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Course Descriptions

Spring 2015 Skills Institutes


SIS 633-006 Applied Intercultural Relations Research: Strategies for Developing Winning Proposals and Workable Programs

with Dr. Joshua Joseph

January 24-25, 2015

IC SKILLS INSTITUTE – Let’s be honest, many promising ideas don’t work perfectly or even well right out of the box. It's one thing to write a proposal, design a study or develop a program. It's another to make it viable, with a real chance of getting funded and ultimately working. How do we get from here to there? While there are no guarantees, the process doesn't have to be hit or miss. This interactive two-day skills institute covers four key steps in developing workable strategies for change and combines them with hands-on practice at each step and plenty of group feedback along the way. The process is easily adaptable and can be used to help clarify what almost any initiative is trying to accomplish, identify critical barriers to change and surface assumptions about what's likely to work, what isn't and why.


SIS 633-004 16th Annual IMI Conference on Intercultural Relations

March 12-13, 2015

IC SKILLS INSTITUTE – The 16th Annual IMI Conference is a two-day interactive dialogue and debate on the dynamic field of intercultural management and communication, bringing together business, education, and training professionals while covering a broad range of topics. This year’s conference will be a vibrant exploration of global business management, training methodologies, global organizational development, and conflict management, as well as many other compelling and timely topics. A unique opportunity for professional development, the IMI Conference is both academic and applicable to current topics in cross-cultural communication and training. Diverse program offerings include lectures, panel discussions, interactive simulation exercises, and roundtables.


SIS 633-005 Integrated Diplomacy, Defense & Development: A Retrospective

with Ray Leki, Adjunct Instructor, School of International Service, American University

March 21-22, 2015

IC SKILLS INSTITUTE – The events of the last decade created a need to integrate diplomatic, military, and development assistance efforts within the U.S. government. Working together has become a necessity; exposing military personnel, development workers, implementing partners and officials involved in diplomacy from a wide variety of agencies to one another. That collaboration does not come easily, as it tests the organizational cultures, assumptions, values, thought processes and behaviors of three rough groupings from within the same national culture and strategic mission while operating in very different cultures overseas. The presenter, a witness and participant in those intercultural exchanges will provide an overview of the challenges faced and engage participants in a reality-based case studies and scenarios involving cultural clashes that needed to be negotiated. This skills institute will involve participants in both thoughtful reflection and analysis of these efforts to date and some and generate projections on the future of integrated diplomacy, defense, and development.


SIS 633-003 Building Mediator Capacity in a Multicultural Context

withGururaj Kumar, Training and Policy Program Director, ICONS Project, University of Maryland, and Jared Ordway, Senior Practitioner, Catalyst, IpF 

April 11-12, 2015

IC SKILLS INSTITUTE - To successfully tackle the challenges of today's multicultural academic and professional landscape, individuals must be able to facilitate difficult conversations and manage conflict effectively. Building the capacity to mediate successfully with differing cultural perspectives is a critical component for creating and maintaining sustainable relationships with colleagues and stakeholders. Designed as an interactive workshop, this institute provides participants with essential cross-cultural conflict management skills for building collaborative relationships when working with individuals and groups in conflict.  Using hands-on exercises and simulation role-plays, participants will identify and analyze personal approaches to conflict, increase their cross-cultural competency, build their capacity as mediators, facilitators, and problem-solvers, and learn to transform conflict into opportunity.  This course is designed for students and professional who are preparing to work or are already working in multicultural environments including schools, NGOs, corporations, and government agencies.


Fall 2014 Skills Institutes


(SIS 633-002)

Michelle LeBaron, Director, Program on Dispute Resolution, University of British Columbia

September 27-28, 2014

In today's organizations, a range of creative, holistic approaches are needed to prevent, understand, and transform conflict. Holistic approaches meet difference with dialogue, integrating intuition with analysis to inform collaborative processes. In this intensive course, participants will learn ways to work across cultural and worldview differences by drawing on a range of creative tools such as using art, the power of storytelling, and improve techniques and approaches. This course builds on previous skills institutes offered this fall, and is designed to further explore the unique combination of skills necessary for effective intercultural training. Guest facilitators will enrich this institute by providing training on various techniques. 


(SIS 633-003)

Bram Groen, Professor, School of International Service, American University

October 18-19, 2014

This course is an intensive practicum for individuals engaged in or aspiring to a leadership role in a global, cross-cultural setting. The practicum addresses important cross-cultural aspects of global leadership and related subjects such as diversity management, teamwork, decision making, and negotiations. Drawing from "real-life" international work situations and challenges, participants will be exposed to case studies and small-group activities designed to articulate and reconcile cross-cultural business/organizational dilemmas.


(SIS 633-004)

Robert Kelley, Professor, School of International Service, American University

November 15-16, 2014

In times of international crisis, public diplomats often serve as first responders bearing two vital responsibilities: to reactively inform concerned publics of facts on the ground and to proactively shape public perceptions so that events may be seen in a certain light. This course introduces students to the high-stakes environment of managing crises under the intense scrutiny of international audiences. Under the guidance of experienced facilitators using simulations based on real events, it develops appreciation for the advantages and challenges of dealing with a multiplicity of actors with access to information in real time, and the increased frequency of private-public collaborations in crisis management.