The ITC is proud to bring you an interview with one of the most popular and influential interculturalists, facilitators and writers.
Jeremy has lived, studied and worked in France, Germany, Hong Kong (and China), Israel, Italy, Switzerland, the UK and the USA. Born in Manchester, England – home of the Industrial Revolution and Manchester United – Jeremy holds an MA in French from Oxford. As well as speaking mother-tongue English, he has been fluent in French, German, Italian and US American, and proficient in Spanish and Texan!
He moved to Rwanda in 2019 – In this interview he talks to us about
his Personal cross-cultural adaptation after 27 years in the USA,
why he moved away from the USA – The drama of Trump, the appeal of the new, his first impressions and false impressions of his newly adopted country, what life is like, the fact that he is a white male, and, his thought on the issues facing Rwanda and how his work intertwines with the needs of the local population.
You may contact Jeremy at;
36 KG 2 Ave., Kigali, Rwanda – +250/781555577 – firstname.lastname@example.org
Join The Inner Activist to understand your relationship to power. Build capacity and connection within the communities you serve!
About this Event How we are in the world, how we relate, collaborate and lead arises in part from our experiences with power. Power can be a negative force, creating division, polarization and systems of oppression, or it can be a source of personal growth and collective transformation within our communities. Conscious Use of Power deepens our understanding of the conflicts, polarization, and feelings (such as anger, pain, guilt, helplessness, apathy and despair) caused by abuse of power and the resulting trauma. We explore the development of our social identities, both marginalized and dominant, as sources of strength and wisdom, and as places of deep wounding. Practices to get us ‘unstuck’ and help us tap into our psychological and spiritual power will free our capacity to build relationships across difference and to consciously use all forms of power to resource ourselves and our communities. Together we work to support the inner and outer changes which build solidarity, allyship and collective power. ***Learning outcomes*** Establish the relationship between inner work and leadership for the benefit of the communities you work with Understand the various sources of power from psycho-spiritual to systemic and how they surface in social and environmental justice work Explore your personal relationship to power – how does it shape your lived experience, how do you use it to impact the lives of others? Identify skills to build relationships across difference (race, class, gender, ability, etc.) Discover tools and practices to resource yourself under pressure to respond to challenging situations Who is this workshop for? We invite participation from individuals who have a foundational understanding of anti-oppression and how systemic power dynamics such as colonialism, capitalism, and patriarchy have shaped the world around them. This workshop is open to: Grassroots activists and change makers Non-profit and Charity sector Students and individuals interested in social and environmental justice Registration fee The Inner Activist prioritizes reducing barriers for program participants. One of the ways we do this is through a tiered fee model. We invite you to consider principles of self-determination and equity as you choose your tier. £20 – Supporter (support others as well as yourself) £10 – Sustainer (pays for you) £5 – Community (discounted) About The Inner Activist The Inner Activist’s mission is to co-create learning spaces that develops compassionate, reflective and responsive leadership in individuals and communities, supporting leaders to skillfully navigate emotions, conflict, power and difference grounded in a commitment to social justice, diversity and equity. We do our work in hopes of a world where individual and collective leadership is based on justice and sustainability for all people, communities and the Earth; leadership that is self-aware, compassionate, collaborative, courageous, empowered and accountable.
Interculturalist, trainer and volunteer, has pushed himself to produce a
practical book, that reflects its subject matter, is fit for purpose, and, keeps
the audience engaged all the way to the end. Just like a good story.
Success – The book works. Imagine if this tome had failed to keep the reader turning the pages or left the trainer / coach / presenter more confused than when they started!
Tone – The
author adopts an intimate style with self-deprecation, revealing honesty and scattered
references to Hollywood films that we all know – Harry Potter, Die Hard, Lord
of the Rings, Iron Man, etc. We are drawn into this cosy fireside chat (the
worked examples in the book’s appendix include old barns and wood burning
stoves to add to this feeling), as we begin to join Bastian in his story and
With references to the works
of Daniel Kahneman, Joseph Campbell and Yuval Noah Harari, the author provides
evidence that he has read widely, dived deep, and, is up to date with his
sources and research. The authors are sited in footnotes at the bottom of each
relevant page. A bibliography at the end would have been a nice addition.
He deconstructs their models
to form his own philosophy around identity, learning, motivation and change,
and, does so in a clear, rational and appealing manner.
The Hero’s Journey – We start with the 17 common elements of all stories
as collected, analysed and explained by the great Joseph Campbell. With liberal
reference to George Lucas who famously used Campbell’s schema to produce the
most successful film franchise in the history of cinema – Star Wars, we
understand why Bastian adapted the title of Campbell’s most famous work and
named the book – The Learner’s Journey.
We then move to Dan Harmon’s
updated and truncated model with 8 phases of the voyage.
7. Return, &,
The supposition is that this
universal structure, found all over the world, in all cultures and throughout
time, provides a robust template for training design.
To prove this point, the
author spends the rest of the book matching Harmon’s stages to the student’s
learning journey and suggests activities, criteria and pitfalls for each step
along the way. This unique approach aims to help the classroom pupil to change,
transfer and re-integrate into their workplace.
There are some fun moments –
The holding of a “Fuck-up” night during an off-site multi-day training – A sort
of improv, open mic session where story telling on the theme of how it all went
wrong leads to bonding, positive vulnerability and the parking of egos for the
duration of the course.
Criticism – Whilst
the book is a light, informative and a well-intentioned effort – the model does
not always fit the facts, the training purpose, or, the audience. The 3
examples at the end mostly fit but do not 100% conform to the stages of Harmon.
This book will appeal to those trainers, facilitators, teachers and coaches,
that have enough experience to be able to put together a course for themselves
– A beginner may be overwhelmed by having to adapt to the various stages and resign,
Personally, I identified
with the stages and found myself beginning to brainstorm activities and exercises
that would fit the 8 parts and found plenty of ideas to insert into each stage.
– This is a clean, simple and useful book that will help the passionate
trainer, looking to improve or perfect their design craft to take their classroom
delegate’s experience to the next level.
There are enough warnings
and sorry tales contained within the pages too to act as a vicarious
instruction manual for the newer designer.
All in all, The Learner’s
Journey is a recommended read for the progressive and open-minded trainer who
wishes to gain entry to the hearts and minds of their audience, move them
emotionally, and, achieve a learning transformation that is worth reading about.
Or, how to construct a speech that will work for you, pay back handsomely, and, improve your life, and, the lives of others.
1. Know your subject to own
– For many mild-mannered experts, their very depth and breadth of knowledge can
make them hesitate when answering an intelligent audience question. They scour
their vast mental library, struggle to gather all the points together, and,
construct a punchy response.
The outsider, failing to appreciate this process, can easily conclude that they are less an expert and more a ditherer – Tragic.
discipline of preparing a speech involves writing down and presenting your key
points is an ordered way. You, the keynote speaker, have the opportunity to simplify
your “mind palace” and craft an appealing “starter”. You would not attempt to
serve a vast main course before your guests are ready to enjoy it. Working on
constructing a meaningful presentation will reacquaint you with your material,
and so, allow you to chunk down complexity to bite-sized and understandable
units of entertaining and informative communication. These will intrigue your
audience, warm them up and prompt them to…ask for more.
Benefit – The ability to package
vast quantities of data, research and experience into digestible blocks, frees
the expert to enjoy audience encounters, with the boosted confidence of a great
communicator – And, this makes them irresistible to their audience.
2. Clarify your thoughts – Most experts form their
professional opinions and conclusions early in their careers. A problem then
arises, if the field moves on. They slip behind current thought and look old
and researching to construct a new and up-to-date keynote speech, offers the
opportunity to make sure you are ahead of the curve, on top of latest
developments, and are thus, preparing something that is bullet-proof to critics.
There is nothing worse than an old soldier grinding out stories that are no
longer relevant or peddling models that have been disproved and dismantled long
ago. It is embarrassing and unnecessary.
Benefit – The structured thinking
and “audit” of your work, that is required when forming a new core
presentation, keeps you abreast of wider developments and will save you that red-faced
moment, “Have you taken new theory X into account?”
due diligence and thorough preparation, you will now answer, “Yes. And here is
how theory X will impact you.”
3. Broadcast to the word – Every month I meet
intellectual giants who are private heroes and heroines – They have the answers
but they are not spreading their wisdom widely. A keynote speech is the perfect
vehicle to build and expand a tribe of fans and followers, share your key
messages with a wider group, and, generate momentum and action.
It is no use
being silently right. To be consequent is better. And, to have followers adopt, act and start
the revolution for you, is best.
Benefit – When structured correctly (See me for further details), a great keynote speech, gets your vital message out into the world, changes perceptions, alters behaviours and provokes improvement that saves lives.
4. A starting point,
helping you develop your collateral – Not many people would start building their
“library” of Intellectual property and informational product assets with a
you have a gem and take it on the road, the audience, their questions, and, the
input they provide after the “show”, can spark 100 ideas for you to solidify in
further posts and pieces. If you listen to your listeners, they will help you
create a battery of products that can become a resource for everybody. Remember,
publishing 100 new written posts is just another way of saying, “Here is my new
Benefit – Your presentation becomes the catalyst for other IA – Informational Assets – Stand-alone products and properties that work to start making you famous and spreading your credo. They do this via social media, even when you are sleeping.
5. Positioning yourself – Do you want to be (Daniel
Priestley’s concept) A KPI – Key Person of Influence? The
authority granted to keynote speakers is extraordinary. My speeches have
generated income, invitations and infamy, and, in a short timeframe too.
fact, a good presentation to an invited and relevant audience is the single
quickest way to demonstrate your worth, qualify out the timewasters and qualify
in interested parties. It generates the number of emotional and intellectual
touches (see elsewhere) necessary to have decision makers rush the stage and
beg you to do the same thing for their audience. The gravitas and marketing
power of great public speaking cannot be understated.
Benefit – Some of the credibility
of the event, the sponsors and the other speakers at a conference will rub off
on you. If you are new to the game and work hard to become competent in your
presentation skills (See elsewhere on the site), you will become equal in status
to the best people in your field. And that is exciting.
6. Spread the word – We have covered some of the ways that message multiplication happens. Audience members ask you for a repeat performance. Conversations lead to further written and published posts. And, there are other ways to reach more people too. The obvious one is video.
you have reached a competent level in your presentation skills, you will be
ready to record and edit your efforts, and, put them in a “show reel” to generate
more speeches, or, start a YouTube channel to showcase your message.
Benefit – When you capture your
keynote speech in digital form, you can insert highlights and clips in your posts,
newsletters or E Mails, to wow your growing crowd of followers. This will help
you win the competition against all the noise and distraction out there, and,
will vastly expand your reach and appeal.
7. Maximise your day job – There is nothing as
attractive as a great public speaker. You will rarely get more attention than when
saying something pertinent to your audience. You will experience a
peak of appreciation when taking in the long and loud standing ovation
generated by your amazing keynote speech. A memory that will not fade.
Benefit – If you want to feel alive,
make a difference and generate more excitement in your life – You know what you
have to do next…
Conclusion – The process of
preparing your keynote speech can be as profound for you as that speech is
impactful for your audience.
your speech presents you with the opportunity to refine your message, refresh
your research and to craft your pitch to be optimally appealing and moving to
your audience. Because, in the end, it is all about your audience.
speeches are a time-effective way to interrupt for attention, demonstrate your depth
and value, and, move a wider audience. Your tribe will get to know you, like
you, trust you, and, reach out to get in contact. Speaking in public leads to
invitations, sales, friendships, and, the amplification of important messages,
that make a difference in the world. It is only in this way that anything
Action Time – How do you feel now?
Are you ready to do the work and put your own keynote speech together? Do give
me a call and tell me what topic you are passionate about. I would love to hear
do you want the stars in your team to structure their thoughts and knowledge to
help your company expand and reap the financial rewards of their expertise via great
– Do take action and get in touch today***
About the Author – Matthew
Hill is an
author, keynote speaker and presentation skills facilitator. He works with
corporate executives to uncover their hidden presentation talents, and, develop
their speaking and writing competence, to make them maximally effective in
converting cold but qualified audience members into followers, raving fans and
can be contacted on 07540 65 9995. International +44 7540 65 9995.
That is completely outstanding, wonderful and awesome.
Do the utterances of your
colleagues radiate a grey pessimistic gloom that makes you want to shake them?
Or, do some of your overseas team members chuck out so much insincere whooping
enthusiasm, that you feel as though you may be presiding over a 5 year-old’s
birthday party with jelly and ice cream?
Before we leap to judgement about the passive or active language of our fellow executives and how angry this makes us feel, let’s take a breath and put this into context.
If your country had a history
of keeping people down via serfdom, feudal oversight and soviet communism’s
secret police – If a little war, starvation and religious persecution were
thrown in for good measure, what discourse would be heard in your market square!
Optimism – Before we totally condemn the US for their crass and
trivial sounding, “Everything is awesome.” Let us pay tribute to the language
that facilitated the actions of 5% of the population (USA) to produce 23% of
the turn over OF THE WORLD. We may criticise a lack of depth but you cannot
argue with the result.
Pessimism – Conversely, from my 5 years in Central Europe, working with a generation that followed the Soviet regime, I came to understand the cynical, dark and cautious language of the region in a new way. This different perspective freed both them and me from the energy draining depression that many expats complained about, (when they thought no locals were listening.)
History – When you have control and agency ripped from your
arms by aristocratic overlords, then Communist apperachnics, and finally,
Western corporate bosses, your language will morph into something pragmatic and
functional. The Czech, “We tried that last time and it did not work” or, “There
is a problem” seem to signify a reluctance or unwillingness to cooperate.
This is to misunderstand
When we dig deeper, we
uncover a more profound truth. View this class of communication as an enquiry
about your intentions. Then, relax a little, and, respect the input, regarding
it as relevant and sharp. We are really hearing, “Can we trust you?” “Are you
for real?” “Will you change your mind next week and so render this urgent
request for action, pointless?”
The Slavic slaves will be
servants no longer. Their words symbolise the overthrowing of oppression. Depth,
connection and respect are required.
Meanwhile, in the middle…
energetically, the UK and much of Continental Western Europe fits somewhere in
the middle. Our modest phrases give us away too. In response to an enquiry into
our mental and physical wellbeing, the Brit may say, “Mustn’t grumble” “It
could always be worse” or the anodyne and meaningless, “Fiiiiine”.
We see ourselves as free, democratic
action takers, steering our ship on our own terms and yet, this passive
language is manifestly pessimistic, fatalistic and, to an outsider’s ear,
The core cultural value that
drives this avoidance of hubris and enthusiasm, is modesty – Cultural modesty.
I have written a lot on this subject. The history of the British people, pre
Empire, was similar to that of Russia. The surfs of the UK were a miserable,
Baldrick like lot, (though he was much more optimistic!)
Here, we are signalling the
tall poppy syndrome, though it is God who will smite us down for standing up
and standing out, not a secret policeman in the middle of the night.
The Brit must avoid displays
of ostentation and be ready for the next disaster to arrive at any time.
I spend a little time in
Southern Germany these days and notice a related style. On entering a restaurant
with pleasing décor, positive staff service and quality food and drink, the
first comment by a local may well be a critical or negative one. Again, a self-flagellating
form of avoidance – Dodging the wrath of God.
Britain’s new Emperor (We
will see if he is wearing clothes, shortly), has spoken of the need for
optimism by Brits after enduring the 1000 day water torture that is Brexit.
***I feel the average Brit
will roll their eyes at this, fearing a whooping American-like, forced
enthusiasm with an implied command to display compulsory happiness***
We have just come out of a
decade of austerity – Flogging will
continue until morale improves.
Now, we are being instructed
to drive the UK’s economic car over a Sovereign and “self-determining” cliff with
a smile on our face. – See? I am doing it myself!!!
The context of US language
is fascinating. Disparate exiled European groups landed on the East coast and
headed out West to stake a land claim and work unbelievably hard, to try to
build a cabin, plant, tend, harvest and preserve crops, and gather enough fuel
for winter. 62% failed. I guess the ones that made it were using more positive
and action based language than the ones that froze or returned. “Just do it”
“Make it happen” “Outstanding” “I won”.
Language divides us.
The language of the “other”
can be irritating.
We can mitigate our
bitterness and animosity when listening to the message of our overseas
counterpart by taking a peak at the fascinating history that helped establish
their idioms, punch lines and social fillers that we hear today. And, it is by
respecting the past and their past, that we can ensure a tolerant and healthier
approach to the “other”, and, enjoy their language and energy today.
Now, wouldn’t that be
awesome, problem-free and totally fine!
Hey Dude Life would be so much easier if BoJo the DUDE turned out to be a great success. He would prove himself worthy of the Telegraph’s hype and deserve great rewards – If he could get us through the … Continue reading →