Have you lived and worked overseas as an adult or accompanied your parents on international assignments as a child, and upon return to your home culture felt like you had “Come Home to a Strange Land” ?
Engage in thought provoking discussions with Dr. Paulette Bethel around issues of identity, transition, cultural fusion and repatriation to the place we call “home.”
TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, and Design. TED believes passionately in the power of ideas to change attitudes, lives and ultimately, the world. TED’s clearinghouse offers free knowledge and inspiration from the world's most inspired thinkers, and currently has 450 TEDTalks videos available for download, representing a global community of curious souls to engage with ideas and each other.
I look forward to working with Brice to spread the word about TED.com’s Charter of Compassion and his community galvanizing efforts to bring attention not only to the need for showing kindness and compassion on a daily basis, but to also offering a wonderful opportunity shine a spotlight on the tremendous gifts and talents that TCKs from all over the globe.
To get more information, go to TCKID.com for a quick video and overview of how you can join in and be a part of this historic event.
You are invited to a webinar hosted by Families in Global Transition and USA Girl Scouts Overseas:
The New Normal : Obama and Other Third Culture Kids Using The Gifts of Their Global Childhoods
Pundits throughout the presidential campaign struggled to define President-elect Barack Obama by traditional measurements of race or ethnicity. They wondered if his vision for "no blue States, no red States, but the United States of America " was possible. Could any nation move beyond its political or racial divisions to some sort of unified whole?
While the debates on talk shows on these issues seemed endless, they missed one basic reality about Barack Obama: he grew up as a third culture kid (TCK) -- a child who spends a significant period of his or her developmental years outside the parent(s)' passport culture. The themes Obama describes in his autobiographies – his search for identity, his wondering where he belongs in the traditional slots – are common concerns for the countless children being raised among different cultures in today’s society – not just TCKs, but what we now call Cross Culture Kids (CCKs) as well – children of immigrants, biracial or international adoptees, and more.
The gifts of the TCK and CCK experience are great in number and depth – a broad world view, the ability to be a cultural bridge, linguistic skills, and a sense of confidence to think "outside the box" are well documented benefits of this background.
In this webinar we will explore how this "new normal" -- the reality that fewer and fewer children grow up in traditional mono-cultural environments – presents new opportunities for our globalizing world. We will look at the common benefits and challenges such a childhood brings. And we will consider both how to recognize and use the gifts so many adult TCKs bring with them to the workplace, to the community, or to their governments.
Whether you are a TCK yourself, or are interested in how to leverage others’ TCK skills in the service of improved understanding, communication, and effectiveness, please join us for a fascinating, interactive discussion.
Date: Jan. 29th, 2009
Time: 7:30 AM Eastern,
12:00 Noon Eastern,
5:00 PM Eastern
To register, please email Laura Thielges on or before January 28 at firstname.lastname@example.org and indicate which timeslot you’d like to participate in. You will then be sent an email with instructions for attending the webinar. Participation is limited to the first 100 people who respond.
Girl Scouts of the USA has recently released some interesting research on the affects of the recent election on girls and youth. See more from the Girl Scout Research Institute here:
Join me on Tuesday, June 24 for my teleconference interview with Robin Pascoe on raising Third Culture Kids, author of A Moveable Marriage: Relocate Your Marriage Without Breaking It, Raising Global Nomads: Parenting Abroad in an On-Demand World and others.
Preserve your family' mental health before, during and following a relocation
Survive the challenges of parenting while abroad.
Maintain one's co-parenting relationship in an overseas assignment.
Navigate parenting abroad in an on-demand world.
Benefit from “lessons learned” through Robin’s experiences of raising children abroad.
About Robin Pascoe
Robin’s reputation as a funny, engaging and inspirational speaker was earned as a former diplomatic spouse (in postings to Bangkok, Taipei, Beijing and Seoul); raising two third culture kids, and by traveling globally for more than a decade from her home base in Vancouver, Canada. Robin has now spoken in over twenty-five countries, invited by corporate groups from Shanghai to Johannesburg to educate business about the needs of the expatriate family. Robin has become the go-to expert for corporations interested in understanding the needs of expats and their families and making recommendations for family-friendly relocation policies.
Traveling spouses, international school communities, global mobility and Human Resource practitioners, and relocation specialists worldwide applaud her pragmatic but sensitive approach to the joys and challenges of families and global relocation. She is deeply committed to helping families make the most of the sometimes challenging privilege of living, working, and raising a family abroad.
Robin’s profession as a journalist makes her ideally suited to reporting on the trends in expatriate experience. She writes regularly for expatriate newspapers, magazines and web sites and has been interviewed by numerous international publications including The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Working Mother Magazine, Utne Reader, CNN, and others.
Sign up here to join my TCK Academy's interview with Robin Pascoe.
Date and Time: Tuesday June 24, 2008. Time: 1:00 PM (Pacific) / 4:00 PM (Eastern) / 9:00PM (London, England) / 5:00 AM (Tokyo, Japan). Click here for the Time Converter.
Ever feel like you want to learn more about this Third Culture way of life? Or, do you long to be around others who have experienced and/or understand what it means to be an internationally mobile, global nomad? So let me ask … If you really could find a place where these questions and more are answered in just 3 days, would you be interested?
What if I told you that such a place exists … a place where you could go to soak up valuable information, gain professional insights and experience ah-ha moments that would leave you thinking about what happened long beyond? And… in the process, you would walk away feeling as though you had participated in a life changing experience that has significantly improved the quality of your personal and professional life?
Well, I may have the perfect solution for these yearnings …. because, this is exactly what happened to me several years ago, when I encountered my first the Families in Global Transition Conference. I haven’t looked back since!
FIGT is the premier “grass roots, think tank” conference for those involved in an internationally mobile lifestyle, and offers something for just about everyone -- TCAs, TCKs, parents, educators, military family services, school counselors, marriage and family therapists, cross-cultural coaches, corporate, missions, relocation specialists and more. Besides the many benefits that can be derived from attending this conference, FIGT provides a great opportunity to meet a pretty amazing group of like-minded people who understand the struggles and successes of expatriate families and individuals and are deeply interested in promoting and growing understanding.
This year, I will be there as one of the conference speakers, and I am excited about having the opportunity to speak about third culture lifestyle topics that are near and dear to my heart. While in attendance, I definitely plan to soak up as much knowledge as I can from many internationally known experts that will be presenting cutting edge research and thinking during this 3 day conference, and I am looking forward to quality time spent engaged in Espirit DeCorps and “knowing” camaraderie. As with my experiences, if you decide to attend, you may discover that many of the people that you will meet at this conference may become life-long friends.
At any rate, the conference is March 6-8 at the Omni Houston Hotel, and also includes pre-conference workshops. I have included the contents of the FIGT Press Release for your information:
10th Anniversary ‘Families in Global Transition’ International Conference March 6 -8, Omni Houston Hotel
HOUSTON, TX, January 16, 2008 – It’s not always easy being a family expatriated by a corporate relocation, a military transfer, a missionary assignment, a diplomatic move or an overseas educational opportunity. In fact – more often than not – it’s a huge challenge for parents and children alike which requires support from many fronts.
That’s the topic of the 10th Annual Families in Global Transition International Conference at Houston’s Omni Hotel, March 6-8. The conference theme is: Supporting the Family: Accomplishing the Assignment.
The conference is a grass-roots “think tank” for internationally mobile families. “Expatriate families and their needs are often overlooked. This is the only conference in the world that brings together representatives of the corporate, military, missionary, diplomatic and educational sectors,” said Joyce Blake, executive of the nonprofit organization that sponsors it.
Blake said this will be the third year the conference has met in Houston because of the overwhelming number of families moved around the world by oil and gas companies whose corporate headquarters are in the city. “There is a need for expatriate support wherever families relocate, but the need is particularly striking in Houston,” she said.
Human resources personnel, relocation experts, educators and counselors attend to discuss the challenges and benefits of living abroad and returning home. FIGT is proud to announce that the outstanding 2008 program is again recognized by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) / Human Resource Certification Institute (HRCI) as an excellent resource and opportunity to earn from 6.5 to 12.5 credits for your PHR, SPHR, GPHR professional certification!
Five pre-conference, skill-building workshops are offered, which include:
• “Welcome Aboard YOUR Cultural Transition Journey: A Family Resiliency-Building Program • Navigation Tools for Successful Expatriate Transitions • Could You be an Expat Entrepreneur? • International Marriage Mentoring: 12 Conversations • Wise as Doves and Innocent as Serpents: Promoting Organizational Health in International settings
Concurrent sessions focus on: • Third Culture Kids (TCK’s) • Family and organizational transitions • Repatriation, HR, ROI and educational transition • Cross-sector best practices • Concerns of expatriate teenagers and spouses
Space is limited for the 3-hour, pre-conference workshops. Visit www.figt.org to register and learn more about the sessions and presenters. Early Bird discounts available through January 31, 2008. For information about conference fees, registration and schedules, visit www.figt.org or call +1.317.888.9678.
My intention when I first decided to start this blog on global transitions, was to provide a place to capture my thoughts on the Third Culture Adult/ Third Culture Kid experience, and to provide a place for others to share their stories related to cultural crossings. I do believe that those of us whom have had these experiences are a true refection of the world that we are becoming -- Ted Ward's Prototype Citizens of the Future prophesy, and that we have a unique opportunity to offer information to others that is relevant and timely.
This afternoon, I was browsing through the Amazon.com website to look up information on a recommended book by Mary Pipher, Writing to Change the World. Through the courtesy of one of the reader reviews on the site, I encountered a quote from Pipher’s book, written by novelist James Baldwin:
"You write in order to change the world, knowing perfectly well that you probably can't, but also knowing that literature is indispensable to the world. ... The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change it."
As I read this quote, I reflected upon some of the posts from readers on this blog, and recognized that in their sharing about their experiences, they had, in their own way, used the power of the pen (or in this case the keystroke) and their written words to embrace altering and changing the world, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality.
In our process of engaging in an ongoing conversation about our lived experiences we have an opportunity to see the world in different ways and to discover new ways of interpreting the world around us …. and in some small way, contribute to changing it.
I just finished reading Lawrence Downes' New York Times editorial observations on Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, Barack Obama, Estranged in a Strange Land. If you have been following his campaign, then you have probably heard that Sen Obama is considered by many to be one of the fastest rising stars in U.S. politics. Some have even likened his new status to a celebrity image of political "Rock Star". In 2005, Time magazine named Obama one of the "worlds most influential people who shape our lives," and also called him "one of the most admired politicians in America". Sen. Obama also won a Grammy for the audio version of his 1995 memoir, Dreams from My Father, which spent one year on the New York Times bestseller list, and he was featured on the covers of Men's Vogue and Newsweek.
As a TCA and the mother of four TCKs, what I found even more exciting and notable about Obama's celebrity status on the political and world scene is that he is also one of the fastest rising adult TCKs!!
The first time that I heard about Sen Barack Obama was during a conversation a few years ago with my good friend, Ruth E. Van Reken. I still vividly recall that day, as she excitedly told me about this up and coming young politician from the Chicago area, and, that to her great pleasure, he was a TCK! Ruth added that, in her opinion, Obama represented our hope for the future, as was heralded by sociologist, Ted Ward in 1989, when he declared that TCKs were the "prototype citizens of the future".
It seems that in the case of Barack Obama, Ruth Van Reken and Ted Ward were right!!
In his memoir, Dreams from My Father, Obama shares that he was born in Honolulu, Hawaii. His father, an economist, was born in Kenya and his mother, a white American from Kansas, first met while they were students at the East-West Center at the University of Hawaii. When Obama was two years old, his parents were divorced, and his mother, Ann Obama later married Lolo Sotero, another foreign student from Indonesia. In 1967, his family moved to Jakarta, where Obama attended local schools from ages six to 10. He then returned to Honolulu to live with his maternal grandparents while attending the Punahou Schoolfrom 5th grade through his graduation from high school in 1979. Obama clearly knew the emotional challenges of transitioning between cultures and growing up in strange lands and having experienced his own, at times painful, personal search for identity from the perspective of being a TCK, biracial, and a perpetual lifestyle as an insider/outsider.
In TCK's Come of Age, posted on the Transition Dynamics website of Dr Barbara Shaetti (an expatriate consultant and a bi-cultural TCK), intercultural consultant, Vicki Lambiri states that there are a number of TCK personalities that quite often appear in the media. She adds that interviews with well known TCKs abound, but the general public doesn't know it, since having an awareness and understanding of the TCK experiences has not quite "penetrated into the consciousness of mainstream American society or for that matter any society." She believes that as the TCK populations continues to grow, it is important that for the media and reporters to better understand "how to interpret the significance of the TCK childhood and its influence on adult behaviors."
Although a very good article and synopsis of his experiences, the Downes op-ed missed a wonderful opportunity to tie some of his observations about Sen Obama to his lived TCK experience and how it helped to inform his worldview. This lived TCK expereince, most likely has contributed to Obama's broad appeal and to his earning a reputation as an incredibly unifying figure.
I agree Vicki!
Barack Obama's growing media and global presence is a great example of why the time is now to spread the word to an even broader audience regarding the importance of the "third culture" experience and its influence on our globalized society!!