In this brief interview, Heiko Saeger, former expat and CEO of the recently launched NPO KOMUNIKI, tells us more about his project, the importance of intercultural competence, and the (pro bono) e-training modules that his organization provides.
1) What is the KOMUNIKI Project all about?
The KOMUNIKI PROJECT is an international team of experts who commit their academic knowledge and business experience to promoting intercultural competence through education worldwide. Numerous studies show that intercultural education improves intercultural interactions in every area of life, from everyday communication to business negotiations.
Several weeks ago we started our education initiative “Smart Education for Global Cooperation”. Our aim is to support as many people as possible all over the world to better cope with the challenges of globalisation and interculturalisation of societies and companies.
Global change requires interculturally competent individuals who can coexist and cooperate successfully. Despite international exchange and experience, lots of people have no genuine competence in working with individuals who are different. Many people and businesses are aware of this, but only few of them really know the solution.
So we have created a set of tools to enhance successful communication through intercultural competence. Our five-module training series is supposed to reach out to people around the globe: KOMUNIPASS – The Intercultural Certificate.
The non-profit KOMUNIKI PROJECT makes it possible for everyone to develop their personality and competencies to face the rapidly growing challenges of intercultural environments. We at KOMUNIKI want to contribute to creating a better world to leave to our children.
2) What inspired you to start this project?
During my international career of over 25 years, I have frequently witnessed how intercultural misunderstandings or unconscious misinterpretations can lead to serious issues.
Many people unfortunately lack self-awareness, nor are they capable of dealing with others who are very different from themselves. Both in private and in business life the conscious self is a must for intercultural competence. Those who want to be internationally successful must develop both.
This is how the whole idea of the KOMUNIKI PROJECT was born. Intercultural competence is the key to success. It can help everyone to orient themselves in their ever-changing environment, as well as further develop their personality without having to give up their identity. It is through intercultural competence that people can explore opportunities arising from change and use them for public benefit.
3) What kind of intercultural training do your e-books offer?
Passive knowledge does not develop competence. Competence can only be developed through an active process.
This is the key idea of the five KOMUNIPASS learning modules. We’ll be leading students in a systematic way through Understanding Cultures, The Map of Cultures, Who We Are and What We See, Intercultural Communication, and Living With Foreign Cultures.
The KOMUNIPASS Competence e-trainings replace approximately 60 hours of classroom education and prepare learners for assignments and studies abroad as well as for intercultural cooperation.
Everyone learns at a different pace. For most students, classroom teaching is either too fast or too slow. The time of day is also crucial. Our eBook-based trainings adapt to any learning speed and biorhythm. Whether at the airport, in a bus, or on the sofa, you can read, learn, practise and revise anywhere and at anytime.
4) How can Komuniki members gain access to these resources?
Currently, the KOMUNIPASS eBook-based trainings for smart phones, tablets, PC, etc. are available in English and German on Amazon worldwide.
KOMUNIKI PROJECT members who do not have the means to purchase the eBooks can subscribe to our newsletters. Then we’ll let them know about specific opportunities when downloads are free of charge.
Everyone can become a KOMUNIKI member for free and without any further obligations. Those who wish to join KOMUNIKI only need to register their names and email addresses with www.komuniki.org.
We have also prepared a brief set of instructions on how to download KOMUNIPASS. You can find it here: http://www.komuniki.org/en/smart-education.html
5) What are your plans for the future?
The KOMUNIKI PROJECT was recently launched as a non-profit in Central Europe. We are planning our international expansion with individual chapters in other countries.
For this, we first need to generate revenue. Our aim is to finance KOMUNIKI through the sale of our eBooks, trainings, consultancy services, and, last but not least, through donations. A core team of experts, interculturally experienced professionals and business people are working on the upcoming education programs and seminars.
(Photo credit: Heiko Saeger, KOMUNIKI)
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