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 Thursday, March 8, 2018 | 10:15-11:15

Robin Pascoe

Robin Pascoe is a Canadian journalist by profession and is the author and publisher of five books about global relocation and its impact on families. Her pioneering website Expat Expert was one of the first sites to offer online support for expat families. She has been involved with Families in Global Transition since its beginning and has spoken at its conferences in Indianapolis, Dallas and Houston. It was in Houston in 2010 that she and Jo Parfitt were presented with Trailblazer Awards for their work in encouraging new expat writers. The Parfitt Pascoe Writers Residency grew out of their passion for mentoring new writers. Robin currently works as the Director of Global Communications for Maple Bear Global Schools.

The title of her keynote address is: What could make FIGT more diverse and inclusive? 

Robin Pascoe was among the first wave of expat writers to create and promote the language we use to understand the strengths and challenges of the globally mobile family. And for over twenty years, she traveled around the expat world reassuring families by introducing that language and articulating shared experiences. In her keynote address, she will re-examine the meaning of the words “families” in “global” “transition” in the context of diversity and relocation in the 21st century. And, using her trademark humour, she will share her stories of the past 20 years and her vision for the next.

Thursday, March 8, 2018 | 13:45-14:45

Ruth Van Reken

Ruth Van Reken is a US citizen who grew up in Nigeria as a second-generation third culture kid (TCK) and raised her three daughters in Liberia. For over thirty years Ruth has traveled extensively speaking about issues related to global family lifestyles. Currently, she is seeking to understand how lessons learned from the TCK experience can transfer to others raised among many cultural worlds for various reasons. Ruth is co-author of Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds (3rd edition), multiple other writings and co-founder and past chairperson of Families in Global Transition. 

The title of her address is: Celebrating Twenty Years! Where We've Been, Where We Are, Where We Want to Go

Twenty years ago four women gathered for coffee around a kitchen table in Indianapolis, IN. Although they came from diverse backgrounds, all had raised globally mobile families. Initially, the conversation focused on wondering why local teachers or counselors working with their families often seemed oblivious to the dynamics created by global transitions. But then a different kind of wondering started. “Instead of complaining about ‘them,’ what about ‘us’? Can we do something to change this?”

With that question, the seed that became FIGT took root. This seed has since been watered, fertilized, pruned, and lovingly tended by countless others to make it the beautiful tree it is today. FIGT has become a community of people from many sectors, countries, languages, ethnicities, and religions who support one another by normalizing and giving language to the experience. And, indeed, it has also become a welcoming forum for those who work with this community--Researchers, Educators, Entrepreneurs, Psychologists, Writers, and Coaches who come to share the journey with those they serve. Today we celebrate the past and present while looking forward to all the future brings.

Friday, March 9, 2018 | 10:00-11:00

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart is a Director of the Board of Saudi Aramco. He was Chairman of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group 1998- 2001, of Anglo American pie 2002-2009 and of Hermes Equity Ownership Services 2009-2016. He is Chairman of the UN Global Compact Foundation, of the Innovative Vector Control Consortium (IVCC) and a director of Saudi Aramco. After a doctorate in geology, he worked for Shell living in Holland, Spain, Oman, Brunei, Australia, Nigeria, Turkey and Malaysia, and UK. He was a director of Accenture (2001-2015) and HSBC (2001-10) and Chairman of the FTSE ESG Advisory Committee. He was a board member for the International Institute for Sustainable Development (2002-2011). Since 2011 Sir Mark has been Honorary Co-Chairman of the International Tax and Investment Center and is a Member of the International Council for Integrated Reporting. Sir Mark Moody-Stuart became a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Michael and St George in June 2000. He is the author of "Responsible Leadership - Lessons from the front line of sustainability and ethics.”

The title of his keynote address is: Fifty years of change in expatriation

In the sixties expatriation was driven by requirements of expertise, broadening experience and building common values across global operations. The employee spouse was an essential support factor, as was children’s education. People were offered postings as part of a lifelong career development and were expected to accept, whatever the country.

In the early nineties Shell’s E and P business was concerned dual careers and concerns over boarding education, might reduce mobility. So expatriates were surveyed, with the same questionnaire being sent to the partner at home. Free-form answers and suggestions were encouraged.  The results showed very varied needs. Rigid travel and education allowances became flexible. Posting job openings became the norm and the unit of expatriation changed from “worker with dependents” to “the family”. A CEO led global council with members of all ages looked at why, in a company which had had progressive global hiring and development policies for forty years, was the global executive committee uniformly male and Dutch or British. Unsurprisingly, approaches to families and mobility were part of the answer.

Within Shell an intranet volunteer spouse network to exchange information on partner jobs and education developed. Today, excellent specialised enterprises fulfil some of these needs. 

Nowadays, improved teleconferencing allows remote team working. Families may not need or want to be life-long expatriates, but periods of expatriation meeting both family and company requirements continue to be vital for global companies. Bespoke enterprises serving the needs of such families in terms of information on jobs, education and culture show welcome growth. The digital world presents a variety of interesting and fulfilling occupations for partners with and without the need for an individual work visa.

Saturday, March 10, 2018 | 10:00-11:00

Sean Ghazi

Born to a Malaysian father and a Singaporean mother, actor and singer Sean Ghazi was educated in Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Boston, MA. before embarking on a career that has taken him to Europe, Southeast Asia and most recently the United States; on stage, on screen and in music. He is the first Malaysian to grace the London West End stage – a feat he achieved at the age of 22.

In Malaysia he has collected a Cameronian Arts Award for his revue I HAVE DREAMED - AN EVENING WITH SEAN GHAZI, and the AIM (the Malaysian ‘Grammy’) for his debut album SEAN GHAZI 'SEMALAM'. He has also worked with most of the prominent theatre companies in Malaysia and Singapore.

As a singer, Sean represents Malaysia at all sorts of events at home and abroad; Davos, for the World Economic Forum; Cannes, for the MIPCOM Festival; and in Kuala Lumpur for the ASEAN Summit 2015 in the presence of former US President Barack Obama and other world leaders. In 2016, he was invited to perform at the closing ceremony of the World Humanitarian Summit in Istanbul, prior to performing in Germany for several UNICEF galas.

Sean has performed with the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra, The Seattle Symphony, Pacific Symphony in Orange County, California, The Penang Philharmonic and The Cadaques Orchestra from Barcelona. Together with Portland-based pop retro group Pink Martini, he has performed at The Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles whilst on tour with them throughout California and Arizona and at The Esplanade in Singapore.

Most recently Sean completed a successful run playing the leading role of George in La Cage Aux Folles for W!LD RICE in Singapore. Sean is currently the Artistic Director of popular entertainment venue BOBO Kuala Lumpur and over the last year has been busy developing his big band act ‘TARAKUCHA’ - marrying the worlds of the vintage Malay song-book with the big band sound and a touch of Broadway.


Families in Global Transition
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1033 S Cedar Crest Blvd
Allentown, PA 18103, USA

Phone: +1 (703) 634-7400
Email: admin@figt.org

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