Thursday, November 25, 2010

Want To Know Who's Speaking At The 2011 FIGT Conference?

Hi Everyone, Our friends at FIGT (Families in Global Transition) have now published details of who will be speaking, and about what, at their upcoming conference in Washington (March 17-19) and they have kindly allowed us to republish the information for you here...

Unleashing Your Creative Potential Through the Arts
Alaine Handa
Do you get a “block” trying to write your article/book, choreograph a dance, paint a picture, design an outfit, etc.? In this session, mini-activities using movement, character writing, art therapy, and free-write will be introduced, to help you unlock creative potential that can become material for your work. TCKs are rich with unconscious thoughts that may or may not have been repressed. By unleashing these vulnerable thoughts, we let go of what we have kept “locked” inside and can use it as material to move on with our mobile lives.

Does where you're from make a difference? Comparing American and Japanese TCKs
Ann Baker Cottrell
Nearly all TCK research is based on American or Japanese TCKs. A review of these literatures, including findings from a study of over 600 American ATCKs, reveals themes in common to TCKs. It also makes clear that the TCK experience, especially on re-entry, is shaped by socio-cultural characteristics and history of the passport country. TCKs from other countries will be encouraged to share their experiences and how they are similar to or different from American or Japanese TCKs.

Death from a Distance: Practical and Emotional Guidance
Apple Gidley & Laura Stephens
Death is not something we like to talk about and wherever you live is difficult to handle. Add an ocean between you and your aging loved ones and the issues can be magnified. This session aims to provide a greater awareness and understanding of the challenges of dealing with aging parents and death from a distance. Apple Gidley will share her experiences, both practical and emotional, and Laura Stephens will draw on her therapeutic training to offer clarity around the process of grief and related issues.

Department of State Support to Foreign Service Families
Archana Dheer
Department of State is a leader in the field of preparing its employees and family members for overseas assignments. While many organizations provide the required training to employees, we focus also on the accompanying family member. Transition Center at FSI runs training courses, seminars and workshops to cover many aspects of international life that are a challenge to these families. It can be traveling with pets, recognition of gay couples as family, relevant allowances, adequate education for special needs children, employment opportunities for family members, etc. What all does the department do? How does it do it?

Perspective Coaching: Empowering Expatriates with Choice and Action
Becky Matchullis
Using perspective to one’s advantage is a key factor in moving forward with courage and resiliency in the expatriate life, especially during transition. Going to a new perspective expands the way to look at a situation by creating new possibilities – leading to choice. This workshop is for both expatriate coach as well as expatriate. Interactive and experiential, you will learn when perspective coaching is most strategic, where to find perspectives, and the 4 step process of Perspective Coaching.

The Teen Perspective on Transition
Caitlin Morse & Amy Casteel
International schools, coaches, parents, sponsoring organizations and others will discover how teens perceive transition and what contributes to successful transitions, based on the responses of 100+ teens. This session will use survey results, video interviews, case studies, 15 years of experience working with TCKs, and audience participation to explore what transitions are really like for youth. Participants will be equipped with strategies for making transitions successful for teens.

We’re All in This Together! Navigational Strategies for Intercultural Intersections of School Communities
Candice Hughes
This session focuses on the multiple intercultural intersections that exist in school communities comprised of diverse populations that represent host country and other cultures. The cultural iceberg metaphor and a framework of intercultural knowledge and skills will be used to demonstrate how these intersections can be navigated by students, families and staff members to allow learning to occur in an environment of acceptance and tolerance. Participants will engage in a set of exercises to learn how to analyze school settings to identify potential problematic intercultural intersections and learn how to help community members navigate them successfully in their respective roles.

Traveling beyond the Limitations of Identity
Carolyn Vines
Everyone has an identity that's been foisted upon him/her by family, community, culture, religion and/or nationality. Everyone experiences various crises of identity caused by those prefabricated identities. However, not everyone recognizes these crises as opportunities to search within for a definition of self in one's own terms, on one's own terms. The objective is to help participants recognize that identity can be the fiercest of limitations on one's personal growth potential and to identify some tools for seeing/defining themselves in different terms.

TeamWork ABC
(Availability/Being Prepared/Communicating) = SEE! (success in expatriation experience)
Chantal Duke
Show how understanding of expatriation concepts and potential issues can benefit the employee, family and the company’s relocating staff during different cycles of the adaptation process.

Finding The TCK Voice: A Personal Journey Through Art, Creativity and Intuition
Cheilaugh Garvey
What is art? Art is creation, imagination, recording, investigation, arbitration and culmination. It helps define our existence and makes us less alone and frees our frustration. Anonymous. Don't be afraid of the "art part"! No previous experience required! In this hands-on workshop, you will learn to tap into your own intuitive creativity in order to discover your distinctive TCK voice. Everyone's experience is different! Through a variety of fun and informal creative exercises, you will find ways to visualize and verbalize your experiences as a TCK or ex-pat. This process will evoke memories and emotions and help you to reconnect with your cross-cultural experiences. Through art and journaling, you will express your personal voice and embark on a journey of reflection, reevaluation and growth. The influences and perceptions of living abroad will also be explored. Enjoy the process and conversations during this enlightening workshop.

The Modern Expat
Diane Endo
The notion of acculturation seems to be disappearing from the verbal and mental vocabulary of today’s expats. Shorter assignments, ease of global travel, technology, and busy work and family life are several reasons why expats today are more apt to opt out of total immersion in their host country culture. This session will introduce modern methods for being a resident in a foreign culture.

Choosing the right expat support services for every budget
Doris Fuellgrabe
Are you organizing relocations while juggling a tight budget? Are you wondering which support fits best for individual cases? In this session, participants will explore different areas of expat support services and receive practical resources how to choose which ones are right for them. This is not a sales presentation! We are going to look at the advantages and limitations of language training, readiness assessments, destination services, cross-cultural and repatriation training, and expat coaching. Participants will have the opportunity to share their experiences, thereby creating a synergetic exchange of information among the group.

Developing a Personal Model of Resiliency for Expatriates
Duncan Westwood
An interactive workshop that trains participants to identify, build and strengthen a model of personal resilience with expatriates. Expatriate employees, spouses, TCKs and their service providers will personally and professionally benefit from learning how to foster resiliency in themselves and/or coach others to do so. Relevant findings from the research on expatriate resiliency will be an integral part of our interactive learning.

The Impact of Confucianism on Asians' Crossing Culture
Isabelle DS Min
Our values and languages shape the way we see the world. Just as most western view of the world were shaped by the Greek philosophies, Confucianism dictates Asians’ perspectives (Richard Nisbet “The Geography of Thought”). Confucianism, among other things, is highly hierarchical, relationship based perspective of the world. Among many Asian nations, Confucianism still holds a strong grip in Korea where there still exist 7 levels of honorifics. This session uses real life examples to illustrate how Confucianism still thrives in Korean life and business and offers practical solutions for smooth transition into such Asian mindset.

Increasing importance of expat partner support
Jacqueline Van Haaften
Companies and organisations are offering all kinds of assistance to the partners of the employees whom they are sending abroad. They have good reason to do so. But just how effective is their help? What are the trends? And how do the partners themselves feel about the support they receive? In order to answer these questions, Global Connection conducted a survey among its members around the world, mainly traditional expatriates, although the ‘expat-light’ trend is starting to emerge. The expats surveyed were posted abroad by a total of more than 50 organisations.

Blogs, books and bylines - How getting in print will boost your global business
Jo Parfitt
Do you want to stand out from the crowd and get more clients? Then you need to increase your client base and your profile through writing and getting into print. From writing a blog, to articles, booklets and books, there are many ways to increase your Googlability. This workshop will discuss how writing can help you to achieve expert status, passive income and an impressive Internet presence. Learn how to use the power of blogging, Twitter, booklets and books to grow an impressive business regardless of where you may live.

Action, Identity, Success or Failure: What makes an expat child grow?
Julia Simens
When does a child take failure from an action (I failed) to an identity (I am a failure) and why this follows them around the world as they relocate. Pick up some practical tips on how to make those around you ‘grow’. The view you adapt for yourself or the view your child takes on profoundly affects the way each of you lead your life. Listen to parents and teachers give comments and compare them to what a child really hears. Learn what is the most common mistake we make and how it can hinder motivation and performance.

Cross-Cultural Career Counseling and Job Search Coaching:
Supporting Accompanying Expatriate Spouses or Partners
Katarina Holm-DiDio
This session explores how a career counselor or job search coach can support the expatriate in a job search process in a country different than her/his passport country. We will discuss how to be mindful about cultural differences in career development and in career related values; how to find ways to help the client identify his or her values, strengths and challenges as an expatriate and ways to address them in the global job search context; how to assist the client to understand and address the employers/recruiters concerns about hiring an expatriate, and by exploring cultural differences in networking and job interviewing.

Advocating for Families – Ensuring the Voices of Families Are Heard
Kathleen Moakler
The families represented at this FIGT conference have all experienced global transition. They face the challenges of everyday family life enhanced by the additional stresses of changing environments and locations. Military families face these challenges as well. The National Military Family Association was formed to empower military families to become their own best advocates for addressing these challenges in their Nation or in their neighborhood. They are military family members serving other military families. They have grown to be a credible information resource for those families and for the policy makers that serve them. We will discuss how to form and sustain an advocacy organization, why it is important, and how we serve our constituents. We will trace our growth over 40 years and how we have had to adapt to changes. We will invite all sectors to brainstorm on how they could use this model to advocate for the needs of their families.

Oh the Places We Will Go: A Look at the Cross-cultural Adjustment Process of Expatriate Families in a Multinational Organization
Katie Rosenbusch & Len Cerny
Currently, there is limited research evidence on the cross‐cultural adjustment of expatriate families; therefore, there is a need to develop a better understanding of the impact that family makes on the cross‐cultural transition. This study investigated the impact of the family characteristics ‐ family cohesion and family flexibility‐ on the cross‐cultural adjustment process from the perspective of the expatriate and his/her spouse and child. The findings of this research provide insights to organizations and their HRD professionals as well as to the expatriates and their families on how family flexibility impacts cross-cultural adjustment.

Crossing Sectors for Good Practice: Practical Lessons from International Mission/Aid
Kelly O'Donnell
Go and grow broadly. This presentation looks at the importance of interacting with different sectors on behalf of our international work with staff and their families. How can we take advantage of the wealth of opportunities for connecting and contributing to various international sectors? We’ll share personal stories, key concepts, and practical grids based on the presenter’s 30 years of experience in the humanitarian and mission sectors. Crossing sectors involves three overlapping areas:
• Crossing domains (e.g., health care, human rights)
• Crossing disciplines (e.g., human resource management, organizational management)
• Crossing deserts (e.g., personal challenges in the context of challenging work).

Getting the Most from an International Education: A How To Guide for Parents and HR
Laila Plamondon
Navigating life abroad can be daunting. Faced with tough decisions and life changes, parents often opt for the safest options... However more and more parents want a true global experience for their children; increasingly expensive international schools are just not an option. We’ll explore ways to get the most from every international education, from day-long activities to the ultimate immersion experience of attending a local school. We’ll discuss common dilemmas and long-term pitfalls, and share new strategies and trade secrets to help make the most of every international educational experience.

Through Western Eyes
Lesley Lewis & Betty Eng
Using the Whole Person Development concept along with Personal Experiences, Journal Entries and Narrative Inquiries (storytelling) of forty-five Hong Kong Chinese and ten Mainland Chinese undergraduate students - this presentation will present "cutting edge" findings and solutions to work with TCK's from China. There are many Asian students and adults moving internationally. The session will discuss the approaches to working with Asian Students in a most effective fashion allowing the students to feel they are "being heard" and how as professionals we can be culturally sensitive to their needs using the Whole Person Development approach.

Adjusting to Life in Brookline: A community-based program to help new international families in their adjustment to a new country.
Liliana Busconi, Andrew Miser & Mindy Paulo
People moving to another country are faced with cross-cultural dilemmas, such as lack of understanding of the social norms and rules, challenges to their personal and cultural values, inability to communicate, disruption of family functioning and loss of identity. This session will present a description of a successful free community-based intercultural program developed to support newcomers in the process of adjusting to life in a new community. We will analyze the benefits of a community-based program, present the program curriculum and cross-cultural activities and discuss the possibility of reproducing similar programs in other communities.

The World Bank Family Network, a long success story: a professional volunteer based support network
Maaike Le Grand
Volunteers can play a unique and determining role in welcoming relocating families and easing their transition in their new environment. The World Bank Family Network is a case in point. A group of some seventy spouses of the WBG staff volunteer their time welcoming around 500 families per year and organizing as many as 30 activities per month as well as 9 big events per year. This is done seamlessly and efficiently despite the transient commitment of the volunteers and with the help of only 3 WBG full time staff. What makes this work and what lessons can be drawn for other institutions?

Strengthening Resiliency in Military Children: Insights for Military Parents, Teachers, Counselors, Youth Leaders, Clergy and Other Helping Professionals
Mary Wertsch
All military children face tough challenges: repeated uprootings; caregiver adults who disappear to the combat zone; the delicate daily negotiation of fitting into both military culture and the radically different civilian culture around it. That's just for starters. There can also be the tensions of a blended family; a warrior parent dealing with high stress or trauma; a family member with an addiction. Can anything be done to help military children weather these storms? Yes. This session will teach participants a paradigm for helping military kids find the inner strength to survive and thrive, whatever the emotional weather.

Writing the Story of Your Overseas Experience
Maureen Sullivan Romagnoli
The world is made not of atoms, but of stories. These are the words of the poet Muriel Rukyser. We define our lives and our experiences through the stories we tell ourselves and the stories we tell others. The challenges you have faced and the incredible education you have acquired about living and working overseas is filled with a myriad of stories that need to be set down in some systematic manner. This workshop is the place to start. It will provide you with the questions you need to ask yourself in order to begin to record your story.

Best Practices in International Assignee Cross-cultural Training and Support
Neal Goodman
In this very interactive session we will share and examine the latest best practices that contribute to a successful cross-cultural training program. These include: training methodologies, use of technologies, social networks, and support services which promote the successful integration of international assignees and their families into their new host country and their successful repatriation back home. Attendees will be asked to share their experiences and best practices and a Model of a successful cross-cultural training and support process will be presented and examined. Each participant will be expected to develop a minimum of one action item to implement immediately.

When Friendship Becomes A Weapon, Exploring TCK Relational Aggression in International School Students
Noel Roberts
Relational Aggression is not a new concept but is still understudied in certain settings especially as it relates to TCK’s in the international school environment. Building on David C. Pollock and Ruth E. Van Reken’s work, “Third Culture Kids”, this workshop begins to investigate the complex friendships of TCK International students between transitions. We explore how issues of unresolved grief, guardedness, rejection, cultural miscues and unfulfilled expectations in both students and their parents, entangle and fuel TCK relational aggression. The workshop offers solid strategies for caregivers to help them learn how to unravel and disengage from these destructive relationships.

One Woman’s Air Force: Professional Opportunities and Personal Challenges of Women in the Military
Paulette Bethel
Women make up a growing component of the US military, especially in the last decade. Currently, women represent 14% of the US active duty forces and 20% of new military recruits. Current research findings and interviews with military women will be presented through the lens of the presenter's personal experiences to explore and “connect the dots” regarding the benefits and challenges of a military career. Discussion topics will include single parenthood, dual-military marriages; deployment issues; family adjustment issues, including medical and mental health impacts on mothers and their children. Suggestions will be offered for areas where further research is needed.

How Can EAP’s Retool to Address the Global Business Demands and the Familial Need of the Expatriate
Philip Berry & Tom Diamante
As companies and organizations increase their global focus, the value of the expatriate assignment is rising. However, the expatriate, like the domestic employee cannot focus on the job when family concerns are pressing. On the global business stage, the work-life dynamic is complicated by cross-cultural elements and added familial issues. Research indicates that family/cultural adaptation and on-going support is critical to retention of talent overseas. Pre-transition, during assignment and post-transition (repatriation) periods each require focused attention. We will explore the strategic integration of technological, organizational, social and familial elements critical to business success in the context of “transitions” on a global level.

The Resilience Doughnut: A strengths-based model for building resiliency and a route to solutions for the transition issues faced by young people
Stephanie Schwarz
The Resilience Doughnut (created by Lyn Worsley) is a practical, strength-based model for building resilience in young people. It considers how to enhance internal positive beliefs and make use of seven external life factors to develop resilience. This session introduces the model and applies it to a case example. It then explores why, at times of global transition, young people’s resiliency is particularly vulnerable before exploring strategies for parents and schools to help transitioning children remain resilient. Finally, participants will see how the model informs an International School’s “Transition Mentoring Program”, which works with new Elementary students to speed and smooth their transition into school.

ATCK Repatriation Challenges: Counseling Needs and Techniques
Tina Quick & Lois Bushong
Once ATCKs step out of the international, highly mobile third culture, they begin to witness differences between themselves and others who have grown up in more traditional cultures. Counselors, EAP providers and member care directors will benefit from this anecdotal filled session that looks at the issues young adult TCKs struggle with upon repatriation and how they can be helped to navigate the deep waters of adjusting to the new culture of their home country. Stories and video clips will be interspersed with counseling techniques and treatment plans in the therapy office for helping ATCKs cope with grief, identity questions, relationship challenges, belonging, old wounds and other themes.

FIGT is always a great conference: educational sessions plus wonderful networking with a group of people that really do become like 'family'.  I highly recommend the conference (I went in 2007 and 2009) and encourage you to find out more details here.

Thanks and enjoy your weekend!  Andrea


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