The Think-Tank DoIT (Participation and Inclusion Think-Tank) aims to, through dialogues and reflections, put the spotlight on challenges we meet in contemporary society and discuss different perspectives on participation, inclusion, equity and learning that goes beyond issues related to separate bounded categories like gender, ethnic background, class, functional disability, etc. This is done through a series of meetings.
DoIT was initiated in the beginning of 2016 by representatives from Örebro Regional Theater, the network-based research environment CCD (Communication, Culture and Diversity) that is situated, since the end of 2016, at the School of Education and Communication, Jönköping University and the National Theater. The DoIT meetings aim to create dialogical spaces that bring together and enable network creation, culture, research and practices from different sectors. We meet in DoIT across different societal sectors with a common aim of learning from one another and in order to contribute to one anothers work.
During its first two years of existence, the DoIT Think-Tank organized six whole-day meetings in Örebro, Jönköping and Hallunda. Since the spring of 2019, it arranges one-two seminars every semester either in Örebro or in Jönköping. DoIT is also experimenting with international seminars since the spring of 2019. For instance, a DoIT-day was organized in conjunction with CCD’s international conference MuDD 2019 (www.ju.se/ccd/mudd2019). In the spring of 2020 the DoIT-day has been conceptualized at the end of CCD’s international conference LeaDMe 2020 (www.ju.se/ccd/leadme2020) in Mumbai, India.
As the world around us changes we are, in nation-states like Sweden, trying to adjust to a society where diversity is itself becoming recognized as the new norm. Such diversity is the norm in other parts of the world. If diversity is normal, an acceptance of the composite person and societal complexity in general becomes an issue that needs to be discussed. This means that societal efforts regarding participation and inclusion in contemporary society need to recognize “everyone” as part of society, irrespective of the characteristics of people or groups. From such a point of departure efforts for women, for immigrants, for lesbians, for Sami, for deaf, or for other specific groups becomes problematic.
This also means, that there exists a need to move from the dichotomy inclusion/integration/ mainstreaming on the one hand, and segregation from the majority group, on the other hand. Both solutions envisage the majority group in terms of a fixed norm. Instead, a third perspective raises questions regarding dominant norms themselves, allowing for the majority group to also evolve and change in parallel to shifts regarding the opportunities for minority groups. Such a two-way integrational process constitutes a key dimension of the DoIT vision.
Another key societal aspect of the DoIT vision relates to the need for cross-sectorial dialogical efforts. Within the Think-Tank DoIT, we are jointly attempting to create conditions for new meeting places where social actors such as artists, representatives of businesses and the civil sector, local government representatives, institutions like schools, work agencies, health care, together with researchers focus upon questions regarding everyone´s participation and inclusion, rather than the participation or specific groups.
Historically, this ambition dates back to the inter-sectional project DoT (Delaktighet och Teater; Participation and Theatre) (2012–2015), supported by, among others, The Swedish Arts Council. DoT ran under the auspices of (i) Örebro county theatre, and (ii) the research group CCD, Communication, Culture and Diversity. The project DoT built on meetings (between people and sectors) as a fundamental strategy for change in societal arenas. The explicit aim was to contribute to a more equal and democratic society in the 21st century. Through collaboration and exchange, and through research and documentation, DoT engaged the performing arts, the infrastructure of cultural politics and researchers in order to enrich different sectors in society.
For more information, contact:
Anette Almgren White, Senior Lecturer in Swedish, HLK, JU
Elisabet Sandblom, Senior Lecturer in German, HLK, JU
Ulrika Stjerndahl, Collaboration coordinator, HLK, JU
Sangeeta Bagga-Gupta, Professor in Pedagogics, HLK, JU
Petra Weckström, CEO, Örebro Regional Theater
Content updated 2019-10-11