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The UNESCO Chair in Linguistic and Cultural Diversity promotes an integrated system of research,
training and information and documentation activities in the field of cultural and linguistic diversity.
Linguistic and cultural diversity is a key feature of the evolution of humanity around the world. Nowadays this diversity poses completely new problems related to evolutionary uniqueness, the circumstances it has brought about and future prospects, plus how to manage the new situation.
The continuity of this diversity is not guaranteed all over the world. Its decrease—whether slow or sudden—is more significant than ever before, driven by global or expansionist regional languages, as well as an increasing cultural uniformization. Languages also compete in the global market.
At regional and local levels, migratory movements of the world’s population due to socioeconomic, professional and human factors (refugees, exiles, diasporas), and also to leisure activities such as mass tourism, have resulted in linguistic and cultural diversity in places that until recently were relatively homogeneous. Nowadays a number of languages and even writing systems coexist in these places. This is known as the de-territorialization of cultures.
The loss of diversity at global level and its increase at local level tend to create both a less diverse world and more complex societies in terms of language and culture: both problems need efficient management related to sustainability policies, as well as policies of reception and integration and the utilization of human resources with specific and varied linguistic and cultural capabilities.
The management of these problems requires the contribution of linguists, Social Sciences experts, educators and public policy makers in the fields of society, languages and education, and also, as in everything else, computer science experts.
The UNESCO Chair in Linguistic and Cultural Diversity aims to contribute to study and research, documenting and preserving diversity, drawing up projects that contribute to the knowledge of diversity, promoting political awareness about its uncertainty and spreading best practices on the management of problems related to diversity.