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

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November 16, 2020 11:23AM

Cross-cultural experiences can teach us as students, activists, and thinkers to better tolerate ambiguity in a multitude of ways. Firstly, we become more accustomed to cultural ambiguity the more we are exposed to a wide swath of cultures, particularly ones that do not complement our own lived experiences. Through this repeated process of encountering new cultures and working through ambiguity, we can begin to understand that cultural knowledge entails a long process of patient learning and...

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November 16, 2020 11:21AM

I believe that the hardest part of globalism is overcoming people’s innate collectivistic impulses. What I mean by this is that most people identify with a particular group of people at the exclusion of those whom they perceive to be outsiders. This collectivistic identification typically revolves around certain immutable qualities such as nationality, race, gender, religion (especially those that one is born into or is introduced to by authority figures at an early age), etc. As markets...

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November 16, 2020 11:19AM

“I think that one of the most important things that I have learned at RGLP is that intercultural communication is a give and take that requires both ambiguity and adaptation. Before this program, I genuinely believed that there was one right way to interact with people, both familiar and foreign, and that one right way was my way. I had to simply struggle my way through every intercultural interaction, hoping that by pure chance that we would get along. If someone else was just as...

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November 16, 2020 11:18AM

Whether as students, leaders, or citizens of the world, we bring to every role or position our unique cultural backgrounds and experiences. The spaces we’ve grown up in and learned in shape how we see ourselves and those around us. We grow to feel comfortable in those spaces, and, as a result, may consciously or subconsciously come to expect that the people we interact with in other settings will share our background and understanding of social dynamics.

While this expectation may...

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November 16, 2020 11:15AM

There couldn’t be a better backdrop for the Rocky Global Leadership Program and this question than the recent presidential election. Regardless of where you land ideologically, over seventy million people voted for each candidate, with significant percentages for each in every state. Throughout the program, I’ve used this ideological divide as a domestic backdrop for ways to build a platform for dialogue across differences.

 

Something I’ve learned throughout this...

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November 16, 2020 11:13AM

While a leader’s style and values can ultimately shape the culture of the group being led, it also works the other way around in the sense that our culture is a product of our experiences. Culture does not necessarily have to be tied to a particular nation or people. Still, there are many people whose ethnic background plays a vital role in their values and beliefs, myself included. Culture also encompasses our habits, morals, knowledge, or very simply — our way of life. Because we all live...

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November 16, 2020 11:12AM

This past term of engagement in RGLP has played a significant role in the development of my capacity to lead in this globalized world. I was raised as a third culture kid (TCK), a term used to identify someone who spent their formative years as an expatriate. I was born in Hong Kong and raised in both Mumbai and Singapore, educated through the international school system. As a TCK, I was exposed not only to my host cultures of India and Singapore but also an extensive number of others...

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November 16, 2020 11:10AM

Often times, we find ourselves in new and unfamiliar environments, whether it be going to college in another state and being surrounded by new friends or travelling to a different country for the first time and not knowing the local language and culture. In these new surroundings, it is important to be adaptable and part of that flexibility is being tolerant and comfortable of ambiguity. While we may not always know how to respond properly and acknowledging that being outside of our comfort...

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November 16, 2020 11:07AM

Globalism and globalization, two phenomena that are picking up more speed than ever during the age of the internet, are increasing our interactions and interdependencies with and on environments that are so different than those in which we were raised. At the same time, the challenge with the rise of a globalized world, as well as easy (surface-level) access to other cultures, makes it difficult for us to know what we do not know. It is crucial that we recognize the importance of delving...

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