“A blank slate? Brain Science and Cultures” Florence, 4 – 6th April 2019

Roberto Ruffino reminds us that registration is now open for this important International conference taking place in Florence on 4th to 6th April 2019, Please visit the conference site;

PROGRAMME  – A BLANK SLATE?

NEUROSCIENZE E CULTURE / BRAIN SCIENCE AND CULTURES

AN INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE

Florence Firenze, 4th-6th April 2019 

Thursday 4th April (3.00-6.00 pm) – Inaugural session

Palazzo Vecchio, Salone dei Cinquecento

Roberto Ruffino, Fondazione Intercultura                    Benvenuto/Welcome

Issues about the transfer of culture

Steven Pinker, Harvard University                                The Blank Slate  (video presentation)

Lamberto Maffei, Università di Pisa                            Guardare, vedere, immagini del tempo

Peter Richerson, University of California                     Not by Genes Alone: How Culture

Transformed Human Evolution

Martin Gessmann, Hochschule fur Gestaltung                         Mind Meets Brain: The True Impact of Neuroscience Offenbach am Main                                                     on Philosophy

Mai Nguyen Phuong Mai, Amsterdam University          There is no blank slate. The role of genes,

neurons, behaviour and geography in the

reshaping of cultures

Panel Discussion (9.00 pm)

Firenze, Hotel Mediterraneo, Centro Congressi

Milton Bennett IDRI Institute – Ying-yi Hong, Chinese University of Hong Kong:

A debate “Culture, Cognition, and Consciousness”

Friday 5th April (all day) – Parallel Workshops

Firenze, Hotel Mediterraneo, Centro Congressi

09.00 -11.00 – We are all human beings

Shalom H. Schwartz, University of Jerusalem              Universal values across cultures

Lilach Sagiv, Hebrew University Jerusalem

Richard Nisbett, University of Michigan                      Culture, genes and intelligence

Andrea Moro, Scuola Univ Sup. IUSS Pavia                Sintassi, cervello e lingue impossibili

Alberto Piazza, Università di Torino                            La conservazione della memoria genetica

Giuseppe Mantovani, Universià di Padova                  L’educazione interculturale al tempo dei sovranismi

con Simone Giusti                                                     Storia globale e traduzione nella scuola

Mark Pagel, University of Reading                               Origins of the Human Social Mind

Adriano Favole, Università di Torino                           Nature e Culture: l’irriducibile pluralità

Stefano Allovio, Università Statale di Milano              dell’umano

11.30 -13.30 – Cultures and the unconscious

Sudhir Kakar, Psychoanalyst, Goa                               Cultures and Psyche

Paolo Inghilleri, Università di Milano                          La cultura e i geni non si trasmettono da soli:

il ruolo della mente

Hannah Monyer, University of Heidelberg                   Brain Plasticity and Memory

Giacomo Rizzolatti, Università di Parma                       La doppia vita delle espressioni emozionali

Fausto Caruana, Università di Parma

Neil Levy, Macquarie University           Sydney              Neuro-ethics

Shinobu Kitayama, University of Michigan                    Interaction between culture and brain

Romano Madera, Universita di Milano Bicocca             Dalla pseudospeciazione al capro espiatorio

15.00 -17.00 – Cervello, coscienza, culture/Brain, consciousness and cultures

David Sloane Wilson, Binghamton University              Cultural evolution is a blank slate in the same way                                                                              as other evolutionary processes

Joseph Shaules, Juntedo University                            A Deep Culture Approach to Intercultural Learning:                                                                            Culture Cognition and the Intuitive Mind

Milena Santerini, Università Cattolica Milano             Educazione morale e neuroscienze

Franco Fabbro, Università di Udine                             Basi neuropsicologiche dell’esperienza religiosa

Marcello Massimini, Università di Milano                    Definire e misurare il valore dello stato di coscienza

Guido Barbujani, Università di Ferrara                                    L’invenzione delle razze

Saturday 6th April (morning) – Plenary session

Firenze, Hotel Mediterraneo, Centro Congressi

  • Video-summary of items from previous day’s                                                                           workshops
  • Dialogo su culture, cervello, geni e valori/ A dialogue                                                                        on cultures, brain, genes and values:
  • Ian Tattersall, NY Museum of Natural History
  • Susanna Mantovani, Università di Milano Bicocca
  • Francesco Cavalli Sforza, Università San Raffaele di Milano

12.00-13.00                                                                 Wrap up and Conclusions

  • Roberto Toscano, Presidente Fondazione Intercultura
Advertisements

Collaboration Post 2 – 4 Tools To Create Constructive Collaboration by Matthew Hill

Most people, most of the time, are not in collaboration mode – they are pursuing a totally different agenda

Tool 1 Active Listening

Before you dismiss this with a, “ ‘been there, done that, know it all already!” (that would indicate that you are overdue for a listening refresher course), let us remind ourselves that most people, most of the time are not listening actively. They are more likely to be;

*Waiting their turn to give their version of what has just been said, and, if they are super competitive, to story top and WIN! This is not active listening.

Team

Selfless Working

*Asking WIIFM? “What’s in it for me?” This person mines your data looking to extract personal gain and advantage from your content. It is a search function akin to selective attention. Test this by throwing in some test words, “Sex, beer and Netflix” and watch thier reaction. When they twitch they will know you are on to them. This is not an empathic activity.

*I know best. The Listening Observer Critic sits high up, even whilst standing, and allows their privilege to leak out with advice, constructive (or undermining) criticism to let you know that they are just a little bit better than you. These people lack empathy and their contribution may leave a bitter residue.

And now the real thing – Active Listening

The missing elements include;

*First attempting a broad understanding of what is being said and then taking a further empathic step – to understand the speaker as the SPEAKER intends to be understood. This is the Platinum level of listening.

*Psychological proof. This stage is not attained by the listener repeating what they have heard. A smart phone can do that. They are tasked with processing the information from their own perspective, attempting empathy and seeing the matter from the speaker’s Point of View – POV and, then, expressing what they think they have heard. Here we may add, checking for clarity and the confirming the intention component as well. This will sound like, “So, IF I have understood you correctly, I heard XXX. Is that the message you wished me to receive?”

*Letting them finish. The talking stick remains with the speaker for as long as they wish so they finally can feel they have said their piece.

Shocked girl eavesdropping.

Listening?

Miracle

The first time you try these ideas out with a passionate person, the results may overwhelm both them and you. This may be the first occasion when they have actually felt listened too with respect, depth and acknowledgement.

Good luck

Tool 2. Point of View – POV

This is a POV and reconciliation exercise that can be practiced as a training exercise and then used in real conversations. The training version is simple. Split the group into 3s. The first person takes the role of Finance Director, the second, New Young Executive and the third, the Project Delivery Leader. The context is set – The 3 of you are discussing the progress of a critical 90-day work project for your Golden Goose customer. As it stands, you are not going to hit either the quality mark or the tight deadline. Q. What do you do? The suggestion that you are now going to form an opinion on is; PAID OVERTIME. Are you for it or against it in this instance?

+ The first task is for the 3 to get into character and give a one-line opinion, yes or no, with, maybe, one line of explanation.

The answers are normally the expected ones – The Finance Director says, “The new money is not in the budget – No,” Etc.

+ The second task is to work out a strategy for how to reconcile the 3 points of view to reach the required quality standard, and, put in enough work hours to finish the job and end before the deadline.

There normally follows some creative thinking, challenge to opposing positions and a reconciliation that ends come up with a strategy that is, 1) paid for, 2) creates more hours of labour to complete the project, and, 3) can be agreed upon by the 3 people in the discussion.

This exercises mirrors what is required of a Collaborative Working Group – the robust exchange of truths, creating options, reconciling differences and mobilising around a common outcome to stay focused on the task, and, not get distracted by difference.

Once the training version has been completed it is time to have a go in the BWW – The Big Wide World.

Tool 3. Letting Go of Defensiveness

If there were just one freeing exercise that was mandatory for all boards, groups and committees, this would be it. Humans are emotional, primal and full of fear. It is mostly misdirected fear around the participant’s core needs not being met that causes so much grief and delay.

Group Of Young Business People

Stop crossing your arms!

When a board member’s core needs are threatened, defensiveness can easily follow. The 3 needs are;

*Significance – Privilege, status, power, importance or position – When this is threatened or exposed, defensiveness will never be far behind.

*Competence – Another key component of a board member’s identity tool kit is their ability and skill level. When this is challenged, called into questioned or undermined in real time, defensive will surely follow.

*Likable – To generalise – We all have a deep deep desire to be admired, liked and approved of. It is a critical part of most of us and the one need that is examined the most – “Do they like me?” “Will they like me?” “Am I being likable now?” Etc.

How does defensiveness manifest? We can make progress when we spot the symptoms of defensiveness, spot them early and interrupt the negative behaviour that will inevitably follow.

Examples include; plunging into sulky silence, The “poor me” victim script, All or nothing, polarised thinking, wanting and needing to be right, spreading the blame or shame, experiencing a sudden drop in IQ, experiencing energy ripping through the body, doom mongering / catastrophizing, needing the last word, obsessive thinking, Needing to pour out information or saying, “I don’t really get defensive.”

Action – With self-awareness, each board / committee member can learn to notice their own pattern of moving into defensiveness. The next move it to interrupt that normal course of events, reset, and, move in a different direction.

If you start to witter when you feel attacked – Stop, centre yourself and remain silent. If you suffer a drop in IQ, stop and focus on an intelligence enhancing strategy such as collecting symptoms from the recent conversations and attempting to derive a root cause that can be dealt with. If you feel like pointing the finger, interrupt yourself and focus on environmental causes not ones originating for any individual in the room. And so on.

Tool 4 The Licenced Pessimist

If you are familiar with Edward De Bono’s Six Hat Thinking Model, you will know that the Black Hat is tasked with thinking of the biggest risks and the worst outcomes. This function is essential if a group is to combat GROUPTHINK. Groupthink happens when overly homogenous groups, often lead by a strong or charismatic leader, get behind an idea and really go for it. When it is a particularly extreme point of view, risk management goes out the window and, suddenly, something bizarre ends up being carried out by an enthusiastic lynch mob. Remember the HSBC credit officer who saw the 2007 subprime loan property disaster unfolding in the US and spoke up. He was fired by the group-thinking board and disaster followed shortly after.

Asking people to rotate and take a turn to act as the devil’s advocate is a great way to stress test all ideas, and challenge all assumptions before bad outcomes occur.

Hint – It is best to keep rotating this role through the group or an unconscious bias will grow and that single Black Hat will begin to be seen as not playing a useful role but OWNING their tasked negative perspective permanently.

Conclusion

We hope you have benefited from these 4 tools and ideas and will implement them with your committees, boards and teams.

Please like and share if you are going to take action or think others could benefit from this input. Thank you.

About the Author – Matthew Hill is a trainer, facilitator, coach and public speaker helping executives and leaders uncover their soft skill talents, develop their communication competences and, whilst reaching their own personal potential, help others to enjoy a better work life and great business outcomes. Contact him by telephone;  07540659995

Like and share

 

Ethics, Culture and You – Important New Webinar from SIETAR Netherlands.

2PM Dutch Time, 25th June 2018, 1PM, UK time

Sietar Netherlands has recently introduced a Code of Ethics. It has not always been easy. Their journey to finally realize a Living Code of Ethics, combined with a compliance procedure and a compliance committee, has taken three years.

Join us for this special webinar 2PM, 25th June 2018 to meet the three Sietar members that were deeply involved from the beginning.

No Sign, Vector illustration

They will be happy to share their breakthroughs and methods with other Sietarians and interculturalists interested in building up professionalism and process within their own national Sietars and organisations.

Jacqueline Franssens represents the board of Sietar Netherlands and Teuni Looij and Yvonne van der Pol  will represent the working group that arrived at the Code of Ethics. They will tell of their highs and lows on the journey to successfully making a robust Code of Ethics.

Wooden signpost - code of conduct (ethics, respect, code, honesty, integrity).

In the webinar they will answer key questions; Why a Code of Ethics? How did they organize the work? And, How did the process evolve? On what topics did they receive support? And, Where did they encounter most resistance? Finally, Why did they move from working on a Code of Conduct and end up deciding for a Code of Ethics?

Join us for this important broadcast and do please take the opportunity to ask your questions and discover for yourself what is needed to reach a meaningful outcome.

To register simply click on the link and follow the Gotomeeting instructions.

https://attendee.gotowebinar.com/register/7987223390340296449

 

Louise and the 5 Chairs -Owning our Behaviour – Louise Evans

SIETARian, Interculturalist and Corporate Coach, Louise Evans gives a profound and inspiring talk expanding on the work of Marshall Rosenberg  – Father of Non Violent Communication, at TEDx in Genova. Own your Behaviours, Master your Communication and… Determine your Success. Thanks Louise.

The 5 Chairs