June -July 2014Clues to Intercultural Effectiveness
Tips, Techniques and Resources

Multicultural Identity in its Richness and Complexity


We are many things, and different aspects of our identities rise to the fore depending on the context. Shouldn't intercultural competence enable us to get to know ourselves and others in the fullness of who we are?


Today, I am very proud to say that Cultural Detective Online makes it very easy to look at how real people interact in real situations, and to reflect on how our many cultures might be influencing us (or others) in a given interaction. Did I react that way because I'm a Mom? Because I'm a Baby Boomer? Or just because I'm me? Cultural Detective Online is a cross-cultural effectiveness tool that doesn't reduce us to a single story, but rather encourages us to get to know ourselves and others as fully and wholly human.   


See the tool in action   

Strong, Strategic Global Leadership


Companies today need to be good at whatever their main business is, but they also need to be quickly adaptable to change. And, these days, they need to adhere to a strict set of ethical standards that are demanded by an increasingly informed and diverse customer base. Such a tough bundle of abilities requires strong, strategic leadership. 


Review the graphic  

Making a Better World by Transforming Lives

by Kathryn Stillings

Education as an Alternative to Violence


Despite Boko Haram's year-long campaign of terror, including kidnapping over 300 girls from a school, murdering family members, burning villages, and displacing thousands of people, most families still desire an education for their girls and their boys, says Margee Esign, President of AUN. And AUN provides it. 


Both the university's valedictorian and its graduating class speaker this year are women. The university is one of the leaders in the interfaith peace initiative. It has hired and trained more than 500 female and male security guards to protect the campus and its housing, offering each of them a free education. AUN facilities include a nursery school, primary and secondary school, in addition to the university itself. It recently dedicated a new library that has received international accolades for its efforts to create the finest e-library in Africa. 


 Read the article

World-Class Intercultural Opportunities

Facilitator Certification Workshops


Learn a proven method to transform your leadership, your curriculum and your ways of teaming, jumpstart productivity, lower costs, and ensure that study abroad develops students' intercultural competence! 

Portland, USA, July 19-20, 2014


Conducted in partnership with the Intercultural Communication Institute and held between sessions at the world's foremost intercultural "summer camp," Summer Institute for Intercultural Communication (SIIC). Facilitated by Tatyana Fertelmeyster. Cost includes materials and one month of Cultural Detective Online 


Register or see details  

Vienna, AUSTRIA, October 6-8, 2014 


Conducted in partnership with Atieh International, this course will focus on the Middle East and contain one extra half-day of area-specific content not normally included in our certification workshops. 

Facilitated by Dianne Hofner Saphiere and Pari Namazie. Cost includes materials and one month of Cultural Detective Online


 Sign up or learn more 

The Torment and Power of Bridging Two Cultures


Emperor tells the supposedly true story of the USA's decisions about whether or not to try (and hang) Emperor Hirohito after Japan's surrender at the end of World War II. Since I have always referenced the post-war reconstruction of Japan as "best practice" in ending a war, restoring a nation, and building an alliance (a lay person's opinion, as politics and the military are in no way my specialties), I found this film particularly enlightening. It is a joint US-Japan production. 


The film captures the emotional torment of a person attempting to bridge two cultures, particularly in such a sensitive situation: how could he be truthful, gain and maintain credibility with both Japanese and US Americans, remain true to himself, and yet do the right thing? 



Read about the movie

Understanding Differences
by Carrie Cameron's



"Politeness strategies" are the customs, often unnoticed or unconscious, by which we express favorable attitudes toward others. But it is important to remember that not every culture uses the same strategies to do this.

Expressive-politeness cultures generally show good intentions by reaching out actively to others. They have a tendency to reveal emotions before knowing whether the approach is acceptable or not to the other person. Reserved-politeness cultures tend to show good intentions by never imposing themselves on another without first knowing the other person's attitude.  


 Full post

Ecotonos en Colombia, English & Español



La Universidad Sergio Arboleda in Bogotá, Colombia, recently utilized Ecotonos: A Simulation for Collaborating Across Cultures for the third time in its International Negotiation class. The professor, Fernando Parrado, gave four of his experienced students the opportunity to act as co-facilitators, and they learned so much from the experience.


 Article in Spanish and English

Online Events You Can't Miss!


People from every continent and a broad diversity of disciplines happily stay up till the wee hours to join these well-received webinars. Don't miss your chance!
In these complimentary, 90-minute online workshops, participants will learn to leverage diversity as an asset, rather than seeking to minimize difference. 
They will experience some of the wealth of content and process available in the Cultural Detective Online system, and see how easily the system can be incorporated into existing courseware. 
At the conclusion of the online learning event, we will share with you a three-day free pass to the Cultural Detective Online, to look around and learn at your leisure. 

Two Culture-Specific Public Service Campaigns

Recently we found two more public service campaigns firmly grounded in their home cultures' customs and values. Both campaigns are almost difficult to imagine in any other setting, yet they work brilliantly for their purposes. Take a look. 

Hijras or transgenders are considered sacred in India. Check out this wonderful method of giving and receiving free blessings while encouraging traffic safety. 




View the video

Japanese salary-men and women tend to work hard and play hard. It's quite common to walk by people in suits sleeping, drunk, on the ground or a bench, in the subway or on the street. This campaign aims to change that.





Watch the advertisement

Weaving in Cross-Cultural Effectiveness


Companies today need to be good at whatever their main business is, but they also need to be quickly adaptable to change. And, these days, they need to adhere to a strict set of ethical standards that are demanded by an increasingly informed and diverse customer base. Such a tough bundle of abilities requires strong, strategic leadership. 


 See the design

A Rainbow with a Streak of Gray

by Kathryn



The United States is changing demographically faster than many of us realize. I remember a few years ago, when working for an educational institution that offered diversity courses, a city official from California called to say they needed help because the "minority" population was soon to be over 50%! Today, I rarely hear the term "minority," and this study definitely shows why.  


Read the report summary

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We record the latest news updates, and have archived past issues of this newsletter, on one of our web pages. Past issues include instructions for interesting activities, theoretical discussions about intercultural issues, and links to many intercultural resources. Please take a look and enjoy the resources you find!

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Vanessa G. Hernández