This paper might be described as a case study, depicting the process of vision development for a new institution of teacher education, established in a time of political transition for Hong Kong. The focus is on issues of cultural identity, and the first part of the article lays out a framework for civilizational dialogue in the post Cold War period. Next the context of educational development is analysed, including the emergence of this new institution, and the demands placed upon it to support a range of educational reforms after Hong Kong's return to China in 1997. The third part of the paper describes the process of developing a vision statement, and the ideas that informed it. The fourth part provides a careful look at four of the nine guiding values chosen for the Institute, showing the particular shape they give to the development of the vision, and the ways in which they are linked to the dialogue of civilizations. Copyright © 2001 Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business.