Category Archives: knowledge sharing

Twelve steps to becoming a great intercultural communicator: Ethnocentrics Anonymous

What if I would base my classes on the principles of Alcoholics Anonymous? The principles of AA are world-famous and are proven to work. Just like learning intercultural skills, it is about a perspective shift of the student. It involves deconstructing and reconstructing personal beliefs.

Triggered by these thoughts, I decided to use AA’s principles as a thought experiment to reconsider the order of my course content for next semester. I train students in Intercultural Communication and Personal Leadership (in intercultural communication) and I see every semester as a fresh start, which I approach with new energy and curiosity to try out new instruction methods.

So, what if my class was like AA? What would I do first? Here is a link to AA’s original famous 12-step program.

And here are my 12 steps to becoming a great intercultural communicator

  • Step 1: Recognize that you are still learning. Understand and acknowledge that there are aspects of other cultures you do not know about.
  • Step 2: Believe that different people live by different rules, that are equally valid to our own.
  • Step 3: Make a decision to be open, mindful, and observant of all the differences and similarities between people in the world we live in.  Set a goal, to notice a number of undiscovered differences and similarities every day.
  • Step 4: Get to know yourself. Know what you value, and how you came to value what you value.
  • Step 5: Recognize that your truth is one of many truths out there. “The Golden Rule” does not exist.
  • Step 6: Accept that you have to practice, work, craft your skills and reflect on your actions and experiences to get better at Intercultural Communication.
  • Step 7: Let go of beliefs that are in the way of your intercultural development.
  • Step 8: Make a list of situations in which you want to behave differently. Describe how you would like to behave.
  • Step 9: Behave differently. Try to adapt to the situation, be vulnerable, get out of your comfort zone and research uncomfortable interactions. Reflect on your behavior, and try again.
  • Step 10: Continue to practice leadership of your own actions, judgments, and experiences. When you are wrong, promptly admit it to yourself and others.
  • Step 11: Meditate, reflect on your actions and thoughts, be mindful in daily life, practice what you preach.
  • Step 12: Teach others.

There are so many parallels to AA and Intercultural Communication. First of all, if you skip a step, the method will not be as effective for you. If you do not believe that people with different values have equally valid beliefs (step 2), it is almost impossible to practice intercultural skills with an open mind. In my experience, you will have to go back to step 2, until you have resolved this step, and then continue to practice.

Secondly, may a closed mindset be a sort of addiction? Is not considering other peoples beliefs, values, and cultural sense, an easy way out? In a way, judgment is an easy escape from a nuanced view of the world and its complexity. Ignorance is bliss, as the famous saying goes. Being uncomfortable, mindful, open, out there, enhances your intercultural communication skills. Being comfortable, judgemental, sure of your own values and beliefs, is not helpful at all for your development as an interculturalist.

Finally, I believe that there is still something to learn for me. I may not practice all the recommendations in all of these steps. Though I have worked in intercultural communication for more than six years now, I feel like there are still plenty of things to learn and practice for me.

Did you find interesting parallels to your work and these 12 steps? Do you think I am missing something, or should word something differently? Let me know! I am eager to learn.

LCTCS Conferentie New Orleans

Vorige week was ik uitgenodigd op de conferentie van de Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) in New Orleans. Ik was daar om te vertellen over het Study Abroad programma over watermanagement dat ik heb georganiseerd voor LCTCS in samenwerking met CIEE. Hierbij een foto via Chancellor Roberts van het Northshore Technical Community College:

In april dit jaar was de groep studenten en hun professor in Nederland, en we hebben samen bijna alle dijken, dammen, waterwerken en drijvende huizen van Nederland gezien. Nu heb ik zelf mogen beleven hoe anders het is als het regent in New Orleans. Ik hoop nog lang samen te mogen werken met deze mooie organisatie die er naar streeft om in elk huishouden in Louisiana iemand met een certificaat of diploma te hebben.

Samen de wereld een beetje beter maken!

Maker-IJ prijsvraag

€10.000, bestemd voor goede ideeën

Samen met Nicky Duin van NeverSayNicky start ANNNA in februari 2018 het project  Maker-IJ prijsvraag. De prijsvraag zet de IJmond op de kaart als centrum van de maakindustrie en koppelt kunstenaars, ontwerpers en makers aan bedrijven, om zo een creatieve kruisbestuiving mogelijk te maken.

flyer1makerij (1)

In juni 2018 zal de eindexpositie plaats vinden, in samenwerking met WeMakeThe.City festival van de MRA. Lees meer op www.maker-ij.nl.

 

Broedplaats in Permanent Beta

Op 27 november spreek ik op de Permanent Beta dag in Utrecht over de oprichting van de Broedmachine. Het boek ‘Nooit Af’ Permanent Beta is een grote persoonlijke inspiratiebron in mijn werk (en leven). Ik wist het niet, totdat iemand het in een boek schreef. Ken je dat? En nu kan ik wat ik doe veel beter intellectueel verantwoorden. Bedankt Martijn Aslander en Erwin Witteveen!

Mijn (samen met 35 anderen) meest recente project, de organisatie van de Beverwijkse broedplaats de Broedmachine, is volledig opgericht in Permanent Beta modus. Prototype na prototype groeien we voort. Werkt dat? Nou niet altijd. Sommige subsidieverstrekkers of overheidsinstanties vereisen dat je nog niet bent begonnen, maar eerst de subsidie aanvraagt, 8 weken afwacht, en dan pas met hun zegen aan de slag gaat. Dus we lopen keiharde pegels mis. Soms ontstaan er misverstanden en willen mensen protocollen, procedures en systemen opzetten die VOOR ALTIJD gelden zodat je risico’s kan beperken. Maar de risico’s van een onderneming als deze laten zich niet beperken door procedures en protocollen. Sterker nog, je creeert meer werk, waardoor je straks gewoon mensen aan moet nemen, en net een traditioneel bedrijf wordt! Oh doemscenario. (lees hier sarcasme)

Mijn persoonlijke uitdaging binnen het project is om de broedplaats zo facilitair en minimaal mogelijk te houden, en de kunstenaars, ontwerpers en creartieve starters die er werken zo veel mogelijk vrijheid te geven om dingen zelf op te lossen zoals zij dat willen. Als je geen percentage afneemt van de opdrachten die binnenkomen, hoef je ook niemand op facturen en acquisitie in te zetten. Als je met 35 paar schouders de huur van het pand draagt, hoef je ook geen community manager aan te nemen. Als iedereen zijn eigen atelier neerzet binnen het pand, is het voor alle huurders goedkoper. En zo is de Broedmachine een levend experiment, een grommende, struikelende en protesterende locomotief met een trein vol creatieven op weg naar top. Want het gaat ontzettend goed, we hebben heel veel steun, van ondernemers, van private partijen, van investeerders en van 83 enthousiaste leden. We worden er wel eens van beschuldigd dat we ons eigen paradijs bouwen, en dat doen we ook. We nodigen daar bij iedereen uit die dat durft om dat vooral ook te doen. We willen met dat doel alle kennis die we tijdens het proces op doen delen.

En daar schreef ik dit stukje voor, om aan te kondigen waar ik het over ga hebben tijdens mijn workshop op de Permanent Beta dag. Op 27 november zal ik kennis delen over de Broedmachine, wat hebben we tot nu toe gedaan, waar lopen we tegen aan, wat kan jij van ons project leren? Welke fouten hebben we gemaakt en wat hebben we goed gedaan? Daarnaast heb ik een aantal uitdagingen voor het publiek. Hoe blijf je helder na denken binnen een project dat loopt als een trein? Wat vindt het publiek van de workshop van de uitdagingen en  de dillema’s waar we nu voor staan? En wat zijn jullie ideeën?

Tot 27 november!

 

Creatives in a Broedmachine

The past few months I have been very involved in a project in the city of Beverwijk called ‘Broedmachine‘. Literally Broedmachine means ‘Incubator’, in English people call it a makerspace, start-up hub or artist community. Broedplaats might be a very Dutch concept.

I help the volunteers in this place organize. Broedmachine exists of 100% volunteers, it is a 2600 m2 building, managed, run and built completely by volunteers.  The sense of community behind this project is very strong, so there are tons of opportunities for me to mess up. The people who participate in this project have a very high intrinsic motivation to make this project a success. Together we work to become a self-sufficient and professional organization. To accomplish this I stand on the shoulders of giants such as Frederic Laloux, Martijn Aslander, Erwin Witteveen, Rutger Bregman and Otto Schämer.

Broedmachine

Kids learn through lego

At the moment I’m involved with Young Engineers in the Netherlands to teach kids about science, engineering, programming, and mathematics with the help of LEGO bricks and LEGO’s educational program WeDo. I looooove it. I never knew I loved working with kids so much! They make the most amazing creations and have so much creativity to make the adjust and improve on their creations, I can’t even begin to explain. So here are some pictures for your entertainment:

 

Freelancing at Makerversity

For the past few months, I have been freelancing at Makerversity Amsterdam. This is a company where I felt at home straight away. At first, I rented my own flex-desk at their co-working space, which is super inspirational, interesting and challenging too! I had to get out of the comfort zone of my own home and speak to people! In the mornings! Hahaha it made me a better person and a better freelancer!

The first question I had to get used to is: ‘what do you do?’ In a co-working space full of makers, I felt embarrassed not to be making anything.  Usually, I would stumble something like: ‘I make meetings and teach…’ Once I felt at ease and started to get out of my shell, Makerversity hired me as a freelancer to fill in some gaps until they hired their very own General Manager. So: yay! for getting out there and getting a job! This experience set me up with so many interesting opportunities and contacts.. I would recommend everyone to visit, join and make at Makerversity! Here are some inspiring pictures to make my point:

 

More information on the Makerversity Amsterdam website. 

European Local Makers Network exhibtion on the Amsterdam Maker Festival

Ohhh I am really looking forward to this weekend when 20 beautiful makers and artists will join the ELMN exhibit at the Amsterdam Maker Festival. I am especially impressed with all the people who volunteered to help out! It feels like teamwork!

Sarah designed the very first ever logo of the European Local Makers Network, tadaaaa:

elmn 1 v2.1
Thank you for the great design Sarah Evers! Get your website online so we can link to your beautiful products! 😉

 

We have six volunteers who will be the exhibition supposts and give information to the visitors. And some of them do a live demonstration of their maker-skills when they’re there. Here is the schedule for the live demonstrations:

IMG_2202
Ohpopup cards in the making

I know that you want to know who is  in the exhibit, well, here’s the list!

Zwartkapje
Magan McNulty
Coloured Things
Miontas
Ohpopup
Anna Treurniet
Roses are Red
Studio Koekoek
Joor Creates
Elvira Krick
SB designs
TOEPAS creaties
Whispering Paper
Made by Mirjam
Sweet and Mellow
Charis Felice
Sara Meijer
Woldernis
Labour of Art
Swearhouse

Want to see these designs in real life? See you at Makerversity at Amsterdam Maker Festival!

Super soft party cat toy.
Party Cat by Megan McNulty

 

And you know what! I’ll be doing some extra things at Amsterdam Maker Festival. I’ll host a short talk (Pecha Kucha) on the different Pop-Up shops I co-organized to help people who want to start a shop with some more information. That’s Friday the 19th at 4 PM.

Even before that, on Friday the 19th at 1.30 PM, I’ll host a knowledge sharing session on Copy Cats. Together with all the participants who are there, we’ll do guided group conversations about copy cats and how you can deal with them. How to deal with Copy Cats.

Lastly, on Saturday the 20th of august, I’ll sit at a table and host a ‘First Aid Ideas’ session. This session/table is about Selling at Live Events. That’s from 1.30 to 3.30 PM, and as soon as I know where it is, I’ll let you know!

Exhibition European Local Makers Network

From August 19th to 21st, the Amsterdam Maker Festival will take place at the marineterrein in Amsterdam. European Local Makers Network will partcipate in this event with an exhibit and knowledge sharing sessions.

We will have a small space full of beautiful products by local makers in our network. Because I have a desk at Makerversity, where all the fun takes place, we can do this for a very small price per maker!

Moodboard of the exhibit by Jona from ohpopup! This should give you an indication of what our exhibit will look like.
Moodboard of the exhibit by Jona from ohpopup! This should give you an indication of what our exhibit will look like.

I am superexcited. This is exactely why I started the European Local Makers Network: to provide an affordable opportunity to lots of makers, facilitated by the network itself. We have volunteers who attend the exhibit and help out to protect each others stuff, we have people who help design different parts of the exhibit, people who help out with the selection process, really, it couldn’t be better!

Click here to go to the application form for makers.

More information about the Amsterdam Maker Festival
More information about ELMN
More information about Makerversity

European Local Makers Network (ELMN)

Last Thursday we made a start for the European Local Makers Network (ELMN)! Let me tell you a little more about this initiative. I started a Meetup group a while ago with makers from the Amsterdam area. There is so much potential in this group! So when Makerversity Amsterdam hosted an open night for new members, we decided to tag along and speak about the things we could do as a group of enthusiastic makers. Psssst.. did you know that Makerversity Amsterdam membership is free for the whole month of April??

So we have lots of ideas for projects, knowledge sharing sessions and collective discounts now. I’m so curious what the future will bring!

We need some help in getting these things done. Do you want to co-host a session or help out with a certain project? Do let me know at annabel@annna.nl!