Digital Books

International Conference on Digital Books and Future Technologies

29 - 30 November 2014

Shenzhen, China

Following a 2013 International Conference on “Books facing the challenges of a globalized world” which resulted in  adopting the  historic “Shenzhen Declaration”,  a new initiatIVE  jointly with UNESCO led to the convening of A SECOND conference Namely “DIGITAL BOOKS AND FUTURE TECHNOLOGIES” WHICH WAS HELD ON NOVEMBER 29-30 IN SHENZHEN.The Meeting Concentrated on digital world where the format of reading and learning will drastically change leading to further divides between “AVE” and “ AVE NOT”.  This conference was the result of this collaborative efforts in which 24 International experts participated and dialogued with their 45 Chinese nationals.  This Conference was open to public and during a round table meeting, live questions from the audiences or students from various universities and colleges was replied too.

For further details see the documents listed here:

Agenda of the Conference

Annotated Agenda

Agenda 全球图书会议:数字图书与未来科技会议议程

Final Declaration

ebooks:Final Report


Visit to Nanjing

May 5–7, 2014

Nanjing, China

Following an invitation, the President visited Nanjing in order to meet with officials of the City including the Vice Mayor Xu. In the course of this meeting the President accepted to organize on the occasion of an international meeting of Mayors a multicultural concert on September 26.  She also received an honorary designation as the City’s Cultural Advisor. For this purpose, the President will invite 20 international artists from 4 continents to play with the Nanjing Traditional Orchestra and its Chamber classical group. Composer Wang Ning will collaborate with Professor Xie in writing the music and Maestro Igor Vlajnic will conduct this multicultural concert.


International Conference on Creative Design for Sustainable Development (part 1)

March 3-4, 2014



The second phase of this conference will be held in Shenzhen, China from November 7-8 2014.
Visit the Think Tank 


Creative cities: meeting urban challenges—szdaily多媒体数字报刊平台

Shenzhen is a miracle in the world’s history of industrialization, urbanization and modernization. However, the city is also confronted with some challeges facing large cities around the world like traffic jams and air pollution. Two articles published on the Opinion Internationale website offer expert views on how cities, including Shenzhen, tackle urban challenges.

“We need to fundamentally change our way of thinking,” Mehri Madarshahi, president of Global Cultural Networks and an international cultural adviser to the city of Shenzhen, said as she introduced the way we should conceive cities and, more generally, how we must imagine our future. She recently co-organized with UNESCO an international conference on the future of sustainable cities. She visited Shenzhen in March to organize a follow-up meeting, which will be held in October this year in the city.

Growing urbanization represents huge challenges

Based on the latest statistics, cities are now home to more than half of the world’s population, and by the year 2035, it is estimated that they will be host to 70 percent of the total world population. Madarshahi emphasized how huge the challenges were. Involving dimensions that are social, economic and environmental, they include challenges related to food, water, sanitation, transportation, pollution and social diversity.

“The many unknowns facing us produce a strong feeling of anxiety,” she said. But she believed that the Creative Design concept was up to the challenge. Representatives of UNESCO Creative Cities and Design were thus invited to reflect on this concept as a way to find innovative paths for cities to cope with the human influx caused by globalization.

A challenge but also an opportunity

Madarshahi was convinced that the growing population influx can have a positive effect by creating an enormous diversity of values and perceptions, which could, in turn, give rise to more creativity. Cities are, after all, a stage for cultural, social and economic activity.

She has three model cities that come in mind: Wuxi in China, Masdar City in Abu Dhabi and Songdo located in Incheon in South Korea. All labeled as smart-cities, they share common goals in their development model and are emblematic of how we must “drastically change our way of thinking and living,” and how we must “rethink our habits and our desires.”

Madarshahi reminds us that most cities in the developing world do not have the financial resources to respond to challenges.

Innovation and creativity are part of the solution for those challenges, but if they are to be successfully introduced and accepted by society, they must be based on diversified forms of partnership and, above all, in continuous dialogue between all stakeholders, including NGOs, academia and private citizens.

A think tank to tackle the problems

But, Madarshahi is definitely not among those to be discouraged by the scale of the task at hand: In cooperation with UNESCO, she has proactively initiated and established a group of volunteers acting as a think tank. The main function of this group is to receive and capitalize best practices, conduct research on innovative and practical solutions to problems of an urbanized future and run reality checks on these solutions.

With the agreement of UNESCO and Shenzhen, a knowledge-sharing mechanism will be established to facilitate exchanges including multi-media presentations, text messages and dialogues or blogs.

(This is an excerpt of an article, titled “Creative cities: ‘We need to fundamentally change our way of thinking,’” and published on the Opinion Internationale website on March 18.)


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Eco Forum Guiyang 2013

July 19-21, 2013

Guiyang, China

July 19, 2013
Speech by Mehri Madarshahi

Sustainable Development and role of Women Enterpreneurs

Sustainable development has been defined by the Brundtland Commission as “development which meets the needs of the present without jeopardizing the needs of future generations” This means economic growth that does not deplete irreplaceable resources, does not destroy ecological systems, and helps reduce some of the world’s gross social inequalities.

We are still far from achieving these goals.  Today, between a fifth and a quarter of the world’s population live in poverty, without adequate food, clothing and shelter.  90 % of these people are in developing countries .  Moreover, Population growth of nearly one billion in a decade, pollution and habitat destruction pose serious environmental problems which obligate all of us including business community-  to take swift actions in dealing with these problems.  Some examples of serious environmental problems are deforestation, destruction of coral reefs, introduction of aggressive new predators, and other human activities that are making many species disappear. If these trends continues unchecked, the future of mankind may be in a jeopardy.

Eco-efficiency emphasizing the need for more efficient use of energy and maximizing use of renewable resources  may help solve many problems created by global warming including

pollutions and toxic substances, clean water and adequate sewage disposal ,….

The world-wide adoption of eco-efficiency by Government and now by businessmen and women is  under way.  While the business community can not solve some of these fundamental problems alone, The world-wide adoption of eco-efficiency by Government and now by businessmen and women is just under way. Evidence of the evolution of eco-efficiency from theory to practice and action is growing day by day

  • More than half of the world’s largest companies now provide reports on environmental, social and ethical performance. In some OECD countries, such reporting is required. In Belgium, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and Norway, corporate sustainability reporting is a legal obligation, mostly linked to annual financial reports. Other countries require sustainability reporting from certain sectors, actively encourage information disclosure, and/or provide certification and verification services for companies of their environmental and social practices. But in most OECD countries, sustainability reporting is voluntary and reporting and compliance vary widely across sectors and companies.
  • As production and sourcing take place on an increasingly global scale, the environmental and social dimensions of products are largely invisible to consumers. There are a growing number of codes of conduct and guidelines for promoting the sustainability of company values, practices and production processes to which more and more multinationals ascribe. However, corporate responsibility for the ecological and workplace conditions of their smaller suppliers and contractors along the global supply chain is still a vague area.

Eco –efficiency workshops have been conducted

International and national organizations are promoting awareness world wide

Important managerial manuals are being published by business community.

Environmental protection issues has already affected many business and is becoming increasingly a determinant of a company’s reputation among employees, customers, and stake holders alike.  With industrial products and consumer goods flowing freely around the world, corporations are becoming increasingly aware that they have a stake in the economic health and development of all  societies they do business with

Monosanto and 3 M are tow companies that have introduced zero emissions. Xerox Corporation has set the goal of waste-free products from waste-free factories. Dow has recently announced aggressive 10 years reduction goals for environmental performance and resource conservation

All those who are engaged in environmental advocacy know how fundamental it is to organize sustained

public awareness  campaigns on preservation of water, forest and energy . Public education and popularization of these issues have become an indispensable tool to emphasize the point that economic development should not be at the  expense of clean air and water and preservation of our natural heritage.

Although consumer choices are influenced by income levels, social conditions and biases, gender is also a major factor. In their consumption choices, women throughout their lives affirm their reproductive role and concern about the longer-term well-being of families and children How women entrepreneurs make a difference .

Women are increasingly visible in export-oriented sectors in middle income developing countries, where they comprise up to 90% of workers. Females now tend to dominate in low-skill, labour-intensive jobs in textiles, clothing, pharmaceuticals, household goods and toy production in non-OECD countries. Much of this employment is located in export processing zones, which account for between 33% and 88% of production and exports depending on the sector. In 2005, it was estimated that there were 50 million jobs in export processing zones worldwide and that 80% of these were held by women

  • It is clear that women’s participation in inclusive, sustainable and green growth can propel the growth of a green economy. Women are consumers, they are also workers and producers, and in this context they play a crucial role in benefiting the growth of a green economy and in reaping the benefits from it.
  • The Harvard Business review estimated that in 2009 women controlled roughly US$20 trillion dollars of global consumer spending, with a predicted rise to US$28 trillion by 2014. Studies also showed that economically empowered women are more likely to purchase goods for their households — specifically for their children, including food, healthcare, education, clothing and personal-care products; and simultaneously they are more likely to buy recyclable, eco-labeled and energy efficient products.
  • So women’s economic empowerment affects patterns of household spending and is likely to increase demand for sustainable services and products. This trend could lead to significant impact on green growth.
  • Studies also show that, if women’s paid employment rates were raised to the same level as men in the US, Euro-zone and Japan, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) would increase by 9 to 16 percent.  Thus, economically empowered women are poised to propel a green economy.
  • But women are also workers and producers and the potential of their participation in a “green labour force” should not be underestimated. Currently at least 80 percent of global green jobs are expected to be in the secondary sectors, such as construction, manufacturing and energy production — industries where women are currently under-represented.  For example, women account for 9 percent of the workforce in construction, 12 percent in engineering, 15 percent in financial and business services, and 24 percent in manufacturing — all sectors critical to building a green economy.
  • To fill this shortage, training is needed. While this entails a cost; the benefits are many. On the production end, women trained in research and development for environmentally friendly products can contribute to designs that have both women and men in mind, enhancing the marketability and use of such products. Ultimately this influences sustainable consumption patterns. A 2008 report covering 15 countries by Goldman Sachs stated that “greater investments in female education could yield a ‘growth premium’ that raises trend GDP by 0.2 percent per year.”
  • International trade and investment have led to the globalisation of production where goods are made up of many component parts produced, assembled and shipped in different parts of the world. The sustainability of globalised production has become of increasing concern in terms of the environmental and social practices of multinational enterprises and their supply chains (OECD, 2008c). Of particular interest are the ecological impacts of production processes in manufacturing, agriculture, mining, forestry and other sectors through contributions to climate change, deforestation, overfishing and loss of biodiversity. The social practices of firms, including the health and safety of employees, labour representation, sustainable livelihoods, community contributions, and increasingly gender impacts are also under the spotlight.
  • Entrepreneurs, or individuals starting up new firms, are crucial to productivity and growth in all countries. At present, new enterprise creation is fueled by the development of technology-based and service sectors. In the OECD area, levels of entrepreneurship are highest in countries showing the fastest growth. Women often become entrepreneurs out of a desire to exploit innovative ideas or market niches. The number of women entrepreneurs, as seen in female to male start-up ratios, is also growing fastest in these countries, which include the United States and Canada. the gender gaps are particularly large in Turkey, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden and Japan. Levels of female entrepreneurship are highest in Canada, Switzerland, the United States and Austria.
  • In terms of resource impacts, women tend to leave a smaller ecological footprint than men due to their more sustainable consumption patterns. Sustainable consumption is using resources in a way that minimises harm to the environment while supporting the well-being of people. Impressing a more feminine footprint would result in a smaller impact on the environment as well as better access to goods and services that take into account the needs of both women and men. While it is estimated that women make over 80% of consumer purchasing decisions, men spend over 80% of household income, although this is changing as women gain more economic and marketplace power (Yaccato, 2007).

Surveys show that women tend to be more sustainable consumers. Women are more likely to recycle, buy organic food and eco-labelled products and place a higher value on energy-efficient transport (OECD, 2008a). They make more ethical consumer choices, paying closer attention to issues including child labour and sustainable livelihoods and are more apt to buy socially labelled goods such as Fairtrade. For example, in Sweden, statistics indicate that the group that is most concerned about eco-labelling and green purchasing includes some of the poorest members of society: single mothers. Women also use public transportation, even in households with cars, more often than men and travel short distances closer to home, while men more often travel in their own car and for greater distances

More and more companies are realizing that the best performance comes from staff or associates who share and commit to common values.  3 M, for example, bases its success on consistent application of four key values;

Satisfying customers with innovative products, superior quality and value providing investors with an attractive return

Respecting the social and physical environment

Being a company employees are proud to be part of.

Development must take due consideration  of the constraint of our rich but fragile environmental base.  Only through econ-efficiency and optimitization of human , capital and environment resources will we be able to offer all our people and future generation the hope of a better quality of life.

The business community must strive to be a leading model to bringing sustainable life style to all citizens and in all its facets of life. It should commit itself to brining electrical power to as many people as possible, to stimulate development and education and to raise the potential quality of life.  We have already made good progress towards ensuring that schools, clinics, and other  vital services are connected to reliable energy sources.  We have to set target for rapid electifications of all home and ensure that electricity is generated from renewable sources of energy and become affordable.

Eco-efficiency is as valid for small businesses and developing countries as is for lagrge multinational corporations and developed world:

We must:

  • reduce the material intensity of goods and services
  • reduce the energy intensity of goods and services
  • reduce toxic dispersion
  • enhance material recyclability
  • maximize sustainable use of renewable resources
  • extend product duability
  • increase the service intensity of products

Agenda 21 the blue print for sustainable development states:

Achieving the goals of environmental quality and sustainable development will require efficiencies in production and changes in consumption patterns in order to emphasize optimization of resource use and minimization of wastes’

This means shifting to integrate environmental issues through out product chains: life cycle management and industrial ecology and the development of sustainable communities, cities and regions. Business can take into consideration:

The entire life cycle of goods and services-design and engineering, purchasing and materials management, production, marketing, distribution, use and waste management;

Applying the principles of eco-efficiency to create increased value for customers through the sustainable use of resources

In its roll as consumer, procuring and requesting products and services that have less environmental impact;

Needless to say that there is a continuing need for environmental policies and regulations to establish minimum standards and to set broad performance –based targets.  These policies should be more broad based for the society, encourage solutions to the problem, maximize freedom of choice for business and consumers and maximize economic benefit for companies meeting the basic requirements

The use of information technology to manage the logistics and manufacturing infrastructure is widespread. Advanced technologies is critical for ensuring the quality of product or service delivered, it reduces the overall costs.

IT solutions provide real-time information on inventories in the system, receivab les and the changing patterns of consumption and a real time alerts to managers.

In the US each person generate 4.62 pounds of waste per day. If everyone in China adopted Western standards of waste per capita, there would be more than 5.5 billion pounds of waste per day.

Application for 2015 UNESCO Book Capital


Download Application (PDF)

The City of Shenzhen has filed its Application for 2015 UNESCO Book Capital nomination. As an open gate to China, Shenzhen is a deserving candidate for this title since not only the City has pioneered the adoption of various legislations on copyrights and intellectual property rights but also has provided -among all other Chinese Cities- the largest internet access to its population. Freedom of expressions is fully respected through use of this medium. Shenzhen has the largest publishing and library systems in China and has become a City with 24/24 open library for all its citizens. Owing to an unfortunate emotional vote that was cast by a member of jury, Shenzhen lost the nomination for 2015.



Fortune Global Forum (Chengdu)

June 6-8, 2013

Chengdu, China

Photo:  Mehri and Senator C. Dodd

This major event will bring together the CEOs of the world’s most important companies, leaders from China’s new government, and innovative thinkers from around the world.

China will be at the center of the discussions, but our program will be global in scope. The theme is “China’s New Future,” with a focus on emerging opportunities in the domestic economy, the development of Western regions, and China’s changing role in the world. In addition to the business program, the Fortune Global Forum offers a rich personal experience and opportunities for high-level relationship building, from the gala opening dinner to small group roundtables to an intimate dining experience on the second night. Your companion is also invited to join you for the dinners and to participate in an extraordinary concurrent program. Chengdu has become a magnet for multinational companies, a center for higher education, and a leader in a diverse range of industries—an ideal location for the Forum.

Invitation (DOCX)

Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_41Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_33Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_32Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_27Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_26Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_23Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_21Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_20Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_19Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_18Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_12Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_06Water Concert 2013-Tan Dunwater concert- UNESCOWater concert-UNESCO-Tan Dunwater concert-UNESCOIMG_0128Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_65Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_52Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_48Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_38Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_33Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_18Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_65program_cover

Music for Water (Paris)

March 22, 2013


UNESCO Auditorium

On the occasion of the “World Water Day” and in celebration of Maestro Tan Dun’s honorary title  of “UNESCO Good will Ambassador “

Presented by Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association, the Netherlands Symphony Orchestra, and Parneous

Third in a series of  “Music for Water”  will be performed by Maestro Tan Dun at UNESCO, Paris on 22 March 2013 or the World Water Day.  UNESCO has been nominated to coordinate water related activities of the UN System in 2013.  Maestro Tan Dun will be nominated as the UNESCO Good Will Ambassador on this day and Melody for Dialogue Among Civilizations Association will organize a magnificent grand concert in the UNESCO auditorium in this respect. The Netherlands Symphony Orchestra will accompany Maestro Tan Dun in this program.

The launching of our Photo Contest Campaign for Water Awareness and Advocacy is postponed to a later date this year. Instead, in collaboration with Ruby Foundation, we will unveil an exhibit of Porcelain: Water and Music at UNESCO.

A major exhibit of Porcelain on the theme of Water Music will be held in the Exhibit Hall of UNESCO.

Program (PDF)
Press Release (DOC/French)
Tan Dun: Les larmes de l’océan (PDF)


Concert & Nomination UNESCO Good Will Ambassador TAN DUN 22 03 2013_52

Designation ceremony of Maestro Tan Dun as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador

March 22, 2013

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris

UNESCO Director General Irina Bokova will designate Maestro Tan Dun as a UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador during the ceremony to be held at UNESCO HQ on Friday, 22 March 2013. This ceremony will be preceded by Tan Dun’s performance “Music for Water”.


The conceptual and multifaceted composer/conductor Tan Dun has made an indelible mark on the world’s music scene with a creative repertoire that spans the boundaries of classical music, multimedia performance, and Eastern and Western traditions. A winner of today’s most prestigious honors including the Grammy Award, Oscar/Academy Award, Grawemeyer Award for classical composition and Musical America’s Composer of The Year, Tan Dun’s music has been played throughout the world by leading orchestras, opera houses, international festivals, and on the radio and television. As a composer/conductor, Tan Dun has led the world’s most renowned orchestras, including the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, London Symphony Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, Berliner Philharmoniker, Philadelphia Orchestra, Orchestre National de France, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Filharmonica della Scala, Münchner Philharmoniker and the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, among others. Most recently, Tan Dun served as “Cultural Ambassador to the World” for World EXPO 2010 Shanghai.

Tan Dun’s individual voice has been heard by wide audiences. His first Internet Symphony, which was commissioned by Google/YouTube, has reached over 15 million people online. His Organic Music Trilogy of Water, Paper and Ceramic Concerti has frequented major concert halls and festivals. Paper Concerto was premiered with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the opening of the Walt Disney Hall. His multimedia work, The Map, premiered by Yo Yo Ma and the Boston Symphony Orchestra, has toured more than 30 countries worldwide. Its manuscript has been included in the Carnegie Hall Composers Gallery. His Orchestral Theatre: The Gate was premiered by Japan’s NHK Symphony Orchestra and crosses the cultural boundaries of Peking Opera, Western Opera and puppet theatre traditions. Other important recent premieres include Four Secret Roads of Marco Polo for the Berlin Philharmonic and Piano Concerto “The Fire” for Lang Lang and the New York Philharmonic. Tan Dun was commissioned by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to write the Logo Music and Award Ceremony Music for the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games. In October 2012, he conducted the “Music for Water” concert at the Hangzhou Opera House, produced by Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association, at which he also premiered a new piece “Water Rock ‘n Roll”. In November 2012, he performed together with UNESCO Artist for Peace, Zhang Jun, a modern version of the Kungqu Opera ‘The Peony Pavilion” at the Astor Court of the New York Metropolitan Museum. Current projects include a new percussion concerto for soloist Martin Grubinger and a harp concerto inspired by the secret Nushu calligraphy of Tan Dun’s home province of Hunan, China.

For Tan Dun the marriage of composition and inspiration has always culminated in his operatic creations, Marco Polo was commissioned by the Edinburgh Festival and has had four different productions including, most prominently, with De Nederlandse Opera directed by Pierre Audi; The First Emperor with Placido Domingo in the title role, commissioned by the Metropolitan Opera of New York; Tea: A Mirror of Soul, premiered at Japan’s Suntory Hall, has since had new productions with Opera de Lyon, a co-production by Santa Fe Opera and The Opera Company of Philadelphia; and Peony Pavilion, directed by Peter Sellars which has had over 50 performances at major festivals in Vienna, Paris, London and Rome.

Tan Dun records for, Sony Classical, Deutsche Grammophon, Naxos, EMI and Opus Arte. His recordings have garnered many accolades, including a Grammy Award (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon) and nomination (The First Emperor; Marco Polo), Japan’s Recording Academy Awards for Best Contemporary Music CD (Water Passion after St. Matthew) and the BBC’s Best Orchestral Album (Death and Fire). Tan Dun’s music is published exclusively by G. Schirmer. Inc.

Organized by Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association/ Programme of Honorary and Goodwill Ambassadors
Goodwill Ambassadors- Website

Le compositeur chinois Tan Dun nommé Ambassadeur de bonne volonté de l’Unesco 
25-03-2013 05:50
  (Beijing Information)

Chinese composer is named Unesco ambassador 
23-03-2013 23:37
 (AJ Blog Central – Arts Journal)

Musician Tan Dun named as UN Goodwill Ambassador 
23-03-2013 19:36

UNESCO names Chinese composer as Goodwill Ambassador 
23-03-2013 07:46

UNESCO names Chinese composer Tan Dun as Goodwill Ambassador 
23-03-2013 03:31

Le compositeur chinois Tan Dun nommé Ambassadeur de bonne volonté de l’Unesco 
23-03-2013 02:36
 ( (FR))

UNESCO names Chinese composer Tan Dun as Goodwill Ambassador
23-03-2013 02:12
  (Brisbane News.Net)

UNESCO names Chinese composer Tan Dun as Goodwill Ambassador 
23-03-2013 02:22
  (The Fiji

Distinguished composer Tan Dun named as Goodwill Ambassador of UNESCO 
22-03-2013 23:15
 (Shanghai Daily)

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Cultural Harmony and Dialogue (Shenzhen, China)

Friday, December 7, 2012

Shenzhen, China

Grand Concert Hall, Shenzhen

Upon invitation of the Shenzhen Municipality and the Shenzhen Orchestra, Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association is organizing a multi-cultural dance, song and music in the Grand Concert Hall of Shenzhen to inaugurate the City’s Music month. The theme of this concert is on Cultural Harmony and Dialogue. Shenzhen is the City where over 50 ethnic groups live in peace and harmony with each other and contribute to the rich culture of Guangdong Province.

Maestro Bartholomeus-Henri Van de Velde from Belgium will conduct this rich -multicultural program. Nguyen Le and Anthony De Ritis are the two composers for adopting the music of Mosorgsky-Ravel (Pictures of Exhibition). Niko Andrea Guarin will be the Solo Guitar in the Rodrigo’s composition where Angelika de la Riva Mezzo – Soprano will improvise. Our second Mezzo Soprano from Croatia will sing an aria from Carmen “Bizet”. Our virtousi violin player Wolfgang David will play with the Orchestra Capriccioso by Saint Seans and the School of Arts and Dance of Shenzhen will provide dancers for Borodin ‘s “Prince Igor” who will be accompanied by a Rym Charabeh lead dancer and a couple of Cong Fu performers from Shaolin Temple “China”. Additional musics will be provided by a Jazz trio led by Nguyen Le. The program is rich and beautiful. In addition, we will have the honor of presenting 15 traditional instrumentations by virtuosos from 14 countries.

Program (PDF)
Letter from Mr. Wang Jingsheng
Article “UNESCO in the NEWS”
Press Review (DOC/Chinese)
Mehri’s Speech (DOC)

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2012 Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum: The Art of Peace-building and Reconciliation

October 22-24, 2012


Monday, October 22, 2012 – Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Tokyo, Japan

In recognition of the indisputably growing impact of the Asian economic, cultural, and political dimensions in global affairs, the Aspen Institute and International Christian University (ICU) are pleased to co-host the 2012 Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum. The annual Aspen Cultural Diplomacy Forum is a high-level policy dialogue and public convening designed to reflect on the power of cultural assets in engaging difference, promoting identities and timeless values, fostering mutual understanding, and strengthening international relations.

Mehri Madarshahi and President Obasanjo jointly received the 2012 Aspen Awards for Cultural Diplomacy
View Agenda (PDF)


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Interview with Mehri Madarshahi


An interview conducted by SVGN group on the importance of popular participation in water management awareness through music.

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Music for Water, Tan Dun but not only… (Huangzhou)

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Hangzhou, China

Hangzhou Grand Theatre

Hangzhou Philharmonic Orchestra
Conductors: Tan Dun and Igor Vlajnic
Soloists: Wolfgang David (Violin), Guo Gan (Erhu), Cherry Yu (Pipa), Arif Azerturk (Saz), Dragan Dautovski (folk instruments), Fawzi Alangowi (Oud), Shyamal Maitra, Kengo SaitoWang Beibei, Xin Yutang, Rong Chenehu
Choreographer:  David Rhodes
Conductors:  Maestro Tan Dun
Maestro Igor Vlajnic

Melody for Dialogue Association was invited by the Grand Theatre of Hangzhou to organize the opening ceremony of the Hangzhou Music Festival on September 15, 2012.  The Festival will last for 30 days and a great number of companies and orchestras are invited to participate in its celebrations.

Melody for Dialogue will continue its activities on “sustainable water management”.  This concert is planned for the advocacy and awareness part of the program.

Download PDF

Download PDF

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Eco Forum Guiyang 2012

July 26-28, 2012

Guiyang, China

Third regional meeting on Sustainable Water management in Guiyang, China which was hosted by the ECO FORUM 2012.

Speech (DOC)

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Shenzhen Ceremony 2012

Friday, May 18, 2012

Ceremony held on 18 May, 2012 in Shenzhen, China in which the President of Melody for Dialogue signed a contract with the Shenzhen Orchestra and the City of Shenzhen to hold a multicultural concert on 7 December 2012 in the Grand Concert Hall of Shenzhen. At the same time, the Vice Mayor of the City appointed Ms Mehri Madarshahi as the International Cultural Advisor to Shenzhen, Creative City.



Sumi Jo in “Nixon in China”

Thursday, April 12, 2012


Théâtre du Châtelet

Meeting with diva Sumi Jo after her performance in “Nixon in China”.


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Water: The Global Challenge of Our Future (Forum)

March 23, 2012

New York, United States


Water: The Global Challenge of Our Future – March 23, 2012

Can a world where exponential population growth and an insatiable demand for water be sustainable? The water crisis consumes more lives yearly than all the wars and AIDS related deaths combined, yet we hear precious little about it. With water scarcity starting to affect the developed world as well as its disproportionate impact on developing countries, how do we, as a global community, address this challenge for our collective future?

The Melody for Dialogue Among Civilizations Association, in conjunction with NYU’s Center for Global Affairs, will spend a day examining the implications of this underreported crisis as part of its global series of conferences. Join keynote speaker Alexandra Cousteau for a series of panels and debates featuring academics, members of the private sector, government, the UN system and civil society to not only discuss the crisis, but also explore what can be done about it.

Click here to read our agenda for the day

Click here to download the annotated agenda

Click here for our PRESS RELEASE


Water: Handel, but not only… (Concert)

November 2011- April 2015

New York, NY

Merkin Hall

On the occasion of the World Water Day (22 and 23 March 2012) Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association in collaboration with its partners: Northeastern University, New York University (CGA), UN HABITAT, UNESCO and others organized a multicultural concert on Water and a day long International Forum (Water as the Crisis of our Future) with participation of 23 experts and two key note speakers, Alexandra Cousteau and Amina Az-Zubar in New York City. The first of this series took place in Lagos, Nigeria (31 Nov-1 Dec 2011).

North American Regional Event  (view PRESS RELEASE):

Building on its brand of unprecedented multicultural concerts, on March 22, 2012, Melody for Dialogue Among Civilizations will put on a one-time event at Kaufman Center, Merkin Hall to raise awareness about the global water crisis. Joining the Prague Philharmonic Orchestra and the New York Virtuosi String Quartet on stage, will be renowned musicians from all over the world including Guo Gan (China) on Erhu, Wolfgang David (Austria) on violin, and Liu Fang (China/Canada) on the Pipa. They will play selections from Handel’s Water Music, Vivaldi’s La Tempesta Di Mare, and Tan Dun’s Ghost Opera. A new piece entitled Shui. Life, specifically composed for the concert by Anthony Paul De Ritis, will also be unveiled. Maestro Emmanuel Siffert (Switzerland) will be the evening’s conductor. By using the universal language of music to communicate the importance of this theme, the concert hopes to raise awareness about the central importance of water in our lives.

We are thrilled to be welcoming Alexandra Cousteau as one of our esteemed guests.

You can also call the Merkin Concert Hall Box Office: 212-501-3330
If you have any questions, please contact
To learn more about the composers, musicians, or soloists, please see below:

Tan Dun
Antonio Vivaldi
Georg Friedrich Handel
Guo Gan
Liu Fang
Wolfgang David
Emmanuel Siffert
Anthony Paul De Ritis

Concert Program


GEMS meeting in Dubai

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Annual meeting of GEMS schools in Dubai with President Clinton and former Prime Minister Bertie Ahern of Ireland.


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Theme: Climate Change and Sustainable Water Management in Africa

November 30 and December 1, 2011

Lagos, Nigeria

In partnership with the African Leadership Forum (ALF)- Nigeria, Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association held a meeting for two days on 30 November and 1 December 2011 at Ota.  Present at this meeting were a number of experts from African countries and President Olusegun Obasanjo delivered the keynote speech.

The agenda will be as follows : Nigeria Agenda

The Executive Summary and Conclusions for the Meeting Can Be Found Here: Nigeria Executive Summary

For updates and more information, you can follow us on twitter @melodydialogue or visit our conference blog at



2011-11-26 to 2011-11-28

The President has accepted the invitation to speak at the meeting of
Creative Art Summit organized by Aspen Institute in Muscat Oman. She will
proceed immediately after to the first Regional Meeting on Water Management
organized by the Association in Nigeria in partnership with Africa
Leadership Forum and UNESCO. this meeting is scheduled for 30 November and 1
December 2011. For further detail see our “upcoming event” page in this web

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Shanghai, International Forum on Creative City and Industries

2011-10-26 to 2011-10-28


The President was invited by the Organizers of the International Forum to deliver the Opening Ceremony, the Opening Session and a substantive half an hour statement at the Forum on the importance of culture in the creative and design cities. A brief of this presentation is in the attached document (PPT).


Meeting In Shenzhen

Monday, October 24, 2011


Meeting with the Director of Publicity Department and attending the opening ceremony of the International Piano Competition Oct 24, 2011.


Humanity Photo Award: Kunming-China

2011-09-13 to 2011-09-17

Kunming, China

The global competition of professional photographers to capture cultural diversity in action were invited by Chinese Folklore Photographic Association in Kunming to which the President attended as a Guest of Honor.


Hangzhou Sept 2011

Thursday, September 1, 2011


President continued her negotiation with the leadership of Hangzhou Municipal Government for holding a Forum on Water related issue followed by a multicultural concert. At the same time she attended the opening ceremony of Hangzhou Leisure World Fair


Shenzhen the opening of Universiade International Games

Friday, August 12, 2011

Shenzhen, China

As part of UNESCO team, President attended the opening ceremony of the Universiade Games in Shenzhen, China. During this trip she also visited the Shenzhen concert Hall and the Shenzhen Orchestra and started a priliminary discussion on a possible concert to be organized by the Association next year in this city.


Eco-Forum Guiyang 2011

July 15, 2011

Guiyang, China

The President of the Association has been invited to deliver a statement at the Eco-Forum Global, Guiyang, China (EFG) on July 15. The topic chosen is “Future Cities: Transition to Green Development”. The main objectives of the Third EFG are:
– to create an interface for members to exchange information and experiences, practices and significant lesson learned
– to promote sustainable development with respect to environmental protection, harmonious relations between people and nature and environmental-friendly consumption and lifestyle
The meeting will take place from 15- 17 July 2011 and it is sponsored by the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Peking University, the Guizhou Provincial Government in China, UNEP, UNESCO and other international organizations. Over 6000 spectators and 40 Chinese Mayors plus foreign dignitaries, artists and visionaries are expected to attend at these meetings.


No Peace without Women

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Paris, France

The KitSon (NGO Cohen Amir-Aslani and Associate) invited the President of MDACA as a Guest of Honor to speak on the above topic. The meeting was attended by a number of the Foundation’s Board Members and others. The President drew attention to differences between war and conflict and concluded that while there has so far been an acute absence of women representation at the top tables on war related negotiations but women have had a lasting impact on resolution of conflict by, inter-alia, providing education and raising awareness on human rights and the Rule of Law. A 65 minutes question and answer followed this and other presentations.


Masdar City, Abu Dhabi

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Masdar City, Abu Dhabi

Visit to Masdar City in Abu Dhabi



International Forum on the Peaceful Uses of Outer Space

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Forum on “Peaceful use of outer – space for Science, Education and Culture”, organized by MDACA on the occasion of 50th anniversary of the first man flight around earth namely, Yuri Gagarin. The main objective of the day Forum was to create positive educational experiences that raises humanity’s collective hope for success, fosters a long-term interest in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and inspires younger generations to pursue studies and careers in these areas. Some 9 Astronauts and 3 Astro –physicists spoke at the Forum and the Director-General of UNESCO delivered the closing statement.


Astro-Ballet, But not only…

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The President in her opening remarks said “Tonight’s program is a meditation on how the universal languages of science and music can harmoniously interact to underpin the importance of the peaceful use and exploration of space. While music itself has always played a role in introducing some levity to very complex and important missions, it has found itself a central role in communicating with distant stars and planets. On February 4, 2008, NASA broadcasted the first ever song directly into deep space towards the North Star, Polaris: Across the Universe by the Beatles not only to commemorate the various anniversaries that marked the day, but as a means to initiate a dialogue with universe itself. In that vain, tonight’s appropriately titled “Astro ballet” will give the audience here a glimpse into the artistic interpretation of science’s magnificent achievements. We will listen to compositions that incorporate the “sounds” of space with our more terrestrial music. The new composition by Andrew Kaiser premiered for this program and we are pleased to start our dialogue with Boerte group from Mongolia.”

This program was held at UNESCO in Paris. Our appreciation goes to a great number of donors including the Russian Government and its diplomatic mission at UNESCO, the United States Dipl mission at UNESCO, the Nigerian Diplomatic Mission and the Government of Nigeria, Egorov, Puginsky, Afanasiev & Partners, Access Industries and many others. Melody for Dialogue among Civilizations Association produced and organized the totality of the program under the patronage of the DG-UNESCO.

Sofya Gaydukova (russia)
Nicola Ayoub (USA)
Renata Zarirzyanova
Alexander Stremov
Alexander Mogitev
Dimitry Akimov
Olexandra Rudyk
Vassily Musikhin
Alexandra Sidorenko

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International Conference on Digital Books and Future Technologies

29 - 30 November 2014

Shenzhen, China

Following a 2013 International Conference on “Books facing the challenges of a globalized world” which resulted in  adopting the  historic “Shenzhen Declaration”,  a new initiatIVE  jointly with UNESCO led to [...]

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Nanjing Music Festival

September 26, 2014

Nanjing, China

Open Air Concert The National Orchestra of Nanjing With 20 international artists from 4 continents in collaboration with 75 Chinese Trad Orchestra and the Nanjing Chamber Orchestra. Composers Wang Ning [...]

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Silk Road Concert: Tan Dun

September 05 2014

Xian, China

More information coming [...]

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Eco Forum Guiyang 2014

July 12-14, 2014

Guiyang, China


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International Conference on Creative Design for Sustainable Development (part 1)

March 3-4, 2014



The second phase of this conference will be held in Shenzhen, China from November 7-8 2014. Visit the Think Tank  Transcript: Creative cities: meeting urban challenges—szdaily多媒体数字报刊平台 Shenzhen is a miracle [...]

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Blog Updates On Melody’s Water Conferences

Monday, October 10, 2011

Follow us on tumblr to stay up to date on conferences, interesting news surrounding the water crisis, and small blog style updates on the conferences. Please click here to visit our tumblr blog.

If you have any questions, you can email

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10th anniversary of Melody for Dialogue

22 December 2015

UNESCO Headquarters, Paris