The 18th National SIETAR Conference Chair
welcomes you to the 2019 National Conference in
October 30 – November 2, 2019.
Meet The Conference Chairperson
Karen J Lokkesmoe
My first intercultural experience was at the age of three when my brother and I moved to Western Manitoba, Canada and lived for 1.5 years with my aunt and uncle while my mother went back to school to finish her degree. While still with family and many shared traditions, there was much that was different and later in life I found myself interpreting expressions and actions between my Manitoba cousins and my older Minnesota siblings, who had not shared that experience. These were small things but left a lasting impression on me and I always understood that words and actions are not always interpreted the same way.
Throughout my life I have been fortunate to have been able to live, work, and study in four countries and to travel to 66 countries. I have always enjoyed studying languages and engaging with people who are different from me. Working in international education has been a excellent fit for me. I am blessed to be able to count as friends and colleagues over 250 international students and scholars from all corners of the world. These current and future world leaders inspire me every day.
Working as a professor and consultant in global leadership and intercultural competence development has been a perfect combination of my two great passions. For me one cannot be an effective global leader without also being interculturally competent. The two are intrinsically linked. Developing the Integrated Global Leadership Model through my Ph.D. research puts intercultural competence at the very center of a set of global leadership skills.
SIETAR, both nationally and locally in Minnesota, has been a wonderful organization where professionals, scholars, learners, and the curious can come together to share knowledge and engage in inquiries about how to do our work better. I was one of the founding members of SIETAR Minnesota and have long been on the planning board helping to keep our local organization relevant, vital, and sustainable. Having attended and presented at several past SIETAR USA conferences, I was honored to be asked to chair the 2019 National Conference. I believe that the work we do as interculturalists is perhaps more critical today than ever. The role we play today goes beyond education, training, and research. We must reach out to our coworkers, bosses, family members, community, state, and national leaders to facilitate the ongoing bridging and understanding of those who have values and beliefs different from our own. The SIETAR USA Conference is a great place to revitalize, renew, and support that work.
I invite you to join us in Atlanta, October 30-November 2, 2019 when we will engage with the theme: From Adversity to Diversity: The Role of the Interculturalist.
In addition to sessions of general intercultural interest that explore the conference theme, the conference program includes three tracks:
- The Role of the Interculturalist: Diversity, Inclusion, and Social Justice
- The Role of the Interculturalist Working with Specific Cultures
- The Role of the Interculturalist: Building Skills and Taking them to the Market Place
The annual conference is a time of renewal of our commitment to the intercultural field. We return to our daily lives refreshed and energized to make a difference for the people who are our students, clients, colleagues. We work to bridge transformations caused by change. The system in which we live—boundaries, borders, nations—has accelerated change enormously, sometimes beyond human tolerance or comprehension. We are all involved somehow in this change: change of society, of organizations, of communities, of one person who wants to learn. And each change often puts into action unpredictable consequences, of which we may know little. Some changes amaze and delight; others, not so much.
Please join me in Atlanta for a conference designed to support you with stimulating thinking, inspiring insights, expanding skills and renewing commitments—we will work together to explore important questions and seek avenues of human connection.
Who Should Attend
The SIETAR USA conference brings together professionals from many countries, ethnicities, occupations and industries for collaborative learning and stimulating exchange of ideas. The result is an increase in our own intercultural competency, along with support for our clients, trainees, and students as we all move forward in intercultural skills, awareness and knowledge.
The conference is not only an event that allows people to learn about cutting-edge topics, but also a meeting place of people who care about how culture plays a role in daily life and the importance of finding avenues to effective relations across cultures.
Whether you are a long-time SIETAR USA member, or this is your first experience with the organization, please plan to join us in Atlanta, GA this October!
Conference attendees come from multiple fields, including:
- Global Business and Multinational Corporations
- Health Services
- Training and Coaching
- Refugee and Immigrant Support Services
- Human Rights
- Domestic Diversity
- Global Diversity
- Cultural Transitions
- Peace and Conflict Resolution
- Communication and Dialogue Professions
- Community Development