Further, globalization and mass migration may provide enrichment through diversity or leave communities plagued by interethnic and religious tensions [38]. Divergent value systems can undermine feelings of safety and security, and
lead to disagreements about acceptable forms of public behavior.

 At the same time, people seek a sense of common identity with others through virtual interactions in Internet communities. Key questions related to the domain of communities are:

  • Under what conditions will initiatives to increase participation, connectedness, and common identity building with newcomers be sustainable?
  • What does it take to overcome the negative spillover of split loyalties and create sustainable connections between different communities?
  • How can the vicious cycles of segregation and exclusion that often characterize diverse groups be prevented?

Example: Businesses Caring for Communities?

Many Dutch businesses recently started to engage in activities to help those in need. For example, the travel agency Sunweb, together with the airline Transavia and the non-profit Movement on the Ground announced a collaboration in which they offer travel packages to the Greek island Lesbos. This action targets customers who want to help refugees. The intention to help individuals who might be in need of social support motivated the Dutch supermarket chain Albert Heijn to set up a procedure in which their cashiers would spot such customers. The Dutch PostNL launched a plan in which their postmen and women would serve as a kind of neighborhood watch. All these initiatives sparked fierce controversy in the Dutch press. Critics doubting the true intentions of these companies condemn their actions as “cheap public relations”, whereas supporters argue that the creation of caring communities needs the active support of business. Source: Trouw, March 21, 2016.

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