Looking back to the last 10 years*, 7 in Japan, 3 in Switzerland, it feels exciting, like having entered a second life. Without shame of losing face, studying, and practicing. A learning path to Awareness Intelligence.
*Yes, sometimes I also look back … to learn without regret and without pressure to live up to a story others want to create for us.
A PATH TO AWARENESS INTELLIGENCE
Commonly unspectacular, a Swiss citizen’s life Eastward with the goal to further thrive When I arrive in the land of the rising sun Cultural clashes, there I’m Mathias Sager san
I would not have believed my greeting future Lost identity, emergence of an actualized father Through the eyes of a child, with a child, for a child A new land, far away, yet an inner view that died
Different, knowing, growing, fallen out of favor Refusing the call to fight, love seemed braver The shallowness of business passing by these eyes Remembering my daughter, and the world of lies
I’m doing it again; the challenges are teachers And teaching shall I be against the treacherous Conditional “love”, which I find our time’s disease If I can’t adapt, never will we have more peace
Curtains of tears are my entrance to the light Working all day and night, this path seems right Barriers bridged by worded paintings, painted poetry The magic of the three, third career that’s necessary
My friends, the books alone stand by in times of loss I do not fear death anymore; this pond I cross At the same time, obstacles, and sources of energy Putting into practice what I’ve studied in psychology
I was looking for happiness and found meaning, yes When I accepted meaning, happiness became meaningless Knowledge from the heart because reason is blinding The love for you gives purpose to everything
Civilization, shallow pleasures; they just exist In nature, I resist; in privileges, I don’t insist Inspired, I’m back to follow the calling An artist’s fitness, kindness, and wisdom, I’m all in
This article reflects on example biases that could impact one’s intercultural behavior and decision making and how the role of the media is shaping ideas about cultures. Finally, specifics of the European culture are analyzed as relevant for global talent management issues.
Culture is an unconsciously learned way of thinking and living of a particular group of people that reinforces that worldview through its in-group similarity . To change ‘cultural DNA’ requires time, although the term refers to a psychological instinct built through the adaption of societal norms rather than through a genetic constitution. Different environmental challenges brought up intellectual orientations, which cannot be judged; they are just different. While empathy is considered to allow understanding between people, the bridges built between some may be the boundaries for others. This risks to cement in- and out-group hierarchies . Besides empathy, enhanced critical thinking abilities are necessary to unveil moral subjectivity and contribute to increased cross-cultural understanding .
Humans everywhere have the same desires, fears, and motivations . Cultural differences shouldn’t be judged but seen rather relative  and therefore not to be blamed . Judgments can unavoidably happen from unconscious biases triggering stereotypical exaggeration, or simplification out of context that result in prejudices. These are not immutable though in the sense that between bias and action critical thinking was not possible . People have a psychological tendency to accredit more humanness to oneself than to others  The level of empathy is predictive of the strength of this in-/out-group bias . Research found that more collectivist cultures show stronger empathy for in-group members . If in an individualist culture, an individualistic mindset is activated though, all but the self may be considered as out-group members . Contact with other cultures is the best means to anticipate such bias  and relationships with outgroups potentially reduces prejudice .
Be it for peace between countries or the functioning of multi-national organizations, intergroup empathy has become an increasingly important global challenge . How balanced the media selects and presents its news is playing a vital role in shaping the cross-cultural understanding of individual, group, and societal identities. Media literacy, therefore, is a key strategy to develop cultural perspective-taking .
Despite Europe’s diverse composition of nations, the continent’s genetic base is much less variable than that of many other global regions. Europe is (to stay with the example) characterized by high in-group equality, which, on the other hand, may also degenerate into out-group domination. European leaders tend to be inclusive . Indeed, German SME’s, for example, include all or most of the employees in Talent Management practices, which is in contrast to typical multinational enterprises . Egalitarian attitudes within Europe cause leaders to backup leadership processes with bureaucratic rules that come with a loss in speed compared to other cultures. The European focus on individual rights, creativity and innovation, professional relationships, and the use of evidence-based data (in comparison to more intuitive thinking) might be an asset for fostering objectivity in global talent management practices . This is important for talent-based economies as found in Western Europe  to remain competitive in the sourcing of global talent .
 Williams, T. R. (2013). Examine Your LENS: A Tool for Interpreting Cultural Differences. Frontiers: The Interdisciplinary Journal Of Study Abroad, 22148-165.
 Hollan, D. (2012). Author reply: The definition and morality of empathy. Emotion Review, 4(1), 83. doi:10.1177/1754073911421396
 Murray, J. W. (2015). Critical Thinking Activities and the Enhancement of Ethical Awareness: An Application of a “Rhetoric of Disruption” to the Undergraduate General Education Classroom. Open Review Of Educational Research, 2(1), 240-258.
 Bains, G. (2015). Cultural DNA: The psychology of globalization. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
 Gareis, E. (2005). Relativism versus Universalism: Developing a Personal Philosophy. Communication Teacher, 19(2), 39-43.
 Harris, W. T. (2010). Ending racism starts with accepting bias: bias is inevitable, racism is not. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/ blog/colorstruck/201005/ending-racism-starts-accepting-bias
 Park, J., Haslam, N., Kashima, Y., & Norasakkunkit, V. (2016). Empathy, culture and self-humanising: Empathising reduces the attribution of greater humanness to the self more in Japan than Australia. International Journal Of Psychology, 51(4), 301-306.
 Krumhuber, E. G., Swiderska, A., Tsankova, E., Kamble, S. V., & Kappas, A. (2015). Real or Artificial? Intergroup Biases in Mind Perception in a Cross-Cultural Perspective. Plos One, 10(9), e0137840. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0137840
 Chenbo, W., Bing, W., Yi, L., Xinhuai, W., & Shihui, H. (2015). Challenging emotional prejudice by changing self-concept: priming independent self-construal reduces racial in-group bias in neural responses to other. Social Cognitive & Affective Neuroscience, 10(9), 1195-1201. doi:10.1093/scan/nsv005
 Jiang, C., Hou, Y., Han, S., & Varnum, M. W. (2014). Distinct effects of self-construal priming on empathic neural responses in Chinese and Westerners. Social Neuroscience, 9(2), 130-138.
 Dopierała, A., Jankowiak-Siuda, K., & Boski, P. (2017). Empathy gap – what do we know about empathizing with others′ pain?. Polish Psychological Bulletin, Vol 48, Iss 1, Pp 111-117 (2017), (1), 111. doi:10.1515/ppb-2017-0014
 Inzlicht, M., Gutsell, J. N., & Legault, L. (2012). Mimicry reduces racial prejudice. Journal Of Experimental Social Psychology, 48(1), 361-365. doi:10.1016/j.jesp.2011.06.007
 Cole-Adams, J. (2013). Developing Intercultural Understanding with Difference Differently. Ethos, 21(1), 25-28.
 Festing, M., Schaefer, L., & Scullion, H. (2013). Talent management in medium-sized German companies: an explorative study and agenda for future research. International Journal Of Human Resource Management, 24(9), 1872-1893.
 Oshri, I., & Ravishankar, M. (2014). On the attractiveness of the UK for outsourcing services. Strategic Outsourcing: An International Journal, (1), 18. doi:10.1108/SO-11-2013-0022
 Anil, K. (2006). STRATEGIES FOR GLOBAL R&D. Research Technology Management, (2), 48.
The king has, in the struggle of defending his crown, given the virtual land to the landlords. Now the peasants pay the tolls to the privileged class who rules the online territory for the maximization of its own financial profits and influence. How will the insurgency look like? Time for (re-) new(-ed) alliances for effective and hopefully non-violent rebellion.
Platform Cooperativism Japan (PCJ) connects key stakeholders of the emerging platform economy ecosystem to create synergies in the pursuit of increased shared value, ownership, and governance. The PCJ Consortium supports the cooperative digital economy through research, experimentation, education, advocacy, documentation of best practices, technical support, the coordination of funding, and events.
Inspiration from the History of Switzerland:
The Old Swiss Confederacy began as a late medieval alliance between the communities of the valleys in the Central Alps, at the time part of the Holy Roman Empire, to facilitate the management of common interests such as free trade and to ensure the peace along the important trade routes through the mountains. With the rise of the Habsburg dynasty, the kings and dukes of Habsburg sought to extend their influence over this region and to bring it under their rule. The foreign landlords collected tolls from bridges. Anti-Habsburg insurgences sprung up, but were quashed quickly. This time of turmoil prompted the Waldstätten to cooperate more closely, trying to preserve or regain their Reichsfreiheit. On August 1, 1291, an Everlasting League was made between the Forest Communities for mutual defense against a common enemy. The three founding cantons of the Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft, as the confederacy was called, managed to defeat Habsburg armies on several occasion, and ensured a de facto independence from the empire. The Freibrief, or freedom charter, to “the people of the valleys,” recognized and formalized in law the independence from the Habsburg that they had gradually won in fact.
Art can express the inexplicable. That’s a remarkable potential we have because we still can’t explain the most important things, such as why there are ‘good’ and ‘bad,’ and what to do about it. Limitations in expression are limiting the thinking (yes, also this way round). We feel that there is something, somewhere in us, that holds more answers than we can explain with words. Art/painting is a key to the next human breakthrough in consciousness.
Thank you very much for your rich and engaging letter. I would also like to stress that I love you, unconditionally.
Please take care and follow your heart, no matter what others are saying. Even if criticism between people can lead to counter criticism, I believe that “the world” in the actual/wider sense is waiting for each of us equally. I want no one to think she/he is less valuable than anyone else because there is absolutely no reason for that.