MMO Seminars and Talks

One of the key goals of the Multiculturalism and Migration Observatory is popularisation of knowledge about the migration processes and creation of friendly space for discussions about migration and multiculturalism in Cracow and beyond the city boundaries.
To achieve these objectives, the MMO team organizes regular seminars with renowned researchers of migration and multiculturalism. During the seminars draft versions of the MMO reports are also being presented and discussed.
As part of the activities of MMO, a series of meetings “OWiM Talks” is also organized, the purpose of which is to discuss current migration events and phenomena with migration researchers and practitioners.

14 of October 2021 Dominika Blachnicka-Ciacek i Agnieszka Trąbka: “The role of sports initiatives in the integration of young migrants in Poland”.

The seminar was devoted to the role of sports initiatives in integrating young migrants in Poland.

17 of September 2021 OWiM Talks with Patrycja Matusz


The next meeting in the format of OWIM Talks with Patrycja Matusz was focused on the new government project of Poland’s migration policy and counter-proposals of non-governmental organizations, the liquidation of the Department of Analysis and Migration Policy, the current migration dynamics (including the situation on the border Polish-Belarusian) and the activities of Wrocław in the context of an increased influx of foreigners to the city. The conversation was led by the coordinator of the Multiculturalism and Migration Observatory  – Konrad Pędziwiatr.

24 of August 2021 OWiM Talks with Adam Spyra


Our first guest in the “OWiM Talks” was director Adam Spyra from the Department for Foreigners of the Małopolski Urząd Wojewódzki. The meeting was devoted to, among others: the latest project of Polish migration policy, the migration dynamics in the voivodeship in the last six months and current events (including the situation in  Belarus) and how they may affect the migration situation in Poland. The meeting was led by the inspirator and coordinator of the Observatory of Multiculturalism and Migration – Konrad Pędziwiatr.

7 of July 2021 Ewa Ślęzak: “Krakow’s Approach to High-Skilled Migrants”.


Seminar was devoted to the mobility of highly qualified employees of transnational corporations in Krakow and the city’s approach to this type of migration.

22 of June 2021 Aleksandra Grzymała-Kazłowska:”Migrants’ Anchoring in the Time of Uncertainty.

Seminar was devoted to the latest book by Aleksandra Grzymała-Kazłowska entitled “Rethinking settlement and integration: Migrants’ anchoring in an age of insecurity” (Manchester University Press 2020). The Author in her short presentation has shed light on the concept of anchoring linking the notions of identity, adaptation and settling as well as underlining migrants’ efforts at recovering their feeling of safety and stability.

31 of May 2021 Nicola D. Coniglio and Jan Brzozowski: “The Effect of International Migration on Tax Morale”.


Aim of this seminar was to explore how the international migration of individuals affects tax morale and aversion to the free-riding of their household members left in the home country.

27 of April 2021 Sibylle Heilbrunn, Jörg Freiling and Nina Bilal: Refugee Entrepreneurship: Challenges and Opportunities”.


Aim of this seminar was to have an academic discussion highlighting key research themes related to refugee entrepreneurship. It focused in particular on the main challenges to setting up and running a business by refugees or asylum seekers, but also on existing opportunities and facilitators. The role of potential for entrepreneurship was addressed, including intentions and motivations of entrepreneurship. Finally, the topic of pandemic in relation to refugee entrepreneurship was discussed.

3 of March 2021 Konrad Pędziwiatr, Marcin Stonawski and Jan Brzozowski: Immigrants in Cracow in 2020″.


During the seminar, the latest report by OWiM researchers –  Konrad Pędziwiatr, Marcin Stonawski and Jan Brzozowski was presented. The report describes in detail the immigrant population in Krakow in 2020.

12 of February 2021 Konrad Pędziwiatr, Patrycja Trzeszczyńska and Dobrosława Wiktor-Mach: Religious communities in Krakow and migration processes”.


During the seminar, the latest report by OWiM researchers –  Konrad Pędziwiatr, Patrycja Trzeszczyńska and Dobrosława Wiktor-Mach was presented.

The aim of the report is to analyse the transformations of religious communities in Krakow resulting from the arrival of an increasing number of foreigners to the city. In recent years, the religious landscape of Krakow has been undergoing significant changes due to influx of immigrants from many regions of the world. New prayer halls and temples emerge, whereas existing places of worship are witness to an increasing number of new foreign believers. Some religious practices are also changing. In some cases, the arrival of new groups of believers necessitates organizational changes, increasing the frequency of religious service or adding additional languages to communication with newcomers. Thus, immigration has a significant impact on the religious life in the city, clearly modifying some existing aspects of it and creating new ones.

21 of January 2021.  Jan Brzozowski, Karol Kaczorowski, Konrad Pędziwiatr and Dobrosława Wiktor-Mach: Covid-19 Pandemic and the Situation of Immigrants in Cracow”.

During the seminar, the latest report by OWiM researchers – Jan Brzozowski, Karol Kaczorowski, Konrad Pędziwiatr and Dobrosława Wiktor-Mach was presented.

The report discusses the results of qualitative research on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the lives of foreigners living in Krakow in 2020. The aim of the study was to identify changes taking place in various dimensions of migrants’ lives, especially economic and social, due to the pandemic. The report shows how the experience of the crisis and the ability to cope with challenges depend largely on the situation of foreigners on the labor market, and especially on the branch of the economy in which they’ve worked. The main difficulties and challenges that the epidemic situation brought to immigrants were also analyzed, including the issues of earnings and (un)stability of employment, problems related to the housing situation, and the functioning of entrepreneurs. The migration dynamics is discussed in the report, both in terms of available statistical data and personal experiences of foreigners. The study also presents various problems with regard to the pandemic that respondents raised in the interviews and those that appeared frequently in discussions in online migrant groups. The issue of support offered to foreigners by various actors is also assessed. The report ends with conclusions with recommendations for the Krakow Municipality.

17 of December 2020.  Karolina Czerska-Shaw and Paweł Kubicki: Foreign Residents and Access to Public Services in Krakow.

Contemporary Kraków may be regarded as a “globalizing” city, a matter of crucial significance for the question of migration here. The term “globalizing” which is used in this project entails a city which has become intensively connected to a global network of influences relatively recently. Such cities are therefore categorized by relatively recent inflows of immigrants, represented by both high-class professionals (so-called expats) from well developed countries, as well as economic migrants from developing nations. Secondly, in contrast to those which have been regarded as global cities for decades, a globalizing city has not yet formed the institutions which meet the requisite needs to become a global one. In particular, it has not yet developed a long-term civic policy in terms of public services for newcomers. Thus Kraków, as a city which is globalizing, is in the process of learning such policies, adjusting them both to the structure of migration to the city and the uniqueness of the city itself. In order for the city to develop its own policy in this regard, it must learn more about the expectations of the foreigners living in Kraków towards these public services, it needs to identify the barriers which they encounter when using them, and to see if they create their own self-help networks of quasi-public services.

The research conducted in the second half of 2020 attempted an empirical analysis of these expectations and barriers amongst “local foreigners” living in Kraków, together with the support networks that they have created. Both quantitative and qualitative methods were employed. The quantitative method (a survey questionnaire, N:300) was intended to identify patterns and regularities in the occurrence of certain phenomena and to measure their intensity and distribution within the individual categories of foreigners which the study encompassed. The qualitative research (in-depth interviews, N:12) served to explain the root causes of key problems identified by the quantitative research.

26 of November 2020.  Katarzyna Leszczyńska, Sylwia Urbańska and Katarzyna Zielińska: Gender in Catholic Migration Organisations”

How does gender and religion affect the migration experience? How are the perceptions, practices and discourses related to gender changing in Polish organizations of the Roman Catholic Church abroad? To what extent in the context of pluralistic, multicultural, secularized and more egalitarian societies than Poland is there a feminization of church structures? Are new gender patterns emerging in the transnational context? These and other questions were answered by the authors of the newly published book “Outside the borders. Cultural gender in Catholic migration organizations”, which our last MMO seminar was devoted to.

27 of October 2020.  Tuba Bircan and Carlos Arcila Calderón: Big Data in Migration Studies

Traditional statistical data on international migration suffers from the problems (gaps) of inconsistency in definitions, differences in geographical coverages, absence of reasons for migration, timeliness and limitations in demographic characteristics. There is a need for comprehensive, accurate and timely migration data to understand, foresee and draw accurate policies. Recently, countries and international organisations are using Big Data to bridge the gaps in migration data. This MMO seminar provided concise, accessible guidance on how the use of data innovation can complement traditional migration data sources and fill existing information gaps.

You can download Tuba Bircan’s presentation HERE

You can download Carlos Arcila Calderón’s presentation HERE

28 of September 2020.  Ewa Krzaklewska, Karolina Czerska-Shaw, Janusz Mucha and David Cairns: (Im)mobility of International Students in Times of Pandemic

What is the picture of the current situation of foreign students, particularly affected by suspended international mobility and the closure of borders, being shaped? What is the situation like among foreign students in Krakow? Our invited speakers, Ewa Krzaklewska and Karolina Czerska-Shaw, presented the key conclusions of the research on the (im)mobility of foreign students in Krakow in the times of COVID-19. Based on their research data, they assessed the impact of the pandemic on foreign students in Krakow building their education, careers, and also identity projects related to mobility. Janusz Mucha commented on the results of these studies in the light of the analysis of the situation of foreign students in Krakow / Poland before the coronavirus pandemic carried out by him and Konrad Pędziwiat. David Cairns presented the results of research conducted in Portugal by his team on the topic of the seminar.

15 of August 2020.  Marius Turda, Aniko Imre, Sunnie Rucker-Chang & Ian Law: “Global Context of ‘Race’ and the Development of Race and Racism in CEE”

Is race and racism historically global? How are they understood and deployed in Central and Eastern Europe? How is the idea of race related to nation-building and national identity in the region? In what ways are ideas of race linked to the ideas of White supremacy?
Our speakers addressed these and other questions.

2nd of July 2020. Tonia Ugwu, Bolaji Balogun, Margaret Amaka Ohia-Nowak i James Omolo: „Understanding Race and Racism in Contemporary Poland”

The killing of George Floyd, an African American, in the United States triggered protests across the United States. They gradually spread also to the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Belgium and other European countries where people marched in solidarity with African Americans and called for questioning of their colonial pasts and removal of some of the statues celebrating such heritage. The effect of George Floyd’s death has also reached Poland where people from Black Communities have renewed their calls to reshape the perception of black people in the country, as demonstrated in recent protests outside the US embassy in Warsaw and an online discussion #Dontcallmemurzyn. In this seminar, we examine the understanding of race and racism in Poland in the light of latest thematic studies and in relation to the aforementioned events.

5th of June 2020. Maurizio Ambrosini, Samuele Molli, Wojciech Sadłoń & Marcin Lisak: „Religion in Migration Processes in the Pre-Pandemic and Current Era”

Religions have been playing a key role in migration processes both in the pre-pandemic era and at present when the migrants have been particularly affected by the forced immobility. They are one of the elements of the cultural luggage that many migrants have been carrying with themselves while moving from their home countries’ to new destination countries. In the time of crisis, religious networks have been particularly vital in providing not only spiritual and mental support, but  sometimes also material assistance. The seminar was devoted to the implications of religion in different types of migration processes (from forced to voluntary ones) and in various parts of the world. It strove to assess some of the major implications of these processes in the pre-pandemic times as well as in the last months when the lives of all people but in particular migrants have radically changed. One of the issues relating to the current situation discussed was how various religious communities made up by migrants or caring for them had reacted to the pandemic.

14th of May 2020. Aki Harima, Daniela Bolzani, Ružica Šimić Banović & Katarzyna Andrejuk: „Covid-19 Pandemic and Immigrant Entrepreneurship”

The webinar “Covid-19 Pandemic and Immigrant Entrepreneurship” aimed to hypothesise about the possible outcomes of the crisis for immigrant entrepreneurs in selected host countries of the EU. The participants – all of them experienced migration scholars – were asked about possible development scenarios for immigrant business activities in Europe.

9th of April 2020. Steven Vertovec, Kerilyn Schewel, Biao Xiang and Olena Babakova: „The Coronavirus Pandemic and Forced Immobility”

Due to the coronavirus pandemic outbreak, the MMO team decided to switch the mode of our cyclical seminars. The first online meeting was devoted to the topic of pandemia and forced immobility. The impact of the pandemic and crisis management measures on international mobility have been discussed, as well potential long term consequences on the local and global migration processes.

9th of March, 2020. Konrad Pędziwiatr, Marcin Stonawski and Jan Brzozowski: “Immigrants in Kraków – Demographic Data”

The document is a description of the immigrant population in Cracow in terms of numbers and significant demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the discussed population. It presents data on foreigners staying in our city based on various sources of administrative data (e.g. registers of persons legalizing their stay in Poland from the Małopolska Voivodship Office, data on permanent and temporary residence from the City of Cracow, registers of persons registered in the Social Insurance Institution (ZUS) and information on immigrant children registered in educational establishments), as well as, based on more innovative methods – including the use of so-called “big data” based on information from smartphone users. The report identifies the largest concentrations of immigrants in terms of place of residence and daily activity in urban space and also attempts to assess the quality of existing data sources, together with recommendations for improving them.
In addition to the MMO researchers, the meeting was also attended by employees of the Department of Health and Social Policy of the City of Cracow responsible for the development and implementation of policies on migration and multiculturalism.

14th of January 2020, Adam Bulandra, Jakub Kościółek, Urszula Majcher-Legawiec, Małgorzata Pamuła-Behrens, Marta Szymańska: “Characteristics of the multicultural educational environment in Cracow – the context of integration”

During the seminar, a report authored by Adam Bulandra, Jakub Kościółek, Urszula Majcher-Legawiec, Małgorzata Pamuła-Behrens and Marta Szymańskia was presented. This extensive document focuses on the issues such as multicultural education in Kraków in the perspective of comparative cross-regional statistics (pre-school and school education), the background of employees of educational institutions to work in a multicultural setting and the present solutions applied in schools in Cracow related to the presence of students who had experienced migration. A part of the report focuses on recommendations on the support of multicultural competences of teachers, educational workers, students and pre-school pupils; management of education in the context of migration – organization of work of schools and kindergartens and support of competences of workers working in the sector; tasks of the pedagogical supervisors related to the multicultural educational setting; support for schools multicultural development.

17th of December 2019, Janusz Mucha and Konrad Pędziwiatr: “Foreigners at the universities in Kraków”

During the seminar, a report authored by Janusz Mucha and Konrad Pędziwiatr was presented. The report focuses on the presence of foreigners at higher education institutions of Cracow. The most important issues covered are academic migrations as a type of international mobility, dynamics of academic migration to Poland, foreign students in Poland and Cracow according to the newest statistical data, recruitment policies of universities in Cracow, integration of foreign students in Cracow, towards the better integration – providing care for foreign students, places of residency of foreign students in Cracow, foreign students on the labour market – alumni and work in Poland, informal cultural life of foreign students in Cracow, foreign employees of universities in Cracow (2012 and 2015-17). Recommendations for the municipality are included in the report and concern monitoring and regulation (if it is possible and adequate) of foreign student and
academic migration to Cracow.

5th of December, 2019. Krystyna Slany: “Migration of women and children – from invisibility to visibility of subjects in the migration research”

Professor Krystyna Slany specializes in social demography, sociology of migration and sociology of family and gender. She leads the Department of Population Studies at the Jagiellonian University and is a member of the committees of the Polish Academy of Sciences: the Committee of Migration Research and the Committee of Sociology. Our guest presented the consequences of two paradigm shifts in the migration research concerning women and children migrants. She discussed the cause for shifting towards intensifying studies of subjects of migration that until recently were outside the scope of research. Two paradigm shifts, in the 1970s and 1990s, led to employing of new qualitative research methods, participatory methods and resulted in new finds and research directions.

12th of November, 2019. John Eade: “How international migrations are transforming cities? Case of London”

The presentation described the character of London as a global city through an outline of the city’s immigration from the 17th century. Professor Eade concentrated particularly on two immigration flows after the Second World War – post-colonial migration from Bangladesh and Polish migration after the country joined the European Union in 2004. He focused on the role played by religion through the establishment of mosques and churches and the associated political representation of a community. John Eade: Professor in Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Roehampton, London, and Visiting Professor, Toronto University. His research focuses on global migration, multiculturalism, urban ethnicity and pilgrimage and his single and co-authored publications include The Politics of Community (1989), Contesting the Sacred (1991), Living the Global City (1997), Placing London (2000), Reframing Pilgrimage (2004), Transnational Ties (2008), Re-Living the Global City (2018), Pilgrimage and Political Economy (2018).

24th of October 2019. Jan Brzozowski: “Immigrant Entrepreneurship in Kraków – the present state and perspectives of development”

During the meeting, a draft version of the report focusing on immigration entrepreneurship will be presented by the author – Jan Brzozowski, a professor at the University of Economics and a researcher of the MMO. The immigrant entrepreneurship is currently gaining popularity as a research field. In the context of Cracow, it also gains a practical dimension. The capital of the Małopolskie voivodship is one of the biggest immigration centres of Poland and a dynamic business
centre. The immigrant entrepreneurs are a group which becomes more and more visible. The author seeks an answer to the following questions:

  • How does the immigrant entrepreneurship in Cracow develop?
  • What obstacles and opportunities for business development do the migrant entrepreneurs
  • How should the public policies be adjusted to facilitate the process of the economic
    integration of migrants?

The seminar provided an opportunity to meet the author of the report and other researchers of the MMO and to share critical thoughts on migration and multiculturalism in Cracow. It was the first event in the cycle of migration seminars organized by the MMO and CASPAR.