Culture Pop-Up 22 OCT 2015


by Christa Uehlinger

Great, active participants, a nice place, an apéro and three authors these were the ingredients making the last Culture Pop-Up on “Developing intercultural competence by playing and storytelling” on 22 October in Winterthur an inspiring evening. The creators of the game, Christa Uehlinger, Hans Lampalzer and René Schrackmann gave an input on how they started to work together, what it took to elaborate the game, what the intention was and also what is meant by intercultural competence.

IMG_2742Then they focused mainly on how these stories could be used in trainings and coaching to build awareness for different cultures as well as for one’s own and to explore these critical moment by asking “what happened?”. This question is key in developing intercultural competence as it is of utmost importance to be a cultural detective and not to oversee tiny details which could make a difference in an interaction. Sadly enough, nowadays people tend to be distracted and not paying enough attention on observing.

“Puzzling Intercultural Stories” is a compilation of 50 short stories based on real events. They raise awareness of the importance of a culture of cooperation and are excellent tools to practice lateral thinking outside of the box and changing perspectives. After this input, it was time for the participants to play and to experience it themselves. They liked it a lot and the final questions were discussed during the apéro which also was a great opportunity to network and to tie the knots within SIETAR Switzerland.

Culture Pop Up


Where to order

If you’d like to order the game via LinkingPeople. The English version is called Puzzling Intercultural Stories and the German version is called “Interkulturelle Crazy Business Stories 3″. 




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Cracks in the Glass Ceiling:  A closer look at Women, Islam and Middle East (via SIETAR Austria)

SIETAR AUSTRIA invites us to this event:


Wednesday, July 1st 2015

Door open at 6.00 pm

Begin 6.30 pm

App. 8 pm Networking


Cracks in the Glass Ceiling:  A closer look at Women, Islam and Middle East

Although the Middle East is resource rich and has a young and growing population, it suffers mis-management, high unemployment and gender/ skill imbalance. There are limited opportunities for women, even though many are, as, if not better, educated than their male counterparts. In light of continued and on-going challenges in the Islamic world, this presentation examines the role of Islam and women in the Middle East, explores misperceptions and realities and questions glass ceiling effects in the MENA region and Europe.

Spoken language: English


Pari Namazie, PhD

Atieh International Group

Pari Namazie , PhD, is an experienced HR/OD consultant/ facilitator. Her work focuses on the Middle East and North Africa region, working with organisations, teams and individuals to improve communication, foster understanding and raise awareness towards a much misunderstood region.


Expat Center Vienna

Schmerlingplatz 1

1010 Vienna




 Registration via
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There is no such thing as “common sense” in the intercultural context

by Christina Kwok
I remember being back home with family in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia a year back. My older sister suggested that I get some new house keys made downtown at Mr. Minute, inside a large shopping mall called The MegaMall. I said, “Sure, no problem.”
When I got home and handed the new keys to my sister, she asked me casually
how much I’d paid for them. I told her and she literally freaked out. It seemed that I’d paid way too much to mint a new set of house keys (4 in all). When I reminded her that she hadn’t said how much they normally cost, she retorted with: “It’s common sense! You should know how much they cost!”
Lively discussions
I was ready to explode at this comment but I managed to restrain myself. My dear sister who has lived a safe and sheltered life all these years, never venturing beyond the city and family home where she was born, couldn’t possibly begin to conceive of anybody else’s notion of common sense but her own.
Would it even make sense to explain that having lived abroad all these years, I had lost touch and was partly using the Swiss index of living costs to guide my purchases? Should I proceed to lecture her on the uniqueness of common sense, how it’s closely tied to one’s life experience and the cultural frameworks one has been immersed in, how common sense effectively varies across cultures just as ways of reacting to events and situations are guided by instinct bred in one’s dominant environment of immersion?
Read this blog post from Cultural Detective for further insights into “common sense”.
No doubt you’ll find lots of contexts familiar to you in daily life, that resonate with your experience. What is your take on common sense in the intercultural context? Let us know in the comments.
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Panel Discussion on 24 March 2015: “Why do we need intercultural competence in a multicultural society like Switzerland?”

Switzerland is known as a multicultural society. But is Switzerland really as intercultural as it pretends to be? How truly multicultural are we in different fields of our society? Do we really need intercultural competencies? What intercultural challenges do different fields face right now?


on     24 March 2015

19.00h – 20.00h

The discussion will be followed by a networking apéro.

Our Guest Speakers

  • Prof Dr Lamia ben Hamida
    Professor for economy, Haute Ecole Arc, Neuchâtel.
  • Petra Bourkia
    Head International Relations and Socia-cultural Competence Bildungszentrum für Pflege, Bern
  • Michael Büchi
    Büchi International Services, Dietikon, former Deputy Head of Section Africa at the Federal Office for Migration as well as Attaché for Migration Affairs in Angola.
  • Alain Max Guénette
    Professor in HR, organisation & psychosociology, IMSI Haute Ecole de Gestion Arc, Neuchâtel

Moderator: Dr. Christa Uehlinger, President SIETAR Switzerland

After the panel discussion, we would like to invite you for a networking apéro, sponsored by Mr Pierre Jeronimo, Manager & Shareholder, Geneva Relocation

How to get there?

Location: Allresto Bern, Effingerstr. 20, 3008 Bern!kontakt-und-adresse-allresto/ct3q

Please RSVP to by 17 March 2015 if you wish to join us. We look forward to hearing from you.

Download the invite:

invitation panel discussion why do we need intercultural competencies in a multicultural society like Switzerland

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