27th of September was establishedWorld Tourism Day as World Tourism Day by the UN World Tourism Association (UNWTO) 1980. The aim of the day is to raise awareness of the importance of tourism for the international community and its positive effects, socially and economically, on societies worldwide.

The theme for 2012 is Tourism and Sustainable Technology: Powering Sustainable Development. Official celebrations will take place in Maspalomas, Spain. Watch live footage of the celebrations here!

World Humanitarian Day is an annual, global celebration of people helping people.

World Humanitarian Day

Beyonce performed for the UN in New York.

Every year thousands of human aid workers help other people regardless of who they are and where they are. The lives of millions of people worldwide are threatened every day by natural disasters, gender-based conflict, political conflict, hunger, and migration. The global economic crisis has created an increasing number of problems such as poverty and a decline in global health. Hence, more and more humanitarian aid workers are needed across the globe. In addition, the total number of people affected by natural disasters is rising: approximately 211 million people are directly affected each year.

Today’s date, August 19th, marks the day in 2003 when the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad was bombed and 22 members of UN staff died. World Humanitarian Day honors humanitarian causes and the lives that have been lost in the cause of duty.

This year’s theme for World Humanitarian Day is ‘I was here.’ ‘I was here’ is an awareness campaign trying to promote everyone to do something good, to someone, somewhere. Pop star and icon Beyonce performed a song “I was here” at the UN headquarters in New York last Saturday, the 11th, to honour World Humanitarian Day. A music video has been made of the event and the performance will be aired today. The goal of this year’s World Humanitarian Day is to get 1 billion people visit the online site, watch the music video, and learn more about World Humanitarian Day campaign.

Najwat Rehman winning logo design

International Youth Day celebrates the experiences and voices of young people between the ages of 15 to 24 years. They represent one sixth of the world’s population. Established by the UN in 2000, the purpose of the day is to draw our attention to youth issues world wide in the 10 areas of: starvation, poverty, education, employment, health, drug exploitation, childhood felony, recreation events, the child and young women, environment. Every year has a different theme and 2011’s theme is: “Youth should be given a chance to take an active part in the decision-making of local, national and global levels.”

Today is the International Day of the World’s Indigenous People.
The 9th August each year offers the world community an opportunity to reaffirm the principles of respect and protection of minorities. Created by the United Nation General Assembly in 1994, this year’s commemoration theme is: “Indigenous designs: celebrating stories and cultures, crafting our own future”.

“We should never denigrate any other culture but rather help
people to understand the relationship between their own culture and the dominant culture. When you understand another culture or language, it does not mean that you have to lose your own culture.”

Edward T Hall (Anthropologist)



1. Learn something about the country, local customs, and cultural sensitivities to avoid making faux pas while abroad. Get a good grasp of why understanding cross-cultural differences is important in global business.

2. Always err on the side of formality and conservatism. Be low-key in dress, manners, and behaviour. Very few countries are casual in approach. The Australians are the most casual.

to see the Cultural Whole.

By Matthew Hill

When we think of “culture”, we may see pictures, remember what we were taught in a geography class in school or think that sophisticated stereotypes represent the values and behaviours of a country and its people.

A large body of culture specialists exist working in this area including – academics, students and practitioners. Some of them are now feeling frustrated or even trapped by cultural oversimplifications. Psychometric tests, models and questionnaires appear to reduce and limit the individual or team being measured…

by Richard Cook

Why we need to become global networkers

When organisations ‘go global’ we often think of the formal networks that need to be stretched and expanded to accommodate the increase in communication that results. What we often fail to realise is that as individuals, we now need to network on a global scale as well, in order to maintain the effectiveness of our role. Having teams spread out across the globe, having key opinion leaders in remote offices means that our influencing skills can be severely tested as we try to continue applying them but now mostly virtually instead of face to face…

I recently suggested that Barack Obama could be seen as a role model for Cultural Intelligence, but it is not only the Leader of the U.S. that needs this but all of the Leaders of our culturally complex companies. Leaders will need to develop intercultural communication skills and a new skill set  for deep contextual understanding of what takes place when people interact across several kinds of cultural differences in a modern global company. They will need to develop a Cultural Intelligence based on a deep sensitivtiy that enables them to value, motivate and mobilise culturally distinctive workforces. They will also need the ability to be open to new ideas and practices, loosening boundaries and finding creative ways to integrate new ideas ‘back at base’. There are exciting challenges ahead for all those who manager culturally complex organisations. Remember though: good intercultural communication is not only for ‘over there,’ overseas or in foreign parts – it’s also for here on our doorstep – with our customers and staff from many diverse backgrounds. Cultural Diversity is everywhere.

The election of Barack Obama must be a turning point in history as we can never go back to a time where being President of the USA is solely a job for white men. It is interesting to debate and reflect on what influence this will have on the intercultural field and on cultural diversity issues. Undoubtedly he seems to have a natural ability to mix and match with his fellow human beings in a way that George Bush could never dream of.  His skin colour, minority background, intelligence and genuine respect for others of difference has him being a role model for someone with Cultural Intelligence – long may he live up to this – there are so few people around who can.