Global Competence: Our Future, Our Responsibility, 26th -28th September 2018, Budapest, Hungary.

The first ever, Learning-to-live-together event – An AFS Global Conference

Setting an urgent agenda for global competence development


This Conference aims for real alignment and cooperation among all sectors who have a stake in developing global competence, whether in classrooms, lecture halls, study abroad programs, non-formal training environments or beyond.


The urgency of today’s challenges requires a united action from all who are invested in a globally-connected, peaceful future. The Conference will bring together educators, business leaders and innovators, policymakers and government representatives, international education and non-formal learning providers, community organizations, social entrepreneurs and volunteer leaders.

Let’s work together across sectors and countries to set an urgent agenda to meet the growing demand for global competence, by creating and aligning policies, tools and resources that empower educators to deliver these essential 21st century skills to learners at every life stage.



Pune, India – Intercultural Competence 4.0, 17th-18th February 2018. Call for Papers.

SIETAR India Intercultural Competence 4.0

SIETAR India Intercultural Competence 4.0

Sunita cordially invites you to submit your intercultural abstracts to present a 60 or 90 minute interactive session or give a 20 minute TED style talk.
Do please send your submissions to by 30th September 2017.
Thanks from the the Sietar India team
Sunita Nichani
President, Sietar India

Film of ELC Webinar; Identity – Values – Language – Culture? Methods and Materials for Teaching Intercultural Competence in English


ELC Screen Jpeg

To watch the film click here;

Dr. Judith Mader and Dr. Rudi Camerer Broadcast from Frankfurt on the schools of thinking around culture, where the problems lie, effective blending learning methods, the use of critical incidents and case studies and how a combination of “home” work and classroom discussion for individuals or groups can work successfully.

If you enjoy the show and want to experience the ELC ICE course for yourself, feel free to contact Rudi at;


Webinar Highlights – Yoshiko Kurisaki – Western Women Working in Japan.

An ITC Webinar

Japanese Culture Expert Yoshiko Kurisaki introduces the challenges and background to Japanese business as is and as experienced by outsiders including Wester Women living and working in Japan. Help for Western Women visiting and negotiating in Japan.

Yoshiko Kurisaki helps us with an essential overview of Japanese women’s presence and importance in the Japanese workplace and economy. This includes Equal Pay Day and the Gender Pay Gap.

Yoshiko Kurisaki provides us with a cultural context around the delicate subject of collectivism, silence, soft speech and the “rice economy” as an aid to Western Women entering Japanese business scenarios.

Japanese Culture Expert Yoshiko Kurisaki gives essential advice around the delicate subject of modesty in Japanese business scenarios. Help for Western Women visiting and negotiating in Japan.

Yoshiko Kurisaki talks about the etiquette required to gain cooperation in Japanese business circles.


Do Ri Me – Achieving Intercultural Competence. A Christmas Post by Ms. Bernie Wrafter

What does intercultural competence feel like?

For me it is the Ri stage in the Japanese Martial Arts concept. The end of a journey of diligence, dedication and attention to detail. By the time we reach Ri we have integrated the traditional wisdom of the masters and are now equipped to separate and leave. At this stage our moves are natural, becoming one with the spirit of events and the people in them.

Lachen glücklich multikulturell Gruppe junge Menschen in einer Reihe Freisteller

It is a journey for companies, managers and executives

How do we become one?

Answered simply – when organisations grasp that culture is dynamic and begin to understand that time abroad ≠ intercultural competence. When we create an organisational setting which values acquiring intercultural competence as the priority. When we steer the individual towards reflection, adaptation and culturally adapted solutions as a style of leading and interaction – stress testing them on the job.

From unconscious incompetence to unconscious competence – 4 steps to getting there.

The 4 Steps to Competence presents a framework for self-management and performance review.

At the outset of any new assignment we are rightly confident, exuberant even. We are, however, in a state of unconscious incompetence where diversity can provide unexpected challenges. It is our awareness, openness, cultural sensory perception and adaptation that will decide whether we move up to the next stage of learning. Seeing conscious incompetence as a natural stage to progression would act as a propulsion for the individual into the next stage of conscious incompetence. The opposite, avoidance, with all the camouflaging behaviours typical of this cycle should not be an option.

For most of us this stage is very uncomfortable, one we want to remove ourselves from quickly. Not too quickly though because it is here we need the patience and diligence to construct our way out – and this is cultural competence. We will draw on all our reserves of situational courage and our skill in communicating across differing worldviews. We will arrive, chastened, humbled but well equipped at conscious competence when we master these attitudes and behaviours.

Ri – the final stage in attaining competence is unconscious competence. To enter and attain our Ri however our executives need to remain consciously adaptive, to be able to assess and change style depending on the global context and the diversity of the set of people involved. Ri then represents a permanent state of flowing conscious competence – elevated on the shoulder of the masters, eyes forward, at the helm, steering a steady course in choppy seas.

A note about the author – Bernie Wrafter is a trainer, facilitator and coach. She runs a consultancy working with German and Swiss based multinationals coaching and nudging nationals from all continents to experience transcultural managerial gems! Her passion is high functioning diversity in teams, transnational management development, and successful conflict mediation across cultures.

She has studied and worked in the UK, USA and Germany, is a native of Ireland (though rejects national categorisations.) Rather, she identifies herself as “at home in the world, but seldom at home.”