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The International Communities Organisation (ICO), based in London-UK, is an international organisation working with minority groups to secure their access to the rights set out in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). These documents outline communities' right to self-determination; their right to realise their economic, social and cultural ambitions. ICO seeks to empower communities, who feel that their rights are being infringed on, by giving them tools so that they may autonomously develop their ideas and use peaceful channels to set out their demands. We hope this will create an environment of cross-cultural cooperation and respect within and among communities. 


We believe that the process of building peace is not about ensuring that one group’s views prevail over another but about constructing a shared vision for a better future. ICO hopes to create a space for this shared vision to flourish by bringing together diplomats, academics, lawyers, policy practitioners, researchers and representatives of organisations, to create a consortium of experts with one goal: a more peaceful and just world.  


We’re not here to take sides, we’re here to enable, to give communities an opportunity to work for themselves towards achieving better outcomes for the next generation. We hope that these communities will err on the side of collaboration and compromise, but for those who believe they do not have the opportunity to determine their future as they see fit, ICO will guide them to express themselves peacefully. 

Head of ICO Austria


Gerhard started as an international manager and executive director for international brand businesses.

He is the founder and president of the European Brand Institute – Europe´s independent Brand and IP experts – with more than 25 years of experience as a globally recognized independent expert, an international partner network, the UNIDO Partnership and joint program on “Branding for Competitiveness and Sustainable Growth”, the Women Leadership forums and the Brand Global Summits for sustainable brands.

Gerhard is the Chairman of the Austrian Delegation to the ISO Committee for Brand Evaluation, chaired the development of the Austrian Corporate Governance Codex and was Vice President of the Professional Association of Management Consultancy and Information Technology in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

In addition, he acts as publicly appointed and sworn expert to Austrian courts, Chairman of the Brand Global Council, Board Member of Austrian Standards and the Austrian Hongkong Society and was acknowledged as “Kommerzialrat” in 2012.

Gerhard holds a Masters Degree in Mechanical Engineering and Business Administration from the Vienna University of Technology, graduated with an MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Toronto and a Ph.D. from the University of Graz. He is fluent in German and English.

Dr. Gerhard Hrebicek

Contact Details (0043) 676846007700



Our research, dialogue, policy advocacy, projects or investments are all geared by our desire to support local development. Whilst all our activities are important, we remain committed first and foremost to alleviating the suffering of the groups that we work with by finding sustainable solutions to meet their needs. It is why we will prioritise projects and investments that generate job creation, support SMEs, or expand key services such as education, healthcare, waste management, water infrastructure and affordable housing. 


Image by Mikael Kristenson


Dialogue is at the centre of what we do. We organise events for different audiences so that dialogue about sensitive issues can be constructive, collaborative and impact oriented. We will be flexible to meet the needs of the communities we work with and their projects. Whether we are organising a large events for practitioners or a close mediation meeting between divided communities, we will provide assistance from start finish.


Image by Markus Spiske


Conflict affected areas and the communities who live within them often require new or reformed institutional structures to rebuild, recover and resolve. These new structures may be in the form of local civic engagement structures such local councils, local/regional forums, cross community networks or oversight bodies. We can provide governance support, budget management, civic engagement, project planning & delivery as well as fundraising so that communities can work more efficiently towards their development.

Image by Kuchihige Saboten


We believe that the key to peaceful change for groups who feel like their voices are being ignored is to raise awareness through the right channels. Our policy and communication experts will work with groups so that their message and campaigns have greater chances of making an impact. Our team will also laise with stakeholders in regional, national, and international institutions to push for change.

Image by Scott Graham


The ICO Institute will provide an environment for ideas to flourish. The ICO library and research will be open for academic fellows, practitioners and members of the community to learn, develop their ideas and execute research. Centres on the site will offer further specialised guidance on their subject areas. Through the e-learning portal we will provide short courses and webinars on issues related to conflict transformation to help both pratitioners and communities. On-site we will run workshops and seminars and MIU will deliver certificates, diplomas and degrees.

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