The following article was first published in Jönköping International Business School’s magazine in 2011. It is based on ideas that crossed my mind during a particularly happy time of my life, in 2010, when I felt I wanted to make a contribution, to give something back to the world but just couldn’t decide how. I discussed these ideas a couple of month later with a friend who was in charge of the university’s magazine and who found them interesting and suggested that I wrote an article on the topic. I did, as much as a way to organize my thoughts and put them on paper as a way to open a debate and exchange opinions.
Later on I based my Master’s thesis on similar concepts, although more focused on entrepreneurs & business owners this time. The result was a bit clumsy but I believe suggested interesting thoughts worth investigating further.
Likewise, the following article is a little clumsy too, perhaps unclear on some parts, but I like to think that it contains valuable ideas, especially in the troubled times that are ours now, which is why I wanted to publish it again though online this time. I’ve added some thoughts and comments at the end that reflect Read more »
This article, though quite long, is published as one single post instead of several shorter ones (like I did previously). Please let me know which publishing format you prefer!
The importance and difficulties of knowing how to communicate with people with different languages and cultures
It is no secret that communicating with people from other countries has become more and more frequent. First because it’s getting easier but also (or at least one can hope) because it’s being recognized as something necessary. If we focus on business for instance (we could do the same with school, research, etc.) we can easily see that these relationships offer several advantages that also Read more »
Article written originally for www.global-directions.se
When you travel to France, for work or leisure, it can happen that you encounter limitations and problems that you wouldn’t come across at home. Often, these are based on the local language and culture being different from the sounds and experiences where you live.
We actually do often conclude that this is purely a language phenomenon. And it’s definitely the most obvious conclusion, especially in Europe where so many languages are found over such a small area. The languages are also very different from one another and can hardly be understood without being studied first. In other words, limitations due to lack of skills in the local language become obvious as soon as you arrive.
On the other hand, we perhaps don’t think as much about Read more »
>> Part 1 of this article
Giving the Whole Thing Up: the Solution?
To deal with the challenges the European Project currently faces, the latest trend seems to be to give up (on the project as a whole or on some parts). I personally prefer fixing and adjusting over giving up in general, but I believe it’s not necessarily a bad way of solving problems IF done in a constructive way: you no longer feel connected to the vision? Give it up and pick another one. You feel the methods aren’t going anywhere? Drop them, go back to the vision and come up with new ones more in line with what you’re trying to achieve. In short know where the problem lies, know what you want to replace the broken elements with and be aware of both what will be gained AND lost by giving up in favor of something else.
However the current trend seems to be Read more »
>> Part 2 of this article
I think the first time I truly reflected on the European Union was in the last year of high school, when our history & geography teacher asked us our opinion about it and how it impacted our everyday life. At the time I didn’t really know what it was and certainly didn’t see how it had anything to do with my life, and I said so. That got me the following comment from my teacher: “in tartiflette we trust” (tartiflette being a typical dish from the Savoy region, in the French Alps, where I was born and raised), which was the slogan the locals used to show their pride at being from the region. Of course that was her way of highlighting that my perspective was limited to where I lived and that I didn’t see bigger, but isn’t it true for everyone? Until you see something or its consequences for yourself, it doesn’t really exist in your world… And I still believe it was smarter to write down things as they were (i.e. that I didn’t really have an opinion on the EU since I felt like it didn’t do anything for or against me) than listing praise or critics about something I actually didn’t know.
However I gained new perspectives on Europe when I Read more »