Our team



George Simons
Founder & Editor in Chief
Email contact: diversophy@gmail.com 

My name is George Simons (né Simonovitz). I was born of mixed Central European immigrant families to the US Western Reserve, where difference was at best suspect and at worst punished. Hence cultural identity has been a concern of mine from day one, and has continued to motivate me to a lifelong chase for ways to encourage and enable myself and others to peaceably and peacefully cohabit the neighborhood and the planet.

diversophy® is one of those ways. It is a series of games designed to create cultural competence in the face of the differing and often conflicting ethnic, racial, religious, social, economic and political narratives, which are written in our minds, our muscles and our genes, to say nothing of our socially constructed story worlds and social designs.

Having visited and worked as a consultant, trainer and coach in over 50 countries and lived in four, I am settled in Mediterranean France. Managing a short handful of languages, I have repeatedly served on various boards of SIETAR (the Society for Intercultural Education,Training and Research) and currently manage its large European LinkedIn group on cultural competence.

My published works include a number of books and countless articles and reviews as well as co-authorship of eight Cultural Detective tools. You can also join me on my blog at www.georgesimons.com.


 

Wieke Gur
Director at diversophy®

Email contact: wg@wiekegur.com

A native of Indonesia, currently residing in Perth, Australia, I am a cross-cultural business strategist specializing in marketing and digital communication. I coach senior executives of global companies such as Steel Blue Australia and Bosch Germany. I work with Duke Corporate Education, UK, and Cultural Awareness International, USA. I have authored an intercultural learning game on Indonesia for the diversophy® series, which is currently available in English and in German.

In 2006, I founded Bahasa Kita, a comprehensive Indonesian language online resource. I joined the diversophy® management team as Director in 2013. I am one of the four founding members of SIETAR AUSTRALASIA (The Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research). 

 



Nghi Dang 
Marketing Manager
Email contact: nghi@diversophy.com

After four years living abroad in three different countries and now in a fourth one (that is not counting places I have travelled to on shorter trips), I have prompted myself to experience working with people from variable nationalities, within multicultural environments.

In my first internship, I served for six months as a receptionist in a three-star hotel based in London, being trained to manage better in challenging customer service situations. I worked another 3 months in the info desk of my University's campus, practicing both my customer service and Finnish language skills. For a year, I worked for the NGO Youth Organisation AIESEC, where I learned valuable management and organising skills. I started as a member initially, and got elected later as Vice President of Communication for the local committee in the city at that time. Besides these job positions, I engaged in variable part-time jobs, expanding my working experiences and network.

Recently, I have just done my thesis research study on City Branding and Branding Experiences. At the same time, I started to work as Marketing Manager at George Simons International.

 

Laura Kortelainen
Associate Director of Development
Email contact: laura@diversophy.com

Born and raised in Helsinki, I moved to central Finland for my University studies. I am currently a student in the business administration program at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä. After a year of study, I took a yearlong break and traveled to Australia. There I worked on several farms with other backpackers from around the world and also traveled the East Coast. On my return I worked in a hospital in Helsinki.

In 2015, when I came back to the university, I found myself enrolling in more international courses, such as international marketing and intercultural communication. I also took part in the JAMK United for Refugees (JUfR) project developing the diversophy® training tool for the acculturation of migrants. In the summer of 2016, I finished my thesis which explored the development of the JUfR project.

Currently, I am working in George Simons International as an Associate Director of Development, collaborating in the further expansion and translations of the migrant deck created as a result of the JUfR project. I will continue to work in the Intercultural field, looking as to my efforts can serve the many needs of our troubled world.

 

Teresa Mroczek
Associate Consultant
Email contact: teresa@diversophy.com 

Originally I'm from Poland, which has strongly marked my identity, even though I left as a young person and have been living for almost 15 years in other countries with only occasional visits home.

I have lived in Spain, Bolivia, and England (or perhaps I should say London, as the saying goes, “It's the country in the country”), and now I’m in France. In each country I arrived as a total stranger, needing to learn the language and how things work, each day navigating cultural differences. What's more important, at the same time I've had the benefit of meeting extraordinary  people and living unforgettable moments.

From some time now I've been preparing myself to work as a translator and engaged in several projects which include working with immigrants and youth education. Working at George Simons International, the door to new intercultural possibilities has opened for me. It's evident to me now that all my goals and my current work fit together excellently. I'm passionately looking forward to further collaboration.

 

Alexandra Brougne
Associate Consultant
Email contact: Alexandra@diversophy.com

Shuttling between France and Brazil, I grew up in a multicultural environment, witnessing cultural contrasts since I was a child. My passion for understanding human cultural backgrounds led me to choose international studies and an interculturally oriented career. 

Speaking fluent English, Spanish, Portuguese and French, I have a master’s degree in international and cross-cultural negotiation, with a special focus on Latin America and more specifically Brazil. 

My thesis explored the foundations of both French and Brazilian cultures and how these differences can lead to misunderstandings and failures when working together. I did my research from the perspective of "not losing face", which is one of the most important cultural dimensions in Brazil. This research angle has never been explored before even though it represents a high stake in Brazilian social and professional relations. 

That work, added to my personal experience between France and Brazil enabled me to become a Franco-Brazilian relations facilitator. 

Currently I am working at George Simons International, concentrating on creating a Portuguese version of the Doing business with the French diversophy® game to assist Brazilians doing business with French organizations and expatriates or when they are working in France. I will also be working to introduce diversophy® to Portuguese-speaking markets.  

 

Emily Auvinen
Marketing Communications Manager
Email contact: emily@diversophy.com

I was an active volunteer in my local California community as a young adult. In 2012, I had the opportunity to organize and participate in a community service and peace education project in Rwanda, Africa. As a teenager, I started working. By the time I was an adult had experienced being a waitress, caterer, event organizer, daycare assistant and office clerk.

Never would I have imagined that I would be living a life abroad. After graduating high school early at age 17 and quitting my job, I left alone for a summer vacation in Europe. It has now been over two years and I have yet to move back to California. In addition to my personal trips, this past year I volunteered to work on a small sustainable farm in the Norwegian fjords, participated in an educational conference in Siberia, and am now working as an intern on the French Riviera.

I am a failed millennial. I love early mornings, reading paperback books and spending my free time outdoors and disconnected from the modern world. If you ask my friends and family, they will say I am an extremely extroverted introvert. Currently ,my permanent residence is in Finland where I am studying international business and continue to travel whenever the opportunity comes. My partner and I are in the final stages of finishing our thesis about the JAMK United for Refugees, where we had had participated as student managers and conducted action research during the creation of a diversophy® game about migration. I will spend a semester abroad in the spring and then graduate. Once again finding myself writing a new chapter in the open book of life.

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Our email contacts are there for you to contact us personally whenever you need. Since our team is small, we keep our communication quite tight. Your queries can be addressed and solved by any of our members. Hope to hear from you for any doubts! :) 

Don't forget to scroll down till the end to subscribe to our email list, for a chance to receive freely, 50 cards of these following 3 games: Cultural Competence, Intercultural Communication and South Korea. 


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