The story of diversophy®


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Taken by Ronan Browne

In the spring of 2016 diversophy®partnered with JAMK United for Refugees, an ongoing educational project at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyvaskyla, Finland, to create a new game helping to facilitate acculturation between local hosts and incoming migrant. The project took place in a cross-cultural management course which consisted of students from over 15 countries, including local migrants. The new game includes cards selected from the 2012 Finland deck and issues of migration and information about the new arrivals. So far, the 260 cards which have been created in English are being translated into Finnish and Arabic with training guides and facilitation resources provided for the finished product.

Universities and organizations from other countries have expressed their interest and engaged with us to develop similar game projects. diversophy®will continue this non-for-profit work, as well as focusing on responding to the new and emerging social needs.

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Product development is currently focusing on creating an online version, which would allow individuals from all over the world to virtually play together as a group while maintaining the same interactive game experience.



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On March 24, 2014, at the Turkmenistan Institute of International Relations, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, launched a five-day seminar entitled "Negotiation Skills" to introduce leading international practices for strategic negotiations in which Global Negotiation diversophy® provided interactive learning.


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On the 8th of August 2013 the participants of the International stream of Baltartek met with the European guru of intercultural communication George Simons in Kaliningrad. During 3 days the famous trainer introduced Intercultural Communication via stories, diversophy®, Cultural Detective® and other interactive experiences.


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Project Management Institute presentation in Paris on the theory and practice behind Global Teamwork diversophy®. 

PMI Paris Ile-de-France Entretiens 2012.





Trial introduction of Android phone Apps with diversophy®  Q & A type cards.


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George Simons International and the Bluepill Group again sponsored the SIETAR Intercultural Learning Center in support of SIETAR India's third Annual Congress in Pune in October 2009. Development began on a 3Ddiversophy® Campus offering a four-level intercultural competence curriculum leading to a certificate of accomplishment. The new 3D Campus online was visited by individuals wishing to play one or more diversophy® games. Learners could also subscribe to the full four-stage intercultural certification curriculum and receive professional guidance in their studies. This campus was open in the course of 2010 to academic, private and public professionals and organizations wishing to use a diversophy® curriculum for individual courses and organizational e-learning. An integral part of the new 3D Campus was the development of a portable learning device in Second Life which will enable individuals to play the game wherever they may be in this virtual world. Unfortunately, the user unfriendliness of the Second Life platform led to the closing of this option.


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In collaboration with a group of highly experienced consultants and trainers, a sister organization diversophy France® came into being. Its mission was to develop and deliver diversophy® consulting, training programs, and products to the worldwide Francophone market.
By arrangement with Cultural Detective®, we are making this additional series of tools available in French and integrating them into our training offerings. The new organization made its debut with a highly successful exhibit and presentation at the Mondissimo Exhibition in Paris.


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As sponsors of the 2008 Global Congress of SIETAR, George Simons International and the Bluepill Group created a SIETAR Intercultural Learning Center on the popular virtual world, Second Life, in which 19 playable samplers of diversophy® were offered to visitors in English and in Spanish. 

Over 30,000 people have played these online games to date. The outstanding success of this venture was followed by a first virtual installation in Second Life for the Doing Business with the USA course offered in the International Business Management program of Espeme/EDHEC in Nice, France.



A major online installation of customized diversophy® was made for Deutsche Post managers worldwide.


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In 2000, GSI entered a partnership with m2studio (Munich) to develop a multilingual online version of the game, which was customizable for use on the Internet or could be installed on organizational intranets. First customers included France Telecom, American Express, and Virtueller Campus Bayern.



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User demands led us to combine the best features of the original board game and the conference game into the current paper training tool which can be played with the cards only, or with dice and cards. This met the need for a game that could be played by various sized groups and soon become the standard training and classroom format of the game. There are now over sixty versions of  diversophy® in several languages, with many more versions and translations underway.  Generally, teams of individuals from a culture and from outside the same culture work to develop a game that is both accurate and interesting.



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The need to do trainings with large numbers of people led us to develop the Conference Version of diversophy®, designed for play in large groups without tables. Cards were printed in disposable, recyclable gummed paper pads. This product was chosen in 1995 by Training Magazine for its "Training Product of the Year Award".



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The success of the game led almost immediately to the development of new card sets addressing in a more detailed way US domestic diversity issues such as Gender, Disability and Sexual Orientation. Similar diversity training needs in Canada were addressed by a Canadian Domestic Diversity version of the game. The development of North American Free Trade Agreement suggested the creation of the first of the series that now contains over 60 games on doing business with various countries. diversophy® went global in both the content, language versions, and distribution.



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In 1992 in collaboration with MULTUS Inc., the game was redesigned and expanded as a tool for domestic diversity training in the USA. A full board game was developed that asked questions about differences and how to handle them. Four to six players rolled dice and moved around a colorful, laminated board, trying to avoid four traps — Ethnocentricity, Stereotypes, Bias, and Assimilation—while facing up to five challenges, knowing about cultures, learning how to behave in the face of  differences, reacting to unknown risks, sharing and comparing cultural backgrounds, and absorbing the cultural wisdom of others. 




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diversophy® was first developed by George Simons in 1972 as a tool for training student assistants in university residences. These resident assistants needed skills to handle conflicts and to coach younger students in the challenges and crises they faced in multicultural living situations. It was used in this academic context for a number of years. Then with the Workforce 2000 impetus given to diversity training, the game showed promise as an effective and enjoyable way to raise consciousness of diversity issues and behavior in a multicultural society.

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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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