The International Conference on Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations will feature plenary sessions by some of the world’s leading thinkers and innovators in the field, as well as numerous parallel presentations by researchers and practitioners.

June Bam-Hutchison Ojārs Kalniņš
Aigars Ceplītis-Katinsk Jack Levin
Andrejs Chirjevskis Sybille De La Rosa
Jock Collins David S. Silverman
Andrew Jakubowicz Olga Silverman

Garden Conversations

Plenary Speakers will make formal 30-minute presentations. They will also participate in 60-minute Garden Conversations - unstructured sessions that allow delegates a chance to meet the speakers and talk with them informally about the issues arising from their presentation.

Please return to this page for regular updates.

The Speakers

June Bam-Hutchison
Dr. June Bam-Hutchison is a South African mother of two sons, who grew up on the Cape Flats. Presently working as a community development and diversity strategist in London in partnership with Black, Asian and ethnic minority diaspora communities in the UK, June has grown up and worked extensively with communities in South Africa during both the apartheid and post-apartheid periods. She has worked at and with a number of universities in both South Africa and Europe, and has presented many talks globally in her field in the area of community, diversity and heritage. She has held several leadership positions in the field of diversity, heritage and community development, amongst others as CEO of South Africa’s first national post-apartheid history project for education which included the establishment of local indigenous knowledge networks and partnerships with communities, local government, higher education and the heritage sector. Recent and present positions include as co-chair of the Mayor’s Heritage and Diversity Task Force Committee on Equitable Partnerships in London and as Honorary Secretary of the African Studies Association of the United Kingdom. June was appointed as a research fellow in human rights and heritage at Kingston University and as community identities research facilitator and advisor with the Institute for the Public Understanding of the Past, York University. Her leadership and contributions was recognized on the world stage in September 2008 with two awards: the 60th anniversary Unesco Peace Education Prize to South Africa in Paris and a prestigious GG2 UK women in leadership and diversity 10th anniversary award presented to her by the British First Lady in London.

Aigars Ceplītis-Katinsk

Aigars is the Head of the Department of Audio and Visual Arts at Riga International School of Economics and Business Administration. He formerly served as a production manager and chief film editor for Randal Kleiser, an established Hollywood director best renown for hits such as Grease and Blue Lagoon and no less revered for having jumpstarted the careers of many stars such as John Travolta, Olivia Newton John or Ethan Hawk. In the past year, Aigars headed the program of film and video for disadvantaged children of Los Angeles under the auspices of Stenbeck Family, the owners of Time Media Group and its network subdivisions in the Baltics. Aigars was also responsible for all the pilot bids for RK productions Inc. to Paramount Vantage, Yari Film Group and HBO-USA.

Aigars Ceplitis holds an M.F.A. in Film Directing from California Institute of the Arts and a B.A. in Art History from Lawrence University. In his capacity as a program director both in Los Angeles as well as in Elmer, New Jersey, where he chaired the Department of Video at Appel Arts Center, Aigars oversaw one of the most respected showcases of film and video in North America done by teenagers ages 10 to 16 involving children from all the continents. Apart from his filmmaking endeavors, Aigars has been notably involved with the advertizing community of Los Anegles, running a number of ad campaigns for Avalon, a Los Angeles house of Studio 54, as well as working as a fashion photographer for IN magazine and chains such as ZARA. His photography exhibits have been featured in a number of Los Angeles art galleries.

Aigars has studied theater directing at John Goodman School of Drama in Chicago under Jim Osthalthoff, one of a very few American professors to have ever studied with theater guru Jerzy Grotowsky. His theater directing credits included the Chicago world premieres of Arthur Kopits Y2K and Nietsczhe Ate Here. His first feature film The Flight of Peter F. received a Princess Grace of Monaco Award.

Andrejs Chirjevskis

Dr. Andrejs Chirjevskis is an Associate Professor of RISEBA as well as a business consultant, working in both the public and private sectors. He was a leader in executive finance functions within Latvian and international companies for 10 years. Currently, he is now a Board Member of SIA Sinerģija, Management Consultants.

Andrej’s expertise lies in corporate strategy development and implementation, corporate financial management, business valuation and project management. He worked as a trainer for the Strategic Management Training of the Latvian Business School, ANS Training Centre, Rigas Menedžeru Skola, and as a trainer of Financial Management Training of GrossBuh Invest and Latvikon (IAB). He is now a trainer of the Project Management program at the AFW Academy of Bad Harzbug, Germany.

He started his teaching career as a lector of Strategic Management program of RISEBA in 1994. His international teaching experience spans lecturing in Ecole Superieur du Commerce Exterieur (ESCE) Paris; University of Applied Science in Mainz, Germany; Estonian Business School, MBA programme in Tallinn and INHOLLAND University, Rotterdam. Since 2004, he has been a lecturer on Strategic Management and Managing for Financial Value Creation in RISEBA and on the EMBA program of Salford Business School (UK).

Andrejs holds a Doctor of Economic Science (Dr.oec.) from Riga Technical University, a Candidate of Economic Science of Russian Federation degree, a Masters in International Management from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Paris (HEC/ESCP); a diploma of Economist with Knowledge of Foreign Languages (English, French) from the Russian Academy for Foreign Trade and a diploma of Engineer-Economist from the Moscow Institute of Food Staff Industry. He is certified to as teaching staff in Aston Business School, Birmingham, UK (2008); Salford University, Manchester, UK (2007) and Bled School of Management, Slovenia (2003, 2004, and 2005).

Andrejs is the author of 14 publications in corresponding scientific fields and has spoken numerous times at international scientific conferences and forums.

Jock Collins
Jock Collins is Professor of Economics at the University Technology, Sydney (UTS), Australia, where he has been teaching since 1977. His research interests centre on an interdisciplinary study of immigration and cultural diversity in the economy and society. His recent research has been on Australian immigration, ethnic crime, immigrant entrepreneurship, immigrant youth, ethnic precincts and tourism, multiculturalism, the Cronulla Beach Riots and the social use of ethnic heritage and the built environment. He is the author or co-author of nine books, the most recent of which is Bin Laden in the Suburbs: criminalizing the Arab other (with Scott Poynting, Greg Noble and Paul Tabar). He is also the author of over 50 articles in international and national academic journals and book chapters. His work has been translated in French, Japanese, Arabic, Dutch, Chinese and Italian. Jock Collins has had visiting academic appointments in the UK, Canada, Sweden and the United States.

Andrew Jakubowicz
Andrew Jakubowicz is Professor of Sociology at the University of Technology Sydney, Head of the Social and Political Change Academic Group, and Co-director of the Cosmopolitan Civil Societies Research Centre. Jakubowicz holds a PhD from UNSW and an honours degree in Government from Sydney University . Since the early 1970s, Jakubowicz’s work has focused on race relations, theories of cultural and ethnic diversity, disability and media. He was foundation director of the Centre for Multicultural Studies at the University of Wollongong and foundation chair of the Disability Studies and Research Institute. Jakubowicz has an international profile, having taught at universities in the United States, Europe and Asia.

Ojārs Kalniņš
Ojārs Kalniņš was Ambassador to the U.S. and Mexico from January 1993 to December 1999. Prior to his positions at the Embassy of Latvia, he was public relations director of the American Latvian Association (ALA). Ojārs Kalniņš was raised and educated in the United States, and, once Latvia restored its independence, gave up his U.S. citizenship to become a diplomat. Following his posting as Ambassador, he moved to Latvia and, since January 2000 has served as the Director of the Latvian Institute (

Jack Levin
Jack Levin, Ph.D. is the Brudnick Professor of Sociology and Criminology at Northeastern University in Boston, where he co-directs its Center on Violence and Conflict. He has authored or co-authored 30 books, including the recently published volumes Serial Killers and Sadistic Murderers—Up Close and Personal and The Violence of Hate. Dr. Levin has also published more than 150 articles in professional journals and newspapers, such as The New York Times, Boston Globe, Dallas Morning News, Philadelphia Inquirer, Christian Science Monitor, Chicago Tribune, Washington Post, and USA Today. He appears frequently on national television programs, including 48 Hours, 20/20, Dateline NBC, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Oprah, The O’Reilly Factor, Larry King Live, and all network newscasts. Dr. Levin was honored by the Massachusetts Council for Advancement and Support of Education as its “Professor of the Year” and by the American Sociological Association for the Public Understanding of Sociology. He has spoken to a wide variety of community, academic, and professional groups, including the White House Conference on Hate Crimes, the Department of Justice, the Department of Education, OSCE’s Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (a membership of 59 countries) and the International Association of Chiefs of Police. Website:

Sybille De La Rosa
Sybille De La Rosa is a PhD-student at the Free University Berlin and research assistant at the research project “Governance in Areas of Limited Statehood” where she works in a theory project about political power relations and arguments. Her doctoral work focuses on a concept of intercultural understanding based on the concepts of appropriation and alienation. She wrote her magister thesis on Jürgen Habermas’ theory of communication and Axel Honneth’s theory of recognition. Her main fields of interest are political philosophy and international relations, especially questions related to critical theory, multiculturalism, international justice, postcolonial studies and cosmopolitanism ( Sybille is the winner of the International Award for Excellence in the field of Diversity in Organisations, Communities and Nations.

David S. Silverman
David S. Silverman followed a six-year career as a technical writer in Denver, Colorado, working for various software and telecommunication companies–including a journey to Antarctica–to work on a doctorate in communication (University of Missouri-Columbia, 2004). Dr. Silverman joined the faculty at Xavier University in New Orleans the fall of 2004 until Hurricane Katrina forced his family to evacuate. Immediately following their evacuation to Colorado, Dr. Silverman and his wife Olga rejoiced in the birth of their first child, Stephanie. After two years at Valley City State University in North Dakota, Silverman moved to St. Louis, Missouri, to become the director of the communication program at Maryville University and has since taken a position at Kansas Wesleyan University, Salina, Kansas. Dr. Silverman’s first book, on the history of corporate censorship of television in the United States, was published in October of 2007 through the Syracuse University Press.

Olga Silverman
Olga Silverman was born and raised in Riga, Latvia. She graduated from the University of Latvia in 1995 with a Master’s degree in Economics and Information Technology. After a career with that included the Riga Electric Machine Building Factory, the Latvian Ship Registry and a private telecommunication concern, Olga immigrated to the United States. Olga has previously published an article about Ukrainian heritage and emigration, as well as co-authored a paper with her husband, David Silverman, on the situation of non-resident citizens in post-Soviet Latvia. She presently resides in Saline, Kansas with her family.