To give you the opportunity to get to know some of our topics and to give you an impression of how we work, Gary offers regular free webinars on contemporary topics. All you need to participate in our freelearning webinars is a computer with internet access. The link to register is at the bottom of this post.
The freelearning webinars are limited to a maximum of 14 participants
and registration is on a first come first served basis.
Unconscious Bias – 23rd July 2019, 9AM German time / 8AM UK.
In this interactive free-learning webinar you will learn how implicit,
unconscious bias influences your daily business. You will discover how your
brain often tends to make wrong decisions.
Marketing for Trainers – 23rd July 2019, 11AM German time, 10 AM UK.
Many freelance trainers rely heavily on word-of-mouth without focusing on their own market position. In this webinar we will examine the components of a practical marketing and sales concept.
More than a photobook about what it means to feel Italian today .
89 photographs selected by an international jury show images of the Italy of today. A country in transformation in a global context, in terms of behaviours, customs and values and, at the same time, a country linked to traditions and elements of continuity with the past. The Photography Contest, Feeling Italian, collected more than 600 images of professional and amateur photographers, from Italy and abroad. A jury, composed of experts of photography, visual communication and interculture has selected 24 photographic projects .
This photo contest represented the first phase of a wider research and training project, that SIETAR Italia is developing in partnership with the Municipality of Milan and other private and non-profit organizations, to promote cultural awareness and intercultural dialogue . The book Feeling Italian will be, for SIETAR Italia and for all the supporters of this campaign, a precious tool with which to stimulate a better cultural understanding in the Italian multicultural society, and it will be a showcase for the photographers selected by the project’s international jury. Feeling Italian : a book in Italian and in English, approx. 120 pages, with black & white and color pictures, 21 x 21cm, exposed binding, containing the selected pictures, some of the photo projects’ narratives, and short essays written by photography, visual communication and intercultural experts .
Submission should follow the abstract template available online, please note that there are two templates (practitioner and academic).
Submission deadline: June.2019
AND. Did you know about our available student bursaries? Our student bursary awards are for students and early career scholars who have submissions accepted for presentation at the IACCM-IESEG2019 Conference.
Application deadline: June.2019
How to apply? All details can be found online here.
All enquiries on bursary applications (subject: student bursary) should be directed to Dr. Barbara Covarrubias Venegas: email@example.com
Please like & share with your intercultural community – We’d love to see you in Paris!
best wishes, Dr. Barbara Covarrubias Venegas Secretary General IACCM & Conference Chair
A week at the SIETAR Europa
Congress 2019 in Leuven has fed our collective brains, hearts, stomachs and
livers (if a liver can be fed.)
Overall, the event was a great success lead by Outgoing President, Joyce Jenkins. Joyce is the definition of an inclusive leader – combining leadership with latitude to develop purpose in an enthusiastic tribe of followers, ready to sweat a little, get creative, make decisions and get stuck in. There were many many dramas along the way (town, venue, gala, menus, rooms, people, tickets, buses, etc, etc.) And the lunches – we will get to that later. The end result was the transfer of much wisdom to a large group of intercultural enthusiasts in an effective manner in a beautiful town that was fit for purpose (Muntstraat had end-to-end restaurants and easily contained the learning hordes.)
Diversity and Inclusion
The inspired suggestion for
this year’s Congress theme gave the amorphous and sometimes stagnant
essentialist version of culture something substantial to work with and the
results were impressive. Inclusion is where the rubber meets the road and the
presenters with practitioner experience brought their experiences to life in a
unique and memorable way for many of us. The topics of colour, racism, LGBTQ, as
well as the prejudiced brain, polarisation and ethics got traction and the attention
of this, sometimes, critical SIETARian crowd.
Quality – Walk the Walk and Talk the Talk
When I drew attention to the
frequent lack of original content and questionable quality of some presenting
seen in the Dublin sessions and keynotes of 2017, I was unfriended by some
pretty big names – Sometimes the truth is painful to hear.
I am happy to report (not just so that you stay friends!) that both content and presentation quality seem to have bounced back to the Valencia standard of 2015.
The selection of papers for inclusion
in the programme was BLIND – If ever an event was aligned with its topic, this
has to be proof positive of that healthy intent. – A bi-product of this
meritocratic process was that some big names where not on the programme.
Whilst there are still
issues – Keynote speakers reading from their papers in “monotone”, some under
rehearsed sessions with avoidable errors and the like – Speaking personally, I
only had one sub-par experience during the whole event.
It was a very broad
programme with up to 9 simultaneous choices at any one time, so I can only talk
about the ones that I witnessed first hand.
***Shannon Murphy Robinson – An easily accessible introduction to the
neuroscience of bias, culture and behaviour. Educational.
***Seyda Kutsal – Buurman – Giving regular folk (outside the police force) a
chance to experience the strong feelings generated by the Brown Eyes, Blue Eyes
experiment for themselves. Profound.
***Christoph Bader – Bringing something NEW to Brexit / Trump / Popularism! That is rare
these days – Using the vehicle of collective memory, we were asked to apply its
cult-like methods to the “other side” and come up with some pithy slogans to
balance out fake news – Therapeutic.
***Christine Wirths and Lies Wouters – Digital learning – Giving us the chance, with a
real case, to come up with our own attempts at constructing a digital learning
programme – Inspiring and encouraging.
***Jackie van der Kroft – Reliably excellent, Jackie took us beyond conflict
to the anatomy and mitigation of polarisation and asked us to apply some
suggested methods in our own world. Outstanding.
***Monika de Waal, Natasha Aruliah & Henning Zorn – Sharing their life stories as 3 “outsiders”,
trialogues around difference and discussions of feelings and implications – A richly
***Alan Richter – Using ethical dilemmas and dramas and asking us to unpick them and
choose a response – our results were then compared with global data and
analysed. – The slickest show in town! And, finally,
***Sue Shinomiya – Ikigai – Finding one’s life’s purpose – The perfect post Gala session – Engaging enough to keep everyone zoned in, beautiful enough not to over challenge our fragile state. Elegant.
A reduced film track curated by a knowledgeable team and with the chance to see
the most popular ones again on day 3. Moving.
I am sorry to say I missed
the “Obama-like” opener with Leuven Mayor, Mohamed Ridouani. My loss.
Challenges – The vast voluntary team had much to cope with, not least their own size – Steering committee – 10, Congress team – 21 and Assistants – 12 (You probably need another committee to handle all of the 43+ volunteers!!!)
– The concrete medical school was funky though not always fit for purpose –
Arriving at the hospital entrance (never trust a taxi driver who says, “Ah,
yes, I know exactly where that is…”) we went past real medical patients, walked
along many corridors only to be finally denied by a double set of locked doors
– Signalling with my mobile phone light attracted the attention of the people
in the registration hall but they could not blow the locks on the doors (a
competence beyond university professors it seems.)
– Yes we are finally here. Let us reframe this moment to get most benefit from
our collective experience – The lunches were a bonding disaster that unified a
diverse crowd in a common complaint. I am put in mind of an old Jewish joke
about Catskills catering – “The food is horrible here – And, such small portions.” And it did not
matter – It lead to some hilarious survivor behaviour with charismatic SIETARian
explorers attempting to bribe, influence and persuade KU Leuven medical
students to buy canteen lunches for them – with mixed results.
Gala – In the end we all survived, ate and laughed. Apparently, the first choice venue went bankrupt before our event so a few brave souls found the substitute venue and persuaded them to host the do. The last minute instruction to select our food choices meant that, inevitably, many did not see the e mail and respond in time with their input. For them it was a fixed menu. But no more moaning – IT WAS A FREE OPEN BAR WITH BELGIUM BEER! – Come on.
Where else can you guarantee bonfemmie and bonhomie like that? (New Word – bonfemmie!!) Is there anywhere like a SIETAR Europa Congress as a place where you can tell your story and be respected, included and truly heard? – I don’t think so. We have something precious here that is safe, user friendly and staffed entirely (with two exceptions) by volunteers. Wow.
Thanks to the steering
committee of 10, the 21 strong congress team and, especially, to the 12 hard-working
See you in Malta, May 2021.
P.S. – I
promised to set up a Collaboration workspace after my interactive Collaboration
session on day 2 at the Congress – Watch this space on Culture99 and do feel free to join in the exchange, ask questions,
contribute and continue the dialogue about getting to collaboration within your
organisation and spreading it to other work and community spaces too. Thanks,
Develop your intercultural competences to perform more effectively across cultures
15th to 19th of July 2019 in Utrecht with facilitators – Nicole Kienhuis and Jackie van der Kroft will be the facilitators.
The old city centre, Utrecht, Netherlands
This summer the Utrecht University offers you a challenging course to develop your intercultural competences. These competences are becoming more and more crucial nowadays.
As we all know, performing well in one’s own familiar context or culture doesn’t automatically equal studying or working effectively in an international context and/or in a diverse team. Even though we live and work in an increasingly globalized world, in which we seem to look, sound and think more and more alike, we are faced with deep layers of cultural differences. Navigating these differences and being able to cross bridges requires developing these four intercultural competences: intercultural sensitivity, intercultural communication, building commitment and managing uncertainty.
Tuesday, 9th April 2019, 10:00 AM Berlin Time – One Hour
Registration deadline: Saturday, 6th April 2019 Berlin Time.
George Walther – Power Talk
In this webinar SIETAR Germany’s Gary Thomas will take a look at power talking and how it can impact and influence ourselves, those we lead, our peers, our partners and our environment.
Power Talking is a system of using common words to create uncommonly positive outcomes, developed in the USA by George Walther. The phrase he uses to define this concept is ‘What you say is what you get’.
Are you one of many parents out there bringing up kids bi- or trilingually? Are you sick of parents of monolingual kids telling you “Wow, your kids are so lucky” whilst you trawl through Maths in another language when you actually never really got it in your mother tongue? You barely understand the order of operations BODMA rule in English let alone its German KLAPUSTRI equivalent?
Oh I get you! I seriously do. All very time consuming when you are working and homework sessions seem to go on forever. Bringing up children bilingually takes a lot of commitment and consistency. I know it as I’ve been there, done it and yes, have two wonderful bicultural and bilingual children that move in and out of languages and cultures with the flexibility of an American Express platinum card.
But the early days were tough. As a British mother bringing two kids up in Austria, a lot of my friends and colleagues were constantly telling me how lucky I was that my kids were bilingual. I knew in my heart of hearts that this would be great long-term and their future employers would profit from their linguistic assets, but at home I was listening to the dreadful sounds of Denglish, and there was a time when every sentence my kids uttered was painful to my ears. These ranged from word order issues such as “Mummy, I want to the toilet go” (German sentence structure), to verb confusion “French did entfallen today” (was cancelled) and general noun usage errors like “Mum, can you make me a Wurstbrot” (open sandwich with luncheon meat) for words that didn’t really exist in English.
The only book I read on the topic was a bit dry (there were unfortunately no blogs back then) but the message I extracted from it was “keep it consistent” and this has definitely paid off.
BILINGUAL TIPS AND TRICKS
Let’s break it down into bitesize pieces and see how raising kids bilingually can be done as effectively as possible. Here are five ways of ensuring that bilingualism works:
Be consistent. If you are the parent responsible for a particular language, stick to your mother tongue. Even if your child answers you back in the local language and you speak that language fluently or with your partner. Just don’t budge!
Correct your child in a genteel fashion – the best way to do this is to repeat the incorrect sentence correctly, without pointing it out to the child. This is a bit tedious at the beginning as you may feel that every short exchange turns into a mammoth dialogue, but it really helps.
Expose your child to as much of the less present language as possible, this may be in terms of TV, films and books from the lesser predominant culture. Find ways of making the language attractive – watching films together, cooking, inviting friends over and speaking the language. Their friends will often find having a bilingual friend rather exciting. Talking to them is really important!
Keep family ties going with trips to their “other” culture(s) in the holidays and with Facetime & co, it’s easy to stay in contact with grandma and grandad or other relatives across the seas. This should be encouraged at a young age as teenagers sometimes want to travel less for FOMO as they get more integrated into their local life.
Maybe your child can gain recognised qualifications in a language in the country you are residing in. In the UK it is possible to do a GCSE in most languages and although the school can’t provide all the teaching, they are usually more than happy for pupils go gain qualifications in their mother tongue.
Many parents feel guilty about bringing up kids in different cultures as there are transitional periods when kids suffer from the change. Trilingualism (e.g. parents with two different mother tongues living in a third country) may take a bit more effort and it often depends on the child as to how they cope with it.
Thankfully, it will all unfold with time. My children have been penalised somewhat in school systems – in Austria their lack of knowledge of English grammar such as when to use the present progressive meant they didn’t always get top marks in English despite their fluency.
In the UK they were able to do their German exams (GCSEs and A-Levels) early but they found doing scientific subjects difficult in English because of lack of knowledge and language. In exam scenarios they have to think long and hard about the differences between “examine”, “explain” and “analyse” in questions, partly because this approach is very British but also because their vocabulary is smaller in both languages. And yet they were never considered by the system in the UK to need extra time as they didn’t sound “foreign” enough.
DON’T UNDERESTIMATE THE IMPORTANCE OF LINGUISTIC ASSETS
Being a multilinguist is a great skill for future employers and companies love ‘em! The neuroplasticity of bilingual brains is extensive. Do they think out of the box? Quite frankly NO! Because they don’t have any boxes to think out of! They are flexible, open-minded, empathetic, inclusive and very useful team members as they see value in and create synergy from different ideas and approaches.
Gone are the days when bilingualism was frowned upon – the tut-tutting of immigrants using their language on public transport or when immigrants were told by kindergartens and schools to speak the local language at home.
It’s something to be proud of and companies definitely do not undervalue linguistic assets. These days being ahead globally means having both knowledge of foreign markets and speaking foreign languages. So being bilingual gives you a step ahead – and it’s okay if your kids are not perfectly balanced bilinguals. The effort and hard work you put in in their younger years is definitely worth it in the long run.
Email Vanessa now at firstname.lastname@example.org to start a conversation on bringing up children multilingually.
And please share if you know anyone who may benefit from reading this.
About the author:
Vanessa has been training intercultural communication in various locations for around 14 years and is passionate about helping people relocate and reach their maximum potential from their time abroad.
Warning – Contains Humour, flashing lights and insults for BOTH Labour and the Conservative Party – It is Insult Inclusive!
Must Try Harder – Poor Communication
600 MPs campaigned for the UK to remain in the EU. They did so because it made sense for trade, defence, jobs and the NHS.
And they did such a poor job of campaigning that, evil marketing genius, Dominic Cummings and the Leave campaign, easily kicked their collective arses and won. Ouch.
Must Try Harder – Arrogance
Before getting D – for communication skills, they cockily assumed that no one would be exposed to 1000,000,000 Facebook adds containing, persuasive, attractive but wholly untrue slogans – Take back control, Britain for the British, A Leave vote will save the NHS, We will get back our lost UK Sovereignty, Save the bendy banana, etc. MPs assumed an easy referendum victory and then overcommitted – The Government did not set the bar high enough requiring a 66% result before a constitutional change was triggered – Even, not-so democratic Turkey, managed that. They said that this vote would be final, thus changing an advisory referendum into a vehicle allowing the educationally deprived British public to make direct British law for the first time in history – INSANE.
Must Try Harder – Rat-Ification
And then the Labour leadership got behind job reductions, economic recession, loss of foreign investment, NHS staff shortages and the Tory and right wing media ideological coup that is Brexit, saying they would deliver a secret rainbow, paradise and unicorn version of Brexit where Bambi’s mum would be brought back to life and everyone would go to work on hover-scooters. (You can’t say that I am wrong because no one has ever seen their plan!)
Must Try Harder – Forget Britain
And whilst this shaming and shameful charade has been playing out, like the end of the Roman Empire – None of the real British issues have been dealt with. We have lost time, money and the political will to sort out key systemic UK problems because these very British issues have all now been blamed on Brussels – INSANE.
It was not Brussels that made some regions of the UK poorer than others – The EU offered salvation to these troubled poor spots with regional EU investment money. After Brexit, that cash lifeline will now disappear. They did not cut Government support for local councils by 60% – The UK Government did that to top up the coffers after bailing out failed UK banks after the 2007 – 2008 UK / US Sub-Prime bank scam. It was the UK Government that chose to let in all the EU workers in 2004 – They were needed then and are needed now to fill jobs, work hard and make a net positive tax contribution to this country – We could have controlled the flow of incoming hard workers at ANY time. There has never been a Brussels / EU legal directive that Britain has disagreed with. Why should there be? Why would 27 reasonable states cook up a law that was repellent to us? They wouldn’t. And we have always had a veto on adopting new EU laws anyway. Even the UKs stupidest negotiator, Dumb David David David Davies admits that we have never disagreed with any new EU laws, “It is the principle”, he says with the sort of simple arrogance that makes you want to cry, laugh and puke, all at the same time.
Must Try Harder – Selfish Selfish Selfish
MPs and Head MPs continue to put job security and their personal ambitions before country. This is, morally…treasonous. TMPM just and only wants to hold on to her job for another week, and another week, and another week. That is all – She does not want consensus, a great deal for business, solutions for the regions, or a safe and protected NHS. No – Just her job, for one more week. Last week was proof of that with, “I will go off to Brussels to ask them to re-open the closed UK-EU negotiations and remove the backstop, which took 2 long years to agree upon.” Impossible (or as the right wing press would tell you – A great victory of TMPM) All she wants is the PM job… for another week.
My Local MP
Must Try Harder – Jezza
F knows what he wants. A not so secret Euro super sceptic, he has played an awful tactical long game, hoping not to be PM (he never wanted that) but for labour to walk over the bombed out Tory rubble of a failed Brexit, into power and Government. A fairly avoidant strategy, based, not on his successful leadership (there hasn’t been any) but depending on Tory humiliation and British people leaving their Brexit CULT of their own free will (Maybe he needs further education on Cults to realise that people trapped on the inside of them almost never leave of their own free will.)
Oops – What he didn’t reckon on was the uselessness of MPs, the power of the media to make Brexit still seem like a reasonable option (Brexit was at no time a better economic plan than staying in the EU. There was never a Brexit plan. There couldn’t be one, and, there is not going to be a better choice than trading from WITHIN the EU, any time soon.)
God knows why JC wants an election – TMPM would probably get an outright majority by the time the press has made Jezza into Soviet Satan and the majority of good British people finally admitted that they STOPPED THINKING, READING OR CARING about Brexit, sometime in Autumn 2016 and now, simply, wanted it all to be over.
Must Try Harder – Facts Fact Facts
All the facts are against what 600 MPs are going to do next – MPs will now be fully complicit in grinding out some sort of half-cock divorce with the EU, and, then grinding grinding out 5 to 10 years of post divorce EU trade negotiations with 27 states, where UK PLC will move either from, our current, First Class and Beneficial EU trade agreement to a Second or Third Class Non-Beneficial Agreement. – MPs will now “help” their 70 million constituents by deciding whether we shoot ourselves only in one foot, in booth feet OR, in the head! That is what our 600 MPs will decide for us. Well worth their £77,000 salary, topped up with some dodgy expense claims. And, well worth our votes and continuing support…?