As globalization exponentially increases interaction between people across national borders, the necessity for understanding differences between cultures has become crucial. On a regular basis, international organizations, multinational companies and global engineering consulting firms send people to work in regions of the country and the world that they are not familiar with. Engineering and technology sectors see some of the highest levels of global mobility that bring together different people across different societies and socio-cultural contexts for specific project objectives.
Regardless of the technical or technological expertise we may have, the success of these projects require non-technological skills as the human dimensions of multi-stakeholder projects inevidetably rise up to the surface of any given project design, management and decision-making process. Therefore, the ability to work collaboratively and harmoniously across differences is not only imperative for the success of a single global engineering project, but also for the development of regionally relevant, innovative and sustainable solutions.
This interactive workshop will explore the elements that influence our behaviour and communication across cultures within project design and management processes. Multi-stakeholder engagement strategies will be discussed as they related to global engineering projects and sustainable solutions to different issues as they arise in societally diverse contexts. Students will be introduced to general cultural value dimensions that are often at play in multicultural project teams and international development situations. Differences in cultural values such as leadership styles, communication styles; societal structures; gender relations; time orientations and group decision-making processes will be discussed along with those techniques and processes required for working effectively across cultures.
Guestspeaker: Rachel Speiran
Rachel Speiran is a community engagement and intercultural communication consultant. Over the last 15 years Rachel has worked for a wide range of international and intercultural organizations related to business, the environment and community development. Her current work focuses on the social and cultural dimensions of sustainable development and participatory decision-making. Fascinated by very human and inter-personal aspects of sustainability, technology and project design, Rachel believes that solutions to complex societal issues need to involve and integrate the collective intelligence of different cultures, mindsets, skills and values.