The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Ayush Ajmani '24 RGLP Reflection: Communicating Through Society

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As society becomes more interconnected than ever through evolving technologies and new advancements, investing in cross-cultural communication has become a priority globally. The past western ethnocentric views that dominated global decision-making no longer hold their place in a 21st-century context. Rather, with more diverse participants joining the global policy-making sphere, inviting and maintaining culturally-sensitive conversations have become critical to maintaining and developing the global agenda as a whole. Without an understanding of how different countries and peoples regard certain policies, cultural norms, and even global goals, attaining harmony among all peoples within the 21st century may be nearly impossible. In such light, investing in programs that outline and teach global cooperation and cultural awareness has remained a top priority. Whether it's through taking courses on dinner manners in certain middle eastern countries or attending cultural leadership seminars like RGLP, programs like these can help bolster the skills and knowledge needed for effective communication. 

However, it is important to understand that these programs will not be enough to serve as a mechanism of change and cultural progress that is needed. Every single scenario of a cultural difference cannot be taught through a course in a classroom. In other words, having tolerant conversations about different cultures can only go so far in giving someone the ability to communicate in diverse situations. For all the diverse contexts in which that basic understanding isn't enough, an extrapolation of the values and skills taught within these programs is necessary. In other words, achieving this cross-cultural communication desired at a global level also requires a great deal of participation from one's inner self and his or her willingness to adapt. In unknown cultural contexts, having this willingness and adaptability can salvage broken interactions, and in some cases, enhance conversations that would have been lacking without the cultural connection. Thus, only by constantly adjusting our behaviors and cultural understanding of different identities can we, as a society, achieve the so-called progress that we desire within globalism. 

The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences