What is BaselConnect?
BaselConnect is a non-profit association formally registered in Basel-Stadt. The association is dedicated to promoting increased cultural understanding and exchange between expats and locals in the tri-national region centered on Basel, Switzerland. What started as a single event has become a grass-roots movement all about integration.
The Basel Region has always been international but never more so than today. The past decade has witnessed a sizable increase in the number of expats arriving here, mainly for jobs in the Life Science industries. Recent estimates put the expat population in the region at approximately 36,000.
But living in a place does not equal being integrated there. BaselConnect wants to help change that.
Many newcomers arrive with good intentions to get involved but end up feeling held back by barriers such as language, social isolation in their daily environment and lack of familiarity with local customs. This leads to limited meaningful contact with locals and stands in the way of mutual understanding. As a result, some locals and expats may view each other with undue caution.
BaselConnect believes that, through focus on and improvement of existing resources, coupled with the development of new ways to bring people together, Basel will be enriched for locals and expats alike. In a time when walls are being built in various parts of the world to keep out foreigners, our aim is to build bridges to help people benefit from increased interaction with each other.
Download the baselconnect conference report to learn more about the August 2011 event that led to the creation of the BaselConnect Association.