All You Need to Know About Proposing For
and Presenting at SIETAR-USA Conference
The 16th annual SIETAR-USA conference will be held in Tulsa Oklahoma, November 9-12, 2016. It will bring together members and professionals for collaborative learning and stimulating exchanges on the people and places around the world that are polarized – distanced by varying perspectives that fuel society’s tendency to “other” each other from afar – or even right next door. This conference provides the space to boldly engage in the difficult dialogues about what disconnects us, with the aim of bringing us closer to a shared understanding and empathy that such conversations and meaningful connections may bring. We welcome you to be a part of this conversation by submitting a proposal to present at the conference. Join this webinar to find out about the call for proposal process and practical tips on presenting.
Wednesday, April 20 at 8:00 p.m. EST
Friday, April 22 at 1:00 pm
Webinar Presenter: Led by Tatyana Fertelmeyster, Founder and Principal of
Connecting Differences LLC as well as advisory council for SIETAR-USA.
Webinar Links: https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/115894037
Or, call in using your telephone.
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Dial +1 (224) 501-3312
Access Code: 115-894-037
Have You Met LCW?
Language & Culture Worldwide (LCW) transforms lives and organizations through training, translation and consulting services that inspire professionals to connect across cultures. The firm was founded in 2000 by returned Peace Corps Volunteers Monica Francois Marcel and Randall Stieghorst, who understood both personally and professionally what it took to connect, succeed and build relationships across cultures. LCW is dedicated to the issues of culture and language as they impact business and professional relationships, and works with global organizations to develop the mindsets and skills for succeeding across cultures – both domestic and international. Our specialized services help our clients build cultural competence and inclusion skills throughout the organization. The talents of our full time staff—which collectively has experience on the ground in over sixty different countries—is enhanced with LCW's large network of consultants, trainers and translators that help us deliver in the languages, locations, and cultures of our clients’ global workforces. LCW global team members span a range of racial and ethnic identities, nationalities, language skills, ages, genders, physical abilities, sexual orientations, industry backgrounds, and professional histories. We are committed to helping increase our clients’ understanding of culture and diversity issues, global training and development, and the dynamics of communicating, living, working, and thriving in a multicultural world.
LCW L&D Consultant Oana Amaria will be presenting at the 2016 Network and Affinity Leadership Congress (NALC) in Newark NJ on June 17, with our client Progressive Insurance: “On Being Progressive: How to leverage your ERGs to make ‘Leading Inclusively’ a practical skill-set for managers and leaders across your organizations”
Click here for more information on LCW’s on-demand eLearning solutions, including “Introduction to Managing Unconscious Bias”.
Click here for a recent article about our experiences translating our unconscious bias eLearning into 18 different languages.
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SIETAR Germany Forum – Culture, Conflict, Collaboration
Bonn, February 18-20, 2016
Reflections by an Insider-Outsider
on a Very “German” Event
by Rita Wuebbeler
As a dual US-German national whose work focus has been on intercultural relations between Europe and North America for many years, I was especially eager to attend this year’s 2016 SIETAR Forum in Bonn. Not only was I curious to get a more nuanced picture of the current situation of migrants and refugees in Germany and how German society is handling the refugee question, I was also looking forward to participating in the types of discussions more commonly found in German educational settings: those infused by German values of organization, structure, thoroughness and in-depth analysis. And I was not disappointed! As our French SIETAR colleague Vincent Merck said during the final wrap-up session, “my stereotypes of German culture were all confirmed (in a positive way): punctuality, order and quality! And I’m going to be back next year!”
The organizing team led by Alexander Scheitza did an outstanding job of inviting the almost 200 Forum participants into ever deepening and engaging discussions and explorations of topics in five conference tracks each facilitated by one or two moderators throughout the three-day event: Society and Politics; Organizational Culture; Diversity – Opportunities and Risks; Conflict and Cooperation Management; and Think-Worthy.
In addition to formal conference submissions, the organizing team invited members of local NGOs and other social institutions to talk about such diverse topics as human trafficking and prostitution, fighting Islamic extremism in schools, and working in post-genocide Rwanda and post-civil war former Yugoslavia.
We also had some surprises and some “new and fresh” conference elements:
- Opening with a bang - political cabaret and dancing on the first night
- “Dine-around” done differently - in the form of a treasure hunt!
- Dialogue walk – to meet someone new and deepen the dialogue while exploring the area
- Room of Silence – a space to rest, relax and be quiet and spacious.
I attended two excellent daylong pre- and post-conference workshops:
PRE: “Note-Worthy Training Methods” facilitated by Barbara Messer who is not an interculturalist but a training methods “guru”. She quickly adapted her repertoire to the intercultural field and had us mesmerized by her creative ways of engaging us including acting, giving a sermon and “going on TV”.
POST: “Compassionate Listening” facilitated by Andrea Cohen from The Compassionate Listening Project, a non-profit organization based in Seattle dedicated to empowering individuals and communities to transform conflict and strengthen cultures of peace, especially in the Middle East.
Overall, what I appreciated about the Forum, in addition to the things mentioned above, were the following:
- Having five tracks led or co-led by the same facilitators which gave the discussions continuity and extra depth
- Debriefing in small groups after each concurrent session and at the beginning and end of every day followed by sharing in the plenary. The Germans call this format Murmelgruppen – “murmuring groups”. This format contributes to sharing the learning and building community.
- Focusing on mindfulness (5 minute stillness in the Plenary every morning).
- Focusing on slowing down and creating spaciousness by having fewer but longer sessions.
- Focusing on not knowing all the answers or having all the solutions and always asking more questions. We practiced Lösungsabstinenz – “solution abstinence”.
Despite some minor glitches (the exhibitors were in a not ideal room off to the side) and occasional “debriefing fatigue” on my part, as far as SIETAR conferences go, this one was an absolute highlight for me.
I’m aware that regional SIETAR conferences tend to be special because of their smaller, more intimate size and their choice of location (no need to stay in a conventional hotel to accommodate larger numbers – for this forum, everyone was under one roof at a very functional but nice not-for-profit educational center complete with great food and a bar). Plus, the timing of this conference was special – we were witnessing “history in the making” as Germany and Europe as a whole are currently grappling with the huge influx of refugees and migrants.
I still hope we can use some of the “special features ” from Bonn as inspiration for future events we are planning in the US and elsewhere.
Rita Wuebbeler, President of Interglobe Cross-Cultural Business Services, Inc., inspires human development as a coach, facilitator, team builder and consultant. Her main work areas are cross-cultural competency, global business skills, team effectiveness, diversity and inclusion and Personal Leadership. If you want more information, contact her at email@example.com.
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