Connecting Cultures is an innovative annual event that brings young people together from around the world into the deserts of Arabia. The young people have to communicate and work as a team to overcome problems and undertake a desert journey. The purpose of Connecting Cultures is to promote face to face dialogue with young people from the western and Arab world. The aim of this dialogue is to celebrate cultural diversity, break down stereotypes, identify shared values and in so doing promote understanding and help reduce the polarisation of cultures.
In 2008 an estimated 24 million people read about Connecting Cultures in the media. The twelve lesson plans on the Connecting Cultures website have been created by teachers, for teachers, by Edexcel, the UK's leading examinations group. The lesson plans mirror the discussions that take place on the desert journey, enabling teachers and pupils engage in debate about cultures, stereotyping and extremism in classrooms around the world.