The Mondialogo School Contest aims to:
- Establish effective and sustainable intercultural dialogues amongst schools worldwide
- Promote appreciation and respect of cultural diversity among young people - develop intercultural skills through cross-curricular activities
- Achieve tangible results through long-distance teamwork on joint projects by students
- Improve proficiency in using information and communication technologies as well as different languages
- Contribute to enriching the curricula and enhancing quality education
The first round of the Contest was launched in the autumn of 2003 and some 1,500 teams of students aged between 14 and 18 years old in 126 countries registered. The vast majority were from UNESCO Associated Schools. Each team was twinned with a partner team in another continent and the students forged an intercultural dialogue by conducting a joint project together. All of the results achieved were submitted to UNESCO for review by a pre-selection UNESCO-Daimler Committee which transmitted their proposals to the Mondialogo International Jury who met in Paris to nominate 50 partnered teams (representing 25 joint projects). The eminent jury members included Paulo Coelho, Brazilian author, Vigdis Finnbogadottir, first woman elected President (Iceland) in Europe, Marcel Khalifé, Lebanese musician and composer and Countess Setsuko Klossowska de Rola, famous artist from Japan and honorary President of the Balthus Foundation. Each nominated team was invited to send one student and one teacher to attend the First Mondialogo International Symposium, held in Barcelona, Spain (September, 2004) during which the three winning projects were announced.
In view of the variety and quality of intercultural dialogue projects conducted, Daimler decided to pursue a second (2005/2006) and third round (2007/2008) of the Contest which has now involved a total of some 100,000 students in 144 countries. The intercultural dialogues forged reflect the “I”, “you” and “we” concept which reaffirms one’s own identity, enables students to learn about their peers from a different culture and to carry out a joint project together, promoting “unity in diversity”. Projects covered many topics ranging from water conservation, HIV-AIDS prevention to contributing to the UN MDGs to prevention education against natural disasters.