client with a comprehensive Intra-Cultural Strategy and recommendations for its implementation within any given development context. OICD teams can work either independently or alongside existing development staff to build a strategy, providing optional training during the program to allow client staff to become practitioners in the process.