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  • 20 Mar 2020 3:21 PM | Anonymous

    Dear IACCM Members and friends,

    we are happy to invite you to have a close look at the current 
    EJCCM Special Issue on: "Intercultural Competencies in a Changing Complex World"
    More information online 
    here.

    Guest Editors:
    Dr. Barbara Covarrubias Venegas, University of Valencia, Spain
    Prof. Marie-Therese Claes, Louvain School of Management, Belgium

    All papers are refereed through a peer review process. All papers must be submitted online. To submit a paper, please read 
    our Submitting articles page.

     Important Dates  
    Manuscripts due by: 31 May, 2020
    Notification to authors: 31 July, 2020
    Final versions due by: 30 September, 2020

    If you have any queries concerning this special issue, please email the Guest Editors at Dr. Barbara Covarrubias Venegas at 
    bcovarrubiasvenegas@gmail.com.

    With our best wishes,
    Barbara Covarrubias Venegas
    IACCM Secretary General

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:13 PM | Anonymous
    • March 19, 2020 – SIETAR Europa WEBINAR: “From Intercultural “Lessons” to Intercultural “Insights” with Certified ICF Coaches Manuela Marquis and Jimena Andino Dorato. Click here view the recording of this Webinar.

      April 14, 2020 – SIETAR USA WEBINAR: “Change Management with Insight from Brain Science” with Dr. Mai Nguyen-Phuong, Associate Professor at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Visit  SIETAR USA April Webinar to register!

      October 7-11, 2020 – SIETAR USA Nation Conference: “Mind, Culture, Society” Join us in Omaha, Nebraska, USA, for SIETAR USA’s National Conference!

    • ·      CFP COMING SOON!
    • ·      The SIETAR USA room block is OPEN! Make your reservations today; visit Hilton Omaha to book your room(s).
    • ·      Visit the SIETAR USA website for conference logistics: 2020 Conference

    March

    March is Women’s History Month. Started in 1987, Women’s History Month recognizes all women for their valuable contributions to history and society.

    March is also National Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month, which was established to increase awareness and understanding of issues affecting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

    March is National Multiple Sclerosis Education and Awareness Month. It was established to raise public awareness of the autoimmune disease that affects the brain and spinal cord and assist those with multiple sclerosis in making informed decisions about their health care.

    March 13-April 15: Deaf History Month. This observance celebrates key events in deaf history, including the founding of Gallaudet University and the American School for the Deaf.

    March 17: St. Patrick’s Day, a holiday started in Ireland to recognize St. Patrick, the patron saint of Ireland who brought Christianity to the country in the early days of the faith.

    March 19: St. Joseph’s Day, in Western Christianity the principal feast of St. Joseph, the husband of the Blessed Virgin Mary.

    March 20-21: Nowruz/Norooz, Persian New Year, a day of joy, celebration and renewal. It is held annually on the spring equinox.

    March 21: International Day for the Elimination of Racial Discrimination, observed annually in the wake of the 1960 killing of 69 people at a demonstration against apartheid pass laws in South Africa. The United Nations proclaimed the day in 1966 and called on the international community to redouble its efforts to eliminate all forms of racial discrimination.

    March 25: International Day of Remembrance of the Victims of Slavery and the Transatlantic Slave Trade is a United Nations international observation that offers the opportunity to honour and remember those who suffered and died at the hands of the brutal slavery system. First observed in 2008, the international day also aims to raise awareness about the dangers of racism and prejudice today.

    March 31: International Transgender Day of Visibility, celebrated to bring awareness to transgender people and their identities as well as recognize those who helped fight for rights for transgender people.

     

    April

    April is Celebrate Diversity Month, started in 2004 to recognize and honor the diversity surrounding us all. By celebrating differences and similarities during this month, organizers hope that people will get a deeper understanding of each other.

    April is also Autism Awareness Month, established to raise awareness about the developmental disorder that affects children’s normal development of social and communication skills.

    April 2: World Autism Awareness Day, created to raise awareness of the developmental disorder around the globe.

    April 8: Buddha Day (Vesak or Visakha Puja), a Buddhist festival that marks Gautama Buddha's birth, enlightenment and death. It falls on the day of the full moon in May April and it is a gazetted holiday in India.

    April 8: Lailat al Bara’a, also known as Barat, or Night of Forgiveness, an Islamic holiday during which practitioners of the faith seek forgiveness for sins.

    April 13: Vaisakhi (also known as Baisakhi), the celebration of the founding of the Sikh community as the Khalsa (community of the initiated) and the birth of the Khalsa.

    April 17: The Day of Silence, during which students take a daylong vow of silence to protest the actual silencing of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) students and their straight allies due to bias and harassment.

     

    Holidays list courtesy of:https://www.diversitybestpractices.com/2019-diversity-holidays


  • 11 Feb 2020 8:08 PM | Anonymous

    The oft-repeated phrase “it takes a village..” is especially true for creating the SIETAR USA national conference. There are some similarities between SIETAR USA and a village, although it’s not an exact fit. We have a leader (currently a headwoman) as many villages do, we meet together on a regular basis, our population is larger than a hamlet but nowhere near the size of a town. Villages are settled around a central point and SIETAR USA serves as a central point of connection for people from many cultural and professional backgrounds who explore differences on multiple levels; engage in cutting-edge research related to cultural dimensions; search for and provide avenues to effective relations across cultures; and work to expand worldviews and build skills for successful interactions in intercultural arenas.

                Putting on the conference requires the effort of a group within our village who bond to become the conference committee. A bit about our committee: Deborah Orlowski, PhD, volunteered (no arm twisting required) to chair the 2020 conference. Her PhD is in Transformative Learning: personal and organizational. During her career (she recently retired from her post at the University of Michigan) as a senior learning specialist she focused on personal and leadership development especially at the emerging leader level. Her co-chair is Tatyana Fertelmeyster (a little bit of arm twisting) who has chaired SIETAR USA conferences, was the 4th president of the SIETAR USA, and as founder of Connecting Differences consults with organizations, their diversity leaders, and diversity champions to create and improve their global and domestic diversity programs.

                The Program Chair is again Kwesi Ewoodzie who mastered the program platform last year and wanted to do it again. Kwesi originally from Ghana, has a PhD from University of Iowa. Currently in Atlanta he is the founder and managing director of Culture Beyond Borders.  The conference committee has filled out nicely and more conference committee members will be introduced in the March newsletter. We can still use some volunteers. Don’t miss the fun—let us know that you are interested.

                The conference theme for Omaha is Mind, Culture, and Society. Join us to explore connections between Mind, Culture, and Society. How does the intersection of these three vital aspects change how we view and react to the world around us?  The schisms in today’s world—rural/urban immigrant/citizen; and the gaps caused by differences in religion; race; gender; sexual preference, and politics—challenge us daily. How does a deeper understanding and intersection of these three factors enhance our capacity to bridge such schisms?  This conference will shine a light on the impact of emerging neuroscience applications, current perspectives on culture, and social parameters within the Intercultural and Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion fields.

                I used to be one of those people who ignored the theme and participated just to be with a growing group of collegial friends, to find out what they had been doing all year, and to share what I was up to. I have changed my mind about themes. I participate still for the reasons I mentioned, but I like using the theme as a lens through which I view my own work as well as a clue to the overall content focus of the conference. Since the theme doesn’t always fit me exactly, I appreciate the flexibility to present in the general category of education, training, and research.

                Preparing the Call for Proposals is well underway. Watch for the announcement at the end of this month. And consider being a proposal reviewer. It’s the best way to get a sneak preview of the conference!

    Sandra M. Fowler
    President, SIETAR USA

    Join me in Omaha, Nebraska, October 7-11, for the national SIETAR USA Conference: 
    Mind, Culture, and Society!

    Knowing that territorial boundaries are fluid and documentation is disputed, SIETAR USA acknowledges and offers respect to the past, present, and future Traditional Custodians of the land where our 2020 conference will take place—the Omaha-Ponca and other Plains Tribes: the Oto, Pawnee, Winnebago, Sac, Fox, and Lakota Sioux.

     


  • 11 Feb 2020 7:56 PM | Anonymous

    I get it. You’re concerned about being lambasted for using the wrong word or not having the most nuanced understanding of geo-politics. You don’t want to be put on the “hot seat” for committing a gaffe or being imperfect when it comes to understand diversity and inclusion. In other words, you are tired of the “woke” culture.

    And guess what? To some extent, so am I. I have been called an “Uncle Tom” for reasons that continue to befuddle me. I have been accused of supporting “respectability politics” as a Gay man. I have also been accused of being “comfortable with the oppressor.” And although those who know me personally and professionally would soundly reject those assessments, that fact that some would hurl those accusations is not really important in the larger scheme of things. Yet, as a consultant, professor, and speaker, the fact that I was said to not be “woke” was a stinging rebuke of my identity and even caused me (albeit briefly) to rethink whether I should engage in dialogue with others around diversity, inclusion, and equity issues. For a moment I thought, I don’t recognize the progressive world I thought I lived in anymore.

    Even after nearly 20 years of doing diversity and inclusion work, I continue to make mistakes and I continue to learn. And with any developmental model, shaming or cancelling people – which has become so prevalent with “woke” culture – is highly problematic, if not downright ineffective. Learners (which is what we are when engaging new cultures) are not likely to absorb new information and transform their behavior if the learning container feels punitive (Holley & Steiner 2005). If we make good-faith attempts at learning exceedingly risky, then the learner, ally, or new social justice adherent will simply avoid conversation or any attempt to become more culturally-intelligent for fear of walking onto a landmine. No one wants to feel like they are walking on eggshells in order to become more diversity mature. Learning must come with the appropriate space to take risks and learn from our mistakes without fear from judgment.

    However, as problematic as “woke” culture can be, status-quo culture is equally if not more problematic. When we stay “unconscious” and allow the traditional norms of white supremacy, patriarchy, heterosexism, classism, religiosity, ableism, and cisgenderism to burn incessantly without remedy or recourse, we are normalizing outcomes in which underrepresented cultures continue to suffer, struggle, and die. And this last point is not a matter of embellishment.

    Consider the following: on October 20th, millions of people across the world commemorated the Transgender Day of Remembrance to honor the lives of transgender and non-gender conforming people across the world. Unfortunately, in just this past year, 331 transgender people have been killed globally (Forbes, 2019). In the U.S., violence against the transgender community is at epic proportions and despite this fact, none of the current U.S. presidential candidates has addressed how they would deal with this issue in a forceful way. To be clear, this very fact is an example of people not being “woke” or mindful of the realities that exist around them.

    The very idea of being “woke” is not to castigate those who are uninformed or unsophisticated on particular topic, but to stir us from the painfully-quiet reality in which acts of violence and discrimination fester. When we are not “woke” or awakened to the suffering of our friends, family, colleagues, and neighbors, we are helping to preserve a status quo that destroys the soul and conscience of our fellow global citizens. In fact, the status quo prevents too many from becoming “woke” to their own potential and unlimited capability. Given the geo-political realities we are facing now – including climate change, automation, nationalism, and the like – we need every person to become woke and aware of their power in order to save humanity.

    So while I get fatigued when fellow social justice warriors and DEIB practitioners employ an arbitrary and unforgiving litmus test in assessing the bona fides of people who profess to love and support this work, I also understand the place from where it is coming. Marginalized people do not have the luxury of always watching those in privilege clumsily wade into waters of inclusion and equity. We need leaders and everyday citizens to be focused, intentional, curious, diligent, and empowered. We need people to act as advocates and not as armchair allies.

    In the end, I won’t blame you for not being perfect. Neither am I, and I don’t describe myself as “woke” in the strictest sense of the word. But I won’t live as a social sleepwalker either. My experience, my journey, and my consciousness cannot abide by you if you remain comfortable with the tragic reality that we are witnessing in 2019 and beyond. I cannot support being comfortable with the status quo.

    Dr. Joel A. Davis Brown is a consultant, coach, speaker, storyteller, and soon-to-be author based in San Francisco and Paris.


  • 11 Feb 2020 7:50 PM | Anonymous

    Art inSight: Understanding Art and Why It Matters by Fanchon Silberstein, Intellect: University of Chicago Press, 2020, 196 pages. Reviewed by Craig Storti.

    Granted: This sounds like a book about art. So what’s it doing in the SIETAR newsletter? The answer is contained in the title and especially in the subtitle. The title can be read two ways: art in sight (something to do with looking at art) and art insight (something about what art can teach). And the subtitle expands on this dual purpose: this book will help you understand art, but it will also show you how understanding art matters, how it can change you for the better. And therein lies the intercultural angle, for it is Fanchon’s central thesis that if you actively engage with art—as opposed to passively observing it—you will learn about the mind and world of the artist and as a result have insights into your own mind and your own world. And if those worlds are very different—think artists from cultures and backgrounds other than your own—then engaging with art is inherently intercultural. But it is more than that: entering the world of the Other, in this case through art, opens you up to understanding difference and, with a little luck, to accepting or at least tolerating difference. And that’s why art matters

    In the book Fanchon quotes Picasso to the effect that a painting is not finished until the viewer arrives. This is that idea again that art is an exchange—Fanchon calls it a dialogue—between two people, two worldviews. It doesn't have to be an exchange, of course; it’s not as if there’s something wrong with just observing and reacting, with being pleased by and liking what you see or being put off and not liking it. But if you are so inclined and especially if you know how, you can turn that mere viewing, mere looking, into something much more, a learning experience—an insight—rather than just a moment of pleasure or displeasure.

    And that is Fanchon’s cause: to teach us how to move beyond observing art to engaging with it and experiencing the many benefits of so doing. Simply stated, Fanchon says you have to ask questions of art. She says that meeting strange art is like meeting a stranger, and just as asking questions of, developing a relationship with, and ultimately understanding a stranger will enrich your life, asking questions of art can provide the same kind of enrichment. “This book is about how to talk to art and listen to yourself. It invites you to find the life in seemingly inert objects—to give art…the capacity to look back, to answer.” But it’s not just about asking, however; you have to listen to the answers, and many times revise your thinking based on what you hear (or, more aptly, see). The entire process “is a demanding, perpetual act, but I think in order to live peacefully with differences, it’s the best we have—to look, ask, revise, correct—and ask the next question.” If you think all this is so much malarkey and not much fun besides, read pages 77-82 wherein a Persian miniature from 1520 and a 1971 American painting called Diner interrogate each other. You will be touched and humbled.

    What do you mean by asking questions of art? What kind of questions? Take the Persian miniature from 1520:

    What’s going on here? There are people in a garden.

    What are they doing? They appear to be talking.

    Why are they in a garden?

    Does the garden represent something? It represents paradise

    Is it mostly men? Mostly women? Mixed? Is that significant?

    Does the big tree represent something?

    Why is there a second, smaller tree?

    How to engage with art, then, is the central thesis of this book, but it’s full of provocative, related ideas about art—the meaning of perspective, the role of context, the nature of the observer—as well as many wonderful quotations, and lovely reproductions (the book is beautifully produced). Fanchon’s writing is immediately accessible, like she’s talking to you; this is not an art lecture but a conversation with one very engaging, knowledgeable lady.

    The above synopsis notwithstanding, Art inSight is not a diatribe or a stealth self-help book with pretty pictures to make the sermon go down better (although the pictures are pretty). It is earnest—Fanchon wants to bring people together in this age of polarities—but it’s not preachy, heavy-handed, or a polemic. 

    OK: Maybe it is a bit of a polemic, but you’ll enjoy your time with this woman so much, learn so much about art, and find Fanchon’s enthusiasm so infectious, you’ll be eagerly awaiting her next polemic.

    Full disclosure: I have the honor of being a long-time friend of Fanchon’s; it’s why I could not bring myself to call her Silberstein in this review (she’s not a Marine recruit, for heaven’s sake). I suppose I should have invited someone more objective to review this book, but to be honest I didn’t want anyone messing with my friend.


  • 11 Feb 2020 7:48 PM | Anonymous

    1. Why did you write this book?

    I had worked for many years running intercultural training workshops with participants from all over the world, and I was also a docent at the Smithsonian Institution’s museum of modern and contemporary art. I felt strongly that art was a dynamic pathway into understanding other cultures and our own. When we establish a personal connection to a piece of art, we have a chance to learn a great deal about ourselves and others.

    2. What is the most important thing you want readers to take away from this book?

    We can open deep pathways to understanding with others by searching for shared meanings. One way to do that is through dialogues with art, either one-to-one with just one viewer and one piece of art - or in groups, where several of us share perceptions and listen to one another’s insights.

    3. Name one or two books in our field that influenced you the most, that you think all interculturalists should be familiar with? Why?

    Some books that influenced me were not necessarily written by interculturalists but were exceptionally meaningful to me. Daniel Boorstin’s The Creators and David Bohm’s On Dialogue are among them. Robert Kohls’s Survival Kit for Overseas Living continues to be a useful guide because of its straight-forward and down-to-earth style.

    4. What is one of the most significant, most memorable cross-cultural experiences you have had?

    I am among the fortunate to have had a number of significant cross-cultural experiences. Several took place while sharing music or food.

    5. If you could pass on only one insight/one lesson learned to others about crossing cultures, what would you say?

    Observe closely, notice your own immediate judgements and avoid speaking them, Describe carefully, to yourself, what you see and feel.

    6. This newsletter goes to nearly 1,000 readers, folks who are either in or interested in the field of intercultural communications. If you’d like to say something else to these folks, something we have not asked about in this questionnaire, feel free to add your brief comments here.

    I wrote a book about using art as a form of intercultural communication because art is everywhere and reveals what one artist and, often, what whole cultures value. When we pay attention, art can give us insights that little else can.


  • 07 Feb 2020 3:59 PM | Anonymous

    Did you know that the SIETAR USA webinars are recorded and you can listen to them at your convenience? You find them in the members section of the SIETAR USA website. Non-members can also access them for a reasonable price.

    The 2020 Webinar series got off to a dynamic start in January with Julia Gaspar-Bates who spoke to over 50 participants about style switching for multi-cultural groups. It was the most interactive webinar in a long time. It seemed that participants were hungry to share their best practices, ask questions, comment, and learn from the speaker and each other.

    The February webinar featured Amer Ahmed who explored intercultural frameworks for Diversity, Equality, and Inclusion work. Amer was the closing keynote speaker for the 2019 SIETAR USA conference in Atlanta and from of the feedback we received we knew he needed to be part of our webinar series. His willingness to share his experiences making them relevant to the work of interculturalists, especially those working in the DEI field is quite a treat. He brings his identity as the son of Indian Muslim immigrants and extensive years as an intercultural and diversity consultant as the sources of a pivotal understanding of the depth of diversity and inclusion work.

    Amer explained how historically-based systems of power resulted in “invisibilizing” and marginalizing certain groups. Intercultural programs typically have not addressed power issues, while DEI professionals do not usually use a developmental approach. Amer said he found that using an intercultural approach makes the companies, students, and faculty he works with much more receptive to hearing the diversity, inclusion, equity and social justice messages. Some of the intercultural frameworks he uses are the DMIS developmental model, Hofstede’s Cultural Dimensions, and Sorrell’s Intercultural Praxis Model. His comments on bridging the divide between intercultural and diversity work were insightful, challenging, and

    The March Webinar speaker is Joe Lurie who will address the impact of the media and polarization on our efforts to understand misunderstandings in the era of globalization. Addressing the implications of the West African proverb, "The Stranger Sees Only What He Knows," the webinar will explore the nature and sources of bias, misunderstanding and cultural disconnects in a hyper-connecting, often polarizing world. With YouTube, tweets, refugees and fake news rapidly crossing cultures without context, misunderstanding is more often the rule than the exception. University of California Berkeley International House Executive Director Emeritus Joe Lurie will examine what's often behind culture clashes in the news of the day, and in the worlds of business, religion, health care, technology and across generations. In the process, we'll come to see and hear that more is meant than meets the eye or the ear.

    Author of the award-winning “Perception and Deception, A Mind-Opening Journey Across Cultures” published by Cultural Detective, Joe Lurie is a former Peace Corps Volunteer, former COO of AFS/USA and past National Chair for NAFSA's Education Abroad section. Currently, Joe teaches intercultural communication and has been offering Cross-Cultural Communication workshops for a broad variety of organizations, including Google, American Express and the Institute of International Education. His work has been featured at the Commonwealth Club of California, the World Affairs Council and on NPR, PBS, C-Span's Book TV and in Harper's Magazine as well as US News and World Report.

    The April Webinar is going to be Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai speaking about change management with insight from brain science. She says that in the modern era of international business, the ability that individuals and corporations can adjust and change is critical. But we can’t turn away from a fact that change has a low rate of success. Only 25% of corporate change initiatives are successful over the long term. Old habits die hard. This presentation discusses the neurobiology of change and the challenges we face in change management. It uses insights from neuroscience to shed light into the reasons why change is so challenging and introduces a change management framework called STREAP-Be. This framework provides concrete strategies that can help individuals and organizations to face the challenges of cultural adaptation and creation, reaping benefit from being in sync with the dynamics of culture. A collective such as a company is not different from humans as a species or individual persons in the sense that its culture is both persistent and evolving. Humans may find it difficult to change, but we are built to adapt. And we are the only the species that can do so deliberately.

    Dr. Mai Nguyen-Phuong-Mai is Associate Professor at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. Together with her study at King's College London in a Master program on Applied Neuroscience, she has been recognized as a bridging figure between interculturalism and cultural neuroscience. Her latest book Cross-Cultural Management with Insights from Brain Science adopts the notion that culture is dynamic, context is the software of the mind, opposing values coexist, change is constant, and individuals can develop a multicultural mind.

    What comes next, you ask? We have added a new member to the webinar team, Carolyn Ryffel. With her ideas and organizational skills, we will soon be able to post a schedule for the rest of the year.


  • 07 Feb 2020 3:51 PM | Anonymous

    Portions of the following are based on an interview with Antimo Cimino on January 20, 2020

                Many years ago when my husband Ray Fowler, who was responsible for the pre-conference, continuing-education workshops for the Southeast Psychological Association (SEPA), was checking on how they were going, he observed that the psychologists were sitting in windowless hotel rooms, working hard to stay awake while listening to the workshop leaders—but, he thought, it didn’t have to be that way. They could be learning in an interesting environment, like on a boat to Cuba, a therapy clinic in Athens, a resort on Martinique, a psychiatric hospital in Beijing. He proposed the concept to the SEPA Board of Directors who told him to make it happen. And so he did.

                The idea of holding workshops in interesting, relevant spaces follows in the tradition of interculturalists like Jack Condon who has taken groups to Mexico for many years. Jack and Tatyana Fertelmeyster are also known for their workshops in Jemez, New Mexico. I was curious when I heard about Cultural Global Labs to see what Antimo Cimino, Kirk Faulkner, and Lori Welch had done with the concept. Wanting to know more, I went to the source and called Antimo. First, I learned a lot about Antimo. He was born in Italy and at age 16 he spent a summer in France. It opened a “Pandora’s Box” of beauty for him. He had always escaped in his head to other places but in France he really experienced thinking differently and seeing the world with different eyes, and he knew that he wanted more. After graduating from culinary school and serving his obligation in the Army, he returned to London where he had spent some time after high school. He began to realize that he missed living in Italy, but while there he missed living in other places. An American he met suggested that Antimo go to Portland, Oregon. And so he did.

                Antimo obtained a Bachelor’s degree in international studies at Portland State University and during that time took a class with Kim Brown. She turned him on to intercultural communication and suggested Antimo volunteer at the Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC) where he found “his people.” He earned a Masters in Applied Intercultural Relations (MAIR) and worked for ICI for 5 years, enjoying the magic of SIIC. Knowing that he needed more business experience and speaking 6 languages, Antimo soon found a position with the Oliver Wyman company of global management consultants. He found he was well equipped to survive in the corporate culture. After more than 9 years with Oliver Wyman Consulting, he realized that he had adapted to and functioned well in the corporate world, moving comfortably from a non-profit organization to corporate culture and back again. However, his years with ICI motivated him to return—and so he did.

                Antimo held a growing vision for an innovative approach to intercultural learning. To hone his ideas he interviewed workshop leaders and asked their participants for feedback. Why labs? He felt that breakthroughs happen in laboratories and he wanted the same to happen in Cultural Global Labs. He was mindful that to serve others you need to take care of yourself. His training model includes early morning routines like mindfulness, flexibility to expand curiosity and prepare body and mind for the day, as well as peel off stress and preconceived ideas. And so it will.

                Antimo oriented the program around 5 pillars: vulnerability, stories, connection, transformation, and growth. The importance of vulnerability came from all his years seeing buttoned-up corporate leaders respond to transformative learning that allowed them to be authentic and feel more. Antimo knew that stories have the power to transform and lead to personal growth. Workshops with intercultural and diversity trainers fill the middle of the weeklong program taking theory to practice. And here is the piece de resistance: the practice takes place in southern Italy. Participants take their leadership principles and learning from the workshops and have the opportunity to bake bread or stack produce, working with the Italians in Lecce, Italy.  Antimo describes the last day of the program as the “icing on the cake.” It’s an opportunity to work on topics that didn’t get enough time (according to the participants) and will be done as an Open Space activity where people can contribute, connect, take a deep dive into a subject, and answer the question: What next? 

                Antimo’s program has much to offer. It builds on traditions in education while having its own character and promise. The pilot program is June 15-19, 2020 and Antimo has generously offered a 10% discount to all SIETAR USA members who register by February 29th. I feel that this program deserves your serious consideration. You can look at https://cultural-globallabs.com and find out for yourself!

    Sandra M. Fowler


  • 07 Feb 2020 3:47 PM | Anonymous

    Choosing a site for a national conference involves the weighing of many factors; location, quality of accommodations, access to transport, catering, price, meeting rooms, and plenary space. Happily, the Hilton in Omaha has many great advantages both in easy access, space, and price. In addition, Omaha is a great city in the Heartland with much to offer conference attendees.

    What’s so Great about Omaha? Well, since you asked, here are a few things that make Omaha not just a convenient place to convene, but one that provides many attractions and advantages. Did you know that Omaha has a vibrant immigrant and refugee community and is home to both President Gerald Ford and Malcolm X?

    We will feature aspects of Omaha and the environs every month between now and October when we meet for the conference. To start with Omaha is in the Heartland of the USA and is considered one of the friendliest cities in the nation. Locals like to say that “Talking to strangers is encouraged.” What better atmosphere could we hope for as a backdrop for our conference as we come together to share best practices, research, skills and tools, and encouragement to each other to do just that—be more effective at talking to and including strangers.

    Omaha (and Nebraska) has a vibrant and top ranked education system, from P-12 to many top tier universities, including 5 campuses of the University of Nebraska, Creighton University, Bellevue University, and Metropolitan Community College to name a few.

    Stay tuned for future installments of What’s so Great about Omaha.


  • 07 Feb 2020 3:46 PM | Anonymous

    Have you looked at the SIETAR USA website lately? We have launched a serious effort to keep it up to date (if you find something that needs updating, do let us know!). On the home page we have added the names of new and renewing members to SIETAR USA for the past month. That will be updated each month. Take a look to see how many of them you know. And look for them at the conference in Omaha!  We are adding new Conference information almost every day, so keep checking back!


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