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Guided Discussions will consist of a 15 minutes of live presented content (no PowerPoints) followed by a 25 minute live online discussion on the topic, guided and moderated by the presenter(s). These discussions are intended to be reminiscent of the Kitchen Table Conversations, inspired by the original discussions around Ruth Van Reken’s kitchen table that led to the founding of FIGT. These are lively, interactive conversations around a focused, practical topic. There will be three Guided Discussions for attendees to choose from each time. 

Saturday, March 13, 2021 01:50 GMT
Saturday, March 13, 2021 16:50 GMT
Sunday, March 14, 2021 07:50 GMT


Guided Discussions I

Saturday March 13, 2021 01:50 GMT

Distant Families and ‘Left Behind’ Kin: Creating Bridges to Sustain Transnational Families Across Generations

Helen Ellis

Helen is neither an expat nor a migrant. She is, however, a New Zealand distant parent/step-parent and distant grandparent/step-grandparent. Her children have lived, or are living in Scotland, England, Northern Ireland, Sweden, USA, Pakistan, Senegal, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and South Sudan. Five of her six grandchildren (3-20 years) were born and still live overseas. Distance families are not easy, and thanks to COVID-19, heightened uncertainty is a daily norm. Helen will offer suggestions as to how to improve communication routines, to help nourish your and your family – near and far.

Same, Same but Different: The Challenges of Relocating as a Same Sex Couple with Children

Scott Cowcher

The session reflects on Scott's experiences as a same sex spouse who has relocated 4 times across 3 country. Each country - Thailand, Cambodia and the USA, has presented obstacles and stressors that are often the same as any family the relocating experience. However, he has also experiences unique to his “unconventional” family which have been challenging and frustrating but ultimately his relocations have each provided him with unique experiences and immense gratification. The journey can be a roller coaster but he has also seen himself as an unexpected educator challenging beliefs about what a family really is!

Bridging and Embracing Cultural Differences in Working Relationships

Trisha Smith-Pierce

Have you found yourself working closely with someone from a different culture? That cultural difference can create a chasm that is not easily crossed. Sometimes the divisions are caused by language but often it is the almost imperceptible cultural nuances that cause the greatest divides. What can we do to bridge that difference? In this discussion, we will explore how we build productive and meaningful relationships in spite and often because of cultural differences. We will tap the experience of the discussion leader and the participants to discover what it means to bridge a difference, how we can learn to embrace differences, the role of language, and the role of other soft skills.

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Guided Discussions II
Saturday, March 13, 2021 16:50 GMT

Cross Border Recruitment and Effects on the Family and Employer

Madalina Lungu

Cross border recruiting refers to sourcing and matching international and specialised talent in a certain labour market where there is shortage of skilled workforce. Skills, potential for cultural integration, medical fitness, training and immigration costs must match across borders to allow a longlasting fit in the new work environment. The trend is applicable for all categories of workers, such as manual, office, care, environmental. High-volume cross border recruitment is a field still being explored and understood.

Elements of Neuroscience and Brain Neuroplasticity Applied to Change and Life Abroad

Monica Scillieri

This discussion will focus on what the new neurosciences theories are telling us about how we function in new environments and on how we cope with changes. What is natural (very little) and what instead requires our intentional awareness and what kind of mental training?

Third Culture Adults (TCAs): Exploring Questions of Identity and Belonging

Ruth Van Reken and Daniela Tomer

A great deal has been written about identity formation and the sense of belonging for Third Culture Kids (TCKs)—those who grow up on the move. But what about Third Culture Adults (TCAs) those who make their first international move from the age of 18 and over? We are inviting TCAs to join us for a discussion to explore the reasons for their choice to move and what they have found to be the benefits and challenges. It’s time to hear the adults’ stories.

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Guided Discussions III
Sunday, March 14, 2021 07:50 GMT

Becoming a Parent in a Foreign Land

Emily Rogers

Starting a family while living abroad is challenging and sometimes utterly daunting. From the moment you find out you're pregnant, through giving birth, to making decisions about education, the views of the people around you can be very different from your own and sometimes confronting. In this discussion I will present my own experience which will lead to a sharing session where we have the opportunity to learn from each other.

Your Skills to Adapt on the Move: A Universal Adaptor Metaphor

Sara Coggiola

Through coaching tools, embodiment and experiential learning Sara invites you to explore different perspectives about living in a foreign country. Exercises of skill drill will reveal inner assets that are used every day while living, working and parenting between different cultures.

Utilizing the Human Library™ Framework to Defy Stereotypes: Embracing Differences Through Story-Telling and Dialogue

Aiko Minematsu and Asako Noda

The Human Library™ aims to defy stereotypes through dialogue. In this interactive session, the presenters will share their experiences of hosting Human Library™ events in Tokyo by explaining the general framework of the Human Library™ and how we utilize it to bring out voices of adult Third Culture Kids to parents, educators, students and the general public. We will also present a step-by-step procedure on how to prepare and host Human Library™ events, along with specific ideas for recruiting human books, facilitating, and setting up a safe environment for a dialogue on sensitive and personal topics. The session will end with a discussion on how the framework can be used in various contexts to bridge and embrace differences.

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