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Values in intercultural communication

Direction: Thomas Baumer, Dr. Gale Prawda
Duration: 1 day (including dinner);
extended workshops (optional): 1-5 days

This course consists of an introduction into intercultural competence and a philosophical workshop (socratic dialogue and/or ethics workshop). A closer look at decision making, visions, goals, activities and up to the meaning of life by applying philosophical enquiry to its many questions. Getting to know oneself better and question some of the basic assumptions we live by. It can help bridge the gap between what we do and what we say.

Participation in the socratic dialogue develops critical thinking through rigorous inquiry and consensus from the group. Drawn from Socrates’ philosophical inquiry and developed by Nelson adding a group dynamics dimension, this form of dialogue allows in-depth understanding of various issues. It is conducted in small groups in an intensive, structured manner.

The ethics workshop provides the ethical systems currently used to address moral dilemmas, conflicts of interest and crisis in values occurring in everyday life. Theories such as Utilitarianism which advocates that we should act in a way to maximize the most happiness whereas the de-ontological approach emphasizes abiding by moral rules, and Kantian ethics based on responsabilities. Ethical issues drawn from the group can be evaluated accordingly.

Participants of this course are top level decision makers and middle management within companies and organisations as well as other people interested in a reflection about finding and meaning in activities, responsibilities and life in general.

The course is held in either english or french language and includes a philosophical dinner at the end of the day. The themes of the discussion during the dinner will be choosen during the day. An even more intense focus on an actual situation or future decisions and developments is possible with extended workshops which may be hold some days or weeks after the first course.

The co-director of this workshop, Dr. Gale Prawda, has simultaneously studied philosophy and developed a business career in the publishing industry. Having gone through the American and French academic systems and business circuits she obtained her doctorate under Paul Ricoeur's direction while managing an American university bookstore in Paris. Shortly after she founded an Anglo-american book distribution company. She's been synthesizing philosophy and management: lecturing at business schools, facilitating in the corporate world, consulting. She founded the Philosophy Café in English both in Paris and London, organizes and facilitates many public philosophical events. Currently a member of several philosophical practitioners associations in the US, UK, and France and an active member of L'école Française de Daseinanalyze. Her main mission is making philosophy accessible to all. She facilitates training programs in the corporate world (specializing in management, ethics, intercultural management, effective business communication, etc.) as well as leads guided discussions on various topics (integrity, trust, etc.). Presently, she gives undergraduate and graduate courses in cross-cultural management and moral philosophy at the Rouen School of Management. Also working with inner-city schools , she facilitates thematic philosophical inquiry to develop critical thinking skills. Holds philosophical dialogues and group discussions for the general public at various cafés and restaurants in Paris & London.