Like to submit an article to the SIETAR USA periodical? If so, click here to see the guidelines. 

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:42 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The future of work has been a hot topic for several years now, but what exactly is it, and what does it mean for you and your organization?

    The future of work can mean different things to different people, but most agree the focal point is technology’s impact on the way we work. New technologies have led to an increase in hiring remote talent from around the world, creating a rise in multicultural teams and organizations. An estimated 258 million people are living and working outside of their home country, and that number will continue to grow year after year. As the world becomes more and more interconnected, we must include culture in the future of work conversations. In addition, if you are a consultant working with organizations that have clients, suppliers, and colleagues from around the globe, you need to prepare their workforce with the appropriate intercultural skills for success.

    As companies expand their reach into other markets, more often than not they find themselves working with emerging market countries (EMCs). The term emerging markets was coined in the 1980s by then World Bank economist Antoine van Agtmael and is used to describe countries that are in a transitional phase between developing and developed status. The Morgan Stanley Capital International (MSCI), FTSE Group, and the Economist each slightly differ in their EMC lists, and, as you might imagine, these lists are constantly changing. For my purposes here, I chose the countries that all three sources have in common, resulting in a total of 31 emerging market countries. These countries are: Argentina, Brazil, Chile, China (mainland), Colombia, Czech Republic, Egypt, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Malaysia, Mexico, Morocco, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Tunisia, Turkey, and Vietnam.

    When preparing individuals and teams to work internationally, most companies still concentrate on the dos and don’ts of working across borders without ever mentioning cultural values. While some programs advise their learners to respect other cultures and be open to differences, few offer in-depth intercultural information which would enable people to fully understand the cultures they are dealing with, and in turn, help them be more successful.

    There is a great need to understand EMCs and their values as an increasing number of Western companies expand into countries such as Brazil, Russia, India, and China (also known as the BRIC countries). Although there are studies on value dimensions of individual emerging market countries, few, if any studies exist that look at cultural values of emerging markets as a group in order to see what correlations and patterns may exist. I’ve drawn from the research of Hall, Kluckhohn and Strodtbeck, Trompenaars and Hampden-Turner, and most notably, Hofstede, all of whom conducted research on values and cultural value dimensions to examine the ways in which values underlie behavior and culture.

    When looking at cultural value dimensions and their relationship to EMCs, strong patterns and correlations emerged. It becomes evident that EMCs have similar values across several dimensions, meaning that one can generalize that many, and in some cases, most EMCs share similar values. Here are the patterns that emerge when examining all 31 countries:

    • 70% of EMCs are polychronic (as opposed to monochronic) - they see time as flexible and fluid

    • 78% of EMCs are high-context (as opposed to low-context) - they prefer a more indirect, nuanced communication style
    • 70% of EMCs are relationship-oriented (as opposed to transactional cultures) - they need trust to be established before accomplishing tasks
    • 70.9% of EMCs are harmony-oriented (as opposed to confrontational cultures) - they prefer to keep the peace and avoid uncomfortable situations for themselves and others
    • 67.7% of EMC are situational (as opposed to rule-based cultures) - they believe circumstances determine action and tend to bend the rules when needed
    • 58.06% of EMCs are hierarchical (as opposed to egalitarian cultures) - they respect authority and are less likely to challenge higher-ups

    The value preferences for the United States and other Western countries (England, Germany, Canada) are generally the exact opposite of the values of the EMCs. For example, when the EMC countries score high for collectivism, the US scores high for individualism; when the EMC countries score high for hierarchy, Sweden scores high for egalitarianism.

    So what do these differences mean for Westerners working with EMCs? Foremost, the findings above demonstrate that cultural value dimensions clearly do play an important role in doing business with EMCs. Going a step further, learning about cultural values are central to conducting business internationally. The focus needs to be on why people behave the way they do in preparation for working across cultures. EMCs share common value preferences in almost every category, and an understanding of these similarities, and their differences to the West, will help researchers and businesspeople alike succeed in the global arena.

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:35 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    We are excited to announce two of our invited speakers to you at this time.  Our Opening Keynote Speaker is Shannon Murphy Robinson, M.A., CEO of BrainSkills@Work.  Robinson is a highly sought-after organizational consultant, trainer and speaker as well as a long-time member of SIETAR USA.  Robinson is a leader in the field of neuroscience and especially in how it relates to intercultural competence and development.

    Dr Mai Nguyen Phuong, Associate Professor and Lecturer at Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences will present the Plenary address for the Mind Track.  With a background in journalism, cross-cultural management and leadership and change, Nguyen’s recent work bring a sharp focus on how the workings of the Mind affect our effectiveness in global contexts.

    In recent interviews with Shannon Murphy Robinson and Dr. Mai Nyugen, Board Member Karen Lokkesmoe had an opportunity to learn more about their work and what they will be highlighting in their respective talks at the conference in October.

    Our Opening Keynote Speaker is Shannon Murphy Robinson, M.A., CEO of BrainSkills@Work.  Murphy Robinson is a highly sought-after organizational consultant, trainer and speaker as well as a long-time member of SIETAR USA.  Murphy Robinson is a leader in the field of neuroscience and especially in how it relates to intercultural competence and development.

    Meet Shannon Murphy Robinson, Opening Keynote Speaker at the 2020 National SIETAR Conference, Mind, Culture, Society.


    It started with a lifelong love of other cultures.  Additionally, I’ve always been interested in and explored the Mind/Body/Spirit connections, and how the mind impacts our perceptions and how we react to others.  Then, when my daughter was born with Down syndrome, I did a deep dive into the neuroscience. Her first year of life was a crash course, reading anything and everything I could, knowing there had to be a better path than the old stereotypes based on lack and limitation. The deeper I went into the neuroscience, and particularly neuroplasticity (the ability of the brain to change), the more excited I got. I discovered good news not only for my child, but for others as well. Having already been engaged in the intercultural arena, I saw connections between what I was learning and human behavior when encountering difference. I realized there is a lot of hope, than we can influence and consciously shape the brain to engage more effectively across differences and extend care, compassion and create greater understanding.


    I will focus on two main points.  First, from research in cultural neuroscience, there is now a much greater understanding of how deeply culture is wired in the brain. It helps shed light on how culture shapes cognition, our lenses, and even what the brain deems important or not.  This understanding can help people bridge cultural differences more effectively. Secondly, we need to engage in self-directed neuroplasticity to re-pattern the brain’s base responses to differences. Cooperation developed in the brain within groups, not between groups, and differences, particularly if they are unfamiliar or cause discomfort, can trigger a threat response in the brain. Knowing how the brain works allows us to develop strategies to reprogram our responses to be more effective when working across differences. Part of the exciting news in brain science is that our brains build new neuropathways our entire lives. We don’t quit learning as we grow older. We can now consciously direct how these new neuropathways get laid down. This offers great promise for building greater collaboration across cultures.


    For me personally, it’s the people, the community - it’s home.  It’s my professional home, one where I don’t ever have to try to explain intercultural and inclusion work  - they know.  It’s also a great place to learn, share the latest trends or research, and get feedback on new ideas and approaches to see what works, what resonates with people and is helpful. If you are someone who works across any aspects of difference, who wants to learn how to be more effective, how to help your teams or your company be more successful in the global marketplace - SIETAR’s conference is right for you. Whether you work in education, the corporate sector or the public sector - you’ll find information, knowledge and resources to use.

    Final Note: Murphy Robinson is an accomplished and engaging speaker and as a leader in brain science and intercultural work is sure to provide both Ah-ha moments as well as openings for questions and greater learning. 

    For more, please see the March edition of the SIETAR Europa Journal which features Murphy Robinson and her work:https://www.sietareu.org/seu-journal-march-2020/

    Meet Dr Mai Nguyen Phuong, Plenary Speaker in the Mind Track and Guest Speaker for the April SIETAR USA Webinar: Change Management with Insight from Brain Science.


    It was a combination of life circumstances and a happy accident.  I have lived in three countries. and can honestly say that I feel at home in all three.  Recently, a customs agent in Australia welcomed me back home as I went through security—I really feel more a citizen of the world. This led to a natural interest in multiple cultures.  My early work was in global leadership and change management, but I kept asking myself how and why? How do we know what we know? Why do certain strategies work while others fail? Then, the happy accident—my partner gave me a book, Wired for Culture by Mark Pagel where I started to find some answers, and many more questions.  The exploration of these questions led to a great deal of research and ultimately to the pursuit of a Masters of Applied Neuroscience.


    My main message is about Hope and Hype.  I will debunk some of the misconceptions or hype about neuroscience and interculturalism.  In some cases, there are those who are misappropriating the research to excuse biases and intolerance. However, we must always be seeking, asking questions, challenging our current knowledge and understandings.  This is how we grow and develop as interculturalists and as effective global leaders. We must continue to embrace ambiguity. I will also outline how what we are learning through the intersection of intercultural and diversity, equity, and inclusion work with neuroscience provides a widening knowledge base to better understand behaviors and challenges and to develop more effective strategies for success. An interdisciplinary approach gives us great hope for the future.


    SIETAR is special to me because it is inherently interdisciplinary.  It draws on academia from a range of fields (communications, leadership, management, etc.) as well as from practitioners. It brings together people who work in domestic diversity and social justice and equity as well as those working internationally.  We make each other stronger. I feel like I can have a great conversation with anyone at the conference and learn something valuable.  

    As far as who should attend, really anyone who works with diverse populations.  Sharing and learning from each other in research and practice provides answers and questions to keep us growing.

    FINAL NOTE:  Mai is an engaging, energetic, and inspiring professional with a solid grounding in research and science as well as application in the field as a consultant.  You won’t want to miss either of these opportunities to hear her speak.  

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:34 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    It’s ok, you can admit your first reaction to hearing the 2020 SIETAR Conference was being held in Omaha Nebraska was, “What? OMAHA? Why?” Well, over the next few months we’ll be answering those very questions. 

    Omaha is more than a “fly over” city, as the posters in the airport tell us. With a population of a bit over 400,000, five Fortune 500 companies call Omaha their home: ConAgra Foods; Union Pacific Corporation which is the largest operator of trains in the US; Mutual of Omaha; construction giant Kiewit Corporation; and of course, mega-conglomerate Berkshire Hathaway, which is owned by none other than billionaire Warren Buffett. Other companies such as TD Ameritrade, Godfather Pizzas and American Gramaphone Records also hail from Omaha.

    I’m sure one of the reasons so many companies proudly live in Omaha is because of what Nebraskans call “Nebraska nice.”  People in Omaha are truly nice.  I come from Detroit via Buffalo and I’ve always thought those of us from these two Great Lakes cities are pretty darn friendly but we have nothing on Nebraskans.  People say hi to you in the streets. Clerks, managers and wait staff seem genuinely interested in your welfare without being intrusive. Doors are held, apologizes (and sometimes refunds) are given and if you’re perceived as being from out-of-town, locals insist you go ahead of them.

    Or maybe it’s because of the food.  You might know about the delicious Omaha steaks but they are by no means the only food to savor in Omaha.  Although thousands of miles from the sea, I’ve had some of the best fish and chips, and salmon, that I’ve eaten anywhere, in Omaha. There seem to be a plethora of Irish pubs and bars in general, especially in the Old Market neighborhood but great food can be found almost anywhere. Not feeling Irish?  That’s ok because Mexican, American, Indian, Chinese, and other foods are easily found. 

    We all know that Nebraska is in the middle of the country and can be windy, snowy and cold.  So maybe that’s why Omaha has so many great places to be outside.  Go to Turner Part which hosts jazz concerts, or the Heartland of America Park with their spectacular fountain which you can see close-up by taking a gondola ride!  31-acres isn’t enough for you?  Well then you can head to Lauritzen Gardens which is 100 acres of outdoor gardens including a rose garden, Victorian garden, children’s garden and arboretum. It also hosts a 20,000-square foot conservatory which contains unusual and rare plants. In central downtown Omaha is the Lewis and Clark landing with a Riverwalk along the Missouri, Lewis and Clark interpretive exhibits and the second largest monument, dedicated to the Labor Movement, in the U.S.

    The Omaha Hilton, our home for the conference, is strategically located so these gems are within walking or a short Lyft ride away.  With Fall just emerging in early October, the weather should be wonderful for enjoying the food and outdoor activities that Omaha offers. Still not convinced you should join us?  Stay tuned for our next newsletter which will present more Omaha Nebraska facts that may surprise you.

    Deborah Orlowski, 2020 SIETAR Conference Chair

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    In the modern era of international business, the ability that individuals and corporates 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. 

    About the Presenter

    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. Since the release of her book, she has been invited to keynote at multiple conferences.

    When: Tuesday 14 April 2020. 11:00AM-12:30PM EDT

    Location: Zoom Webinar Eastern Time Zone

    Registration: Free to SIETAR USA Members only;

     $25 for non-members.

    REGISTER HERE: Change Management Webinar

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:27 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    SIETAR-DC kicked off 2020 with a members’ social at the home of one of its members, which welcomed new and returning folks. The hostess, who has lived around the world, had an engaging ice-breaker activity where guests had to guess the origin country of different cultural artifacts. Even those who were well traveled or have lived overseas were stumped with a few! The local group is planning more events this spring. SIETAR DC is currently looking to increase membership and has a call out for new volunteers as well as for a communications intern. If interested, please send an email to SIETARDC@gmail.com.

    SIETAR Florida had a virtual call with members on February 10th 2020 to discuss about different exciting projects for 2020. We are planning webinars and discussions on different themes such as Global Leadership, the future of our work due to automatization, the challenges of multicultural families and the accompanying spouse, cultural intelligence. Stay tuned for more information on our dates and facilitators!

    SIETAR-MN is off to a great start for the 2019-20 year, beginning with an eye-opening panel of international leaders who spoke about the concept of interculturalism and the role of the interculturalist in their countries. Other meetings have included a session on icebreakers and energizer activities, a highlight by an interculturalist in the field of global mobility and HR contexts, and how to broach different perspectives within the family during the holidays in an era of polarization. Local group members also participated in its annual service experience in January by packing meals at the Feed My Starving Children organization. They also learned about the role of the interculturalist within the diversity, equity and inclusion space. The March meeting will feature a talk by an economist and immigrant entrepreneur who will present on immigrant contributions to the local economy.

    The Tri-state SIETAR NY - NJ - CT had its first face-to-face meeting of 2020 on Jan. 23rd, in NYC. Over food from different cultures that each participant brought to the meeting, we had a conversation on the intersection of intercultural skills and inclusion. Sean Dubberke from RW3 was the speaker and talked about their newly released global inclusion course. The conversation was informal and in addition to networking, we discussed some ideas and expectations regarding the group’s next steps.

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:25 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    By Deanna Shoss for Executive Diversity Services, Inc.

    The first Women’s Rights Convention in the US took place in 1848. 75 years later, in 1923, women began the fight for an Equal Rights Amendment (ERA). The ERA finally passed the House of Representatives and the Senate in 1971 and ‘72 respectively. It then went out for ratification by the states, where it has languished ever since. It needed three quarters (38) states approval to be added as the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    While women’s issues continue to be at the forefront in the news, the ERA only recently resurfaced when Virginia became the 38th State to pass it in January 2020. But it’s future is still not secured. The statute of limitations is long gone—even the extension expired in 1982. And in the meantime, five states have rescinded their approval. Following Virginia’s passage last month, three state attorneys general sued to waive the previously set expiration date and enact the amendment.

    Over the years, many other laws have passed that aim to protect women’s (and other protected classes) rights under the law and in the workplace. Six to be specific:

    The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, 1974; The Equal Pay Act of 1963 (yes, that’s been a law since 1963); The Fair Housing Act, 1968; The Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, which amended Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, and Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972.

    So it’s all fixed, right?

    In terms of protection, until there is a national ERA, states still have the ability to interpret laws differently, which can lead to different outcomes for women depending on where they live.   

    As relates to women in the work force, according to Catalyst, a global nonprofit that helps organizations accelerate progress for women at work, in 2018, women made up 44.7 % of all employees at S&P500 companies. But they only accounted for 21.2% of board seats, 11% of highest earners and 5% of CEO’s. 29% of senior management roles were held by women in 2019, the highest number ever on record.

    Many know the term “glass ceiling”, referring to an invisible barrier against promoting women to high positions in corporations. A newer term is the glass cliff, the phenomenon of women in leadership roles being likelier than men to achieve those roles during periods of crisis or downturn, when the chance of failure is highest. Clearly there is more to understand and more work to do.

    In the meantime, there’s plenty that individuals and companies can do to keep the momentum moving forward.

    Three Ideas for Promoting Equity for Women in the Workplace

    Go Beyond the Law

    Samantha Bee, host of the late-night show Full Frontal on TBS announced in January, 20 Weeks of Paid Leave for 'Full Frontal' Staff. And she challenged other late-night hosts to do the same. Full Frontal is now offering our employees the best-paid family leave policy in all of late night,” Samantha said in a video posted to Twitter and Instagram. “This kind of policy isn’t mandated by the government, but it should be! Having a baby without going broke should be possible for all workers.”

    Flexible schedules that value work completed, as opposed to specific hours at a desk, can also boost employee morale and expand your talent pool. And it’s not just for parents. In a global market, employees might use flexible schedules to drop off or pick up children. Or they may use it to schedule a 9 pm call with the team in China, where it’s morning.

    What policies can you adopt that recognize the value that your employees bring to your company while acknowledging and respecting their desire for work-life balance?

    Expand Reward Bands

    According to a 2005 study of the US workplace, perceptions of women’s leadership are influenced by common stereotypes held by both men AND women. This is despite analytical reviews of over 40 studies on gender differences which indicate there are more similarities than difference in women and men leaders in an organizational setting. According to the Catalyst study “Women ‘Take Care,’ Men ‘Take Charge:’ Stereotyping of U.S. Business Leaders Exposed,” women are associated with feminine, less-essential, skills such as supporting, rewarding, team-building, and consulting; where as men are associated with more masculine skills such as problem solving, influencing upward, and delegating.

    Many company’s reward bands, how they reward employees with raises, bonuses or other recognition favor the “male-associated” skills. Studies, however, show that EQ, Emotional Intelligence which sounds a lot like the “less-essential” skills above, is exactly what is needed to for the most effective leaders (Korn Ferry, 2016). Rather than providing rewards only for output and task achievements, companies can be more inclusive by measuring things like how managers include mentoring and professional development in their management plans.


    Be Transparent: Know Your Company

    Equal pay has been the law since 1963. And yet in 2019 woman made 79 cents for every dollar a man makes. Events like Equal Pay Day, started in 1996 (and coming up again on March 31) as well as state laws that add to the federal mandate, are making a difference. Note that Glassdoor cites that after applying statistical controls for worker and job characteristics to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison, the difference drops to 95 cents, or women earning 5% less for comparable jobs in the US (Glassdoor, 2019).

    How is your company doing? Salary audits can reveal any unintended inequality in pay. It’s also important to do an audit of job titles. Different job titles, if they entail similar responsibilities, cannot be compensated at different levels.    

    When employees feel valued, they can perform at their fullest potential and highest productivity.

    The US workplace was designed by men, for men, in a different era. Today women account for more than 50% of the US population, and nearly that for the workforce. This is not about how to fit women into the mold as it exists. It’s about creating a new work model that engages and promotes men and women, on an equal playing field. For true change to happen it must start at the top, with the leadership team, and with a new vision and design of what a truly inclusive workplace can look like.

    Help is here.

    And, if you need help, please contact us about our training, including “Men and Women Working Together” and “Building Highly Effective Diverse Teams” and coaching for leaders.

    Reprinted with permission from ExecutiveDiversity.com https://www.executivediversity.com/2020/02/03/the-era-and-women-in-the-workplace-2020/

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The intercultural field has lost another pioneer. Over the decades of my connection with SIETAR International and now USA, I have been writing the obituaries for leading interculturalists such as Peggy Pusch, Edward T. Hall, David Hoopes, Robert Kohls, and Paul Pedersen, as well as less well known interculturalists such as Helen McNulty, Don Henderson, Judee Blohm, and Robert Brown. Paying tribute to people who have enriched our field and our lives has been important to me to do. It reminds us that we are not in this business alone, we have had solid support from the research, writings, teachings, and personal example of many. Each death leaves a hole in the fabric of SIETAR. Fortunately, SIETAR is made of strong cloth and we go on without them, while remembering them in an obituary, which means they may be lost but not forgotten. I know that is a cliché but it’s also the best way to describe what I am trying to do. I try to capture the person’s worth and contributions to the intercultural field, and to give it a personal touch as much as possible. Mostly the people are known to me but sometimes as in the case of Geert Hofstede, I didn’t know him as a friend but mostly by reputation. When you hear of the death of an interculturalist, please let me know and if you knew the person, add your personal touch to the message. We can create a tribute together.  (Sandra Fowler)


    A very kind man, generous with his time and ideas, Geert Hofstede died at age 91 on 12 February 2020. His son Gert Jan Hofstede reported that he was ready to go and surrounded by family. Hofstede’s research that formed the foundation of his book Culture’s Consequences, inspired much more exploration and inspection of cultural dimensions. Hofstede was trained as an electrical engineer but found that he preferred understanding people to understanding machinery. He joined the Personnel Research department of IBM international where he embarked on his seminal research. 

    Geert’s son writes: Under Geert's impulse, IBM collected opinion survey data from across over 50 countries. They were about mundane matters such as salary, tenure, working relationships. What Geert discovered is that it did not matter much whether a respondent was white- or blue- collar, male or female, new or ancient. What did matter was from which country they came. e got a job at a management school in Lausanne and repeated his surveys on the international MBA students there. It yielded the same cross-national patterns. He then put in almost ten years of study. At their end, he offered his fat manuscript to sixteen publishers, who all refused it. Then he tried Sage, and got another refusal letter, followed from an acceptance letter from the highest boss – a woman. She came up with the catchy title “Culture’s Consequences” (1980).

    On the IAIR blog Gary Fontaine reminisced about a time when Geert visited his graduate course "INTERCULTURAL COMMUNICATION AT HOME AND ABROAD" in the School of Communications at the University of Hawaii.  “The topic for that day was a continuation of our look at dimensions of cultural difference, particularly focused on "Dr. Hofstede's" famous "power distance," "uncertainty avoidance," "individualism" and "MASCULINITY."  And my opening intro, as planned, to my students was that that dimension that Geert labelled "masculinity/femininity" was--in less “sexist” terms--"work centrality."  And with that critical statement, Geert exploded, I exploded, and most of my students said later it was the most thrilling, live, academic experience in their young lives.  He and I later hugged ... as we do in Hawaii.”

    Pawel Boski also wrote: “To me, and to my students whom I teach about Hofstede's contributions, Geert has a solid place in history, as the pioneer of measuring cultural dimensions. I think this is beyond doubt and discussion. And this is much. It does not matter, in my opinion, that with time these dimensions turned out to be conceptually questionable and empirically not valid. This happens often and this is what science means: always in pursuit of improvement and correcting its own shortcomings and limitations. I truly believe, this approach has more virtue than quoting and using Hofstede (1980-2001) without sufficient reflexivity to the fact that the world has changed dramatically since his studies were initiated over 50 years ago…We often say, it is important to differentiate the Person and keeping Him in Good Memory, from the Deed, which may be looking Great at a time, and then may receive criticism, without The Person losing His stature. We are Humans (great and limited at the same time), not saints.”

    Gert Jan concludes his memories of his Father: “All in all, Geert’s story is one of remarkable perseverance, acuity of vision, cross-disciplinary endeavour and serendipity. Fortunately, many others have thought to extend or build upon his work. This is how it should be. We need to move on in our 21th century – but Geert’s messages should be in our backpacks.”

    Gert Jan and his father, Geert Hofstede (1928-2020)

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:21 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    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 

    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 

    With our best wishes,
    Barbara Covarrubias Venegas
    IACCM Secretary General

  • 20 Mar 2020 3:13 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)
    • 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 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 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 member (Administrator)

    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.


Contact Us
P.O. Box 548
Wheaton, IL 60187-4729


Wild Apricot theme design and development by Webbright