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As this poster in Building 525 A suggests, the ''Comparative Culture Workshop'' could address every nation's cultural or ethnic subcategory... (Click to view larger version...)
As this poster in Building 525 A suggests, the ''Comparative Culture Workshop'' could address every nation's cultural or ethnic subcategory...
Considering that some 34 nations are represented in ITER; and further considering that each nation can be broken into cultural or ethnic subcategories (as this poster in Building 525 A suggests), the "Comparative Culture Workshop" cycle could take some time to complete.

This new endeavour in cultural understanding succeeds the "Intercultural Seminars" that were organized in 2008-2009. "We felt a need to be more interactive," explains Agence Iter France's Shawn Simpson, "and to focus on the work interaction between people of different cultures."

Participants in Shawn's workshop have already gone through the challenges and benefits of "working with" the Americans, the French (there are requests to do that one again), the Japanese and most of the Europeans. The Spaniards will be next in December.

"I'm very pleasantly surprised by the number of people who show up despite the pressure of work and deadlines," says Shawn. The workshop doesn't "teach" nor does it provide quick-fix answers — it helps to open the mind. "What is particularly satisfying is when I hear someone say: 'Oh, I understand why so and so didn't answer my mail right away!' Or: 'Now, that explains why that meeting with X... went so badly...'"

Have three years of intercultural pedagogy been efficient? "Definitely!" says Shawn. "Intercultural awareness at ITER is getting better every year..."


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