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How to manage uncertainty and keep your intercultural zest.

We are in the middle of a mind-blowing crisis.

Many of you will be working from home, which may at times feel like the eye of the storm.

Many of you will be working from home, in frequent online exchange with international partners to manage the implications of the pandemic in your work area. We hope that you, your family and friends are all well.

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Why do mind and brain matter in intercultural learning?

The mind as crucial factor
Years ago I got intrigued by the relations between culture, mind and brain. At the ‘Sietar Deutschland 2012 Forum’ new research on cultural neuroscience was presented and that evoked huge discussions amongst the audience. As interculturalists we understood something about the impact of culture on the brain by watching photos of fMRI scans comparing Chinese and North-American persons in various experimental settings. We also got a glimpse of the interrelationship between brain and culture, but many of us couldn’t really grasp the core and stayed behind with a lot of questions.

A year later at the Sietar Europe Congress in Tallinn I attended Joseph Shaules’ seminar on ‘Applying Cultural Neuroscience to Intercultural Training and Education’. That session was eye-opening in the sense that he introduced the ‘mind’ as crucial additional factor in the interrelationship between brain and culture. A factor that until today is often overseen or underestimated.

May I invite you to join my journey into brain, mind and culture in this blog?

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Intercultural Readiness Check – train-the-trainer workshop

This is the videoclip of the IRC train-the-trainer workshop by Ursula Brinkmann, Juanita Wijnands and Yvonne van der Pol in June 2014. The participating trainers learned how to develop and design training courses based on the competences assessed by the Intercultural Readiness Check©.  The highly interactive program with new concepts and ideas, exercises and activities supported trainers to design and deliver training courses based on the Intercultural Readiness approach for intercultural effectiveness. Thanks to by Sirous Kavehercy who produced the videoclip.

The Ambiguity of Things

InnocentAnthropologist

About not-knowing, never understanding why and letting go

I remember well that as Master students in Cultural Anthropology, we devoured Nigel Barley’s book The Innocent Anthropologist: Notes from a Mud Hut* right before doing our own fieldwork.

As a young anthropologist Barley traveled to Cameroon in 1981 to conduct a field study on the until then relatively unknown Dowayo peoples.

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Sietar Europe webinars ‘Tacit knowledge, culture and informal learning’

In February 2015 I conducted two webinars for Sietar Europe on ‘Tacit knowledge, culture and informal learning’. Watch the recording above.

Tacit knowledge can be defined as implicit, non-conscious and unacknowledged knowledge. It is silently acquired through practice, socialization and habits. Routines are a form of this non-conscious knowledge, as are cultural values and norms. Tacit knowledge was formulated by philosopher Polyani. “We know more

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Book: Reflections on Intercultural Craftmanship

BoekpresentatieThis collection of Reflections on Intercultural Craftsmanship offers an insightful and sometimes entertainingly fresh perspective on intercultural effectiveness. The starting point is our own cultural logic, the set of assumptions that we unwittingly take with us throughout our lives, and the manner in which they influence our interaction with people from a different cultural background. It is about our brain, about our intuitive mind that quickly reacts from our own deeply-rooted norms and values, about the impact of bias and stereotyping, and of course, about the development of intercultural competences in order to become more interculturally effective.

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Online Intercultural Learning

Currently worldwide we face huge challenges to deal with the COVID-19 virus. Many of us need to stay at home. If you and your organisations would still like to continue learning, get into touch about the online options: a series of webinars, individual coaching or a even SPOC (Small Private Online Course). I have been a qualified online and blended trainer since 2013 and offer tailor-made solutions for your organisation. Stay safe!

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