SIETAR Japan Conference 2018

This August three diversophy® ambassadors presented workshops at the SIETAR World Congress in Tokyo Japan. The congress was held in Tokyo from 8th to 11th of August 2018. Emphasizing the value of intercultural connections, SIETAR Japan aims at strengthening the diversity and cultural competence of its members. Conference visitors had the opportunity to become a part of mutual learning environment within multiple workshops, keynote presentations, cultural activities and symposia. Experts from different fields came together to expand each other’s knowledge. The attending diversophy® team delivered three different workshops.

Steve Crawford, educator from JAMK University of Applied Sciences, engaged participants in the process of New Horizons diversophy® game development and its applications. The New Horizons game series began as a response to 2015 refugee crisis in Finland, and currently is concentrating on youth-related issues. Visitors had a chance to actively participate in content creation, as well as to play the game itself. During the workshop, Steve had an opportunity to not only share, but also get an insight on Japanese high school culture through a thoughtful discussion with a local teacher. He believes that even though the educational systems vary significantly between Finland and Japan, students in both countries face a lot of similar problems at different levels.

The second workshop was facilitated by Juri Hikasa a student who served as a virtual intern at George Simons International. With the goal of promoting gamification as a tool for intercultural learning, Juri successfully introduced the first Japanese version of the diversophy® Cultural Competence game, which she herself had translated in recent months as her internship project. A lively gaming session was followed by debriefing, which provided the opportunity for mutual feedback exchange, as well as for discussion on game content, playing process and facilitation.

George Simons, conducted the third presentation, a workshop which explored How Cognitive Integrity Affects Culturally Competent Training. Basing his presentation on the learning and understanding resulting from contemporary research in neurological and cognitive sciences, George invited participants to take part in a variety of interactive activities demonstrating these new dimensions. These exercised were aimed at forming new perspectives on learning in going beyond the traditional ones, exploring the way to contemporary cultural know-how based on whole person engagement and reflection. After this workshop, George received very positive feedback from multiple participants. People mentioned that the session was inspiring and very valuable for one’s learning; George raised meaningful and crucial issues for the field of culture and identity.

Despite punishing weather conditions throughout the trip, the diversophy® team was very glad to have this opportunity to come and participate with local and other visiting SIETAR members and attendees, as well as to explore the local culture. We look forward to further events of this nature around the world! Our next SIETAR team stops will be in Malaga, Spain, St. Petersburg, Russia, and Krzyzowa, Poland. We look forward to seeing you at one of these events!


Picture Author: Steve Crawford.

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