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Concurrent Sessions are hour-long sessions focused on a single topic with one or several presenters, who will speak and then engage the audience in an active discussion of the topic. Choose one from each group.

Friday, April 26, 2019
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Saturday, April 27, 2019
Sunday, April 28, 2019


Concurrent Session I
Friday, April 26, 2019 | 11:50-12:50

Current Research on Asian TCKs and CCKs (FIGT Research Network)

Aiko MinematsuThe Role of Language Teaching in Development of Students’ Identities in Japan
Language pedagogy plays an important role in constructing language learners’ identities with the potential to empower or disempower formation of future selves as language users. This research in a Japanese university English class focuses on the effect of course structure and content on identities of students from diverse linguistic and cultural backgrounds.

Kyoung Mi Choi and Sookyoung LeeKorean Cross-Culture Kids: Relations of Acculturation Types, Acculturation Stress, and Cultural Adaptation
In a study of Korean youth living outside Korea as students or with parents working abroad, the researchers found both positive personal characteristics and diverse adjustment patterns. Focused on understanding adjustment challenges due to high acculturation stress, they identified four acculturation types and sought to answer three questions: which acculturation types are most prominent, are different acculturation types associated with different socio-demographic variables and to what extent are psychological adaptation and sociocultural adaptation related to these acculturation types?

Empathy Can Be a Double-Edged Sword: Focusing the Globally Mobile Community to Use Empathy to Heal Rather Than Divide

Christopher O'Shaughnessy

Many experts now agree that a measurable decline in empathy has occurred in much of society. The mental, physical, and societal repercussions of this are real and demand action. Empathy is powerful and its absence is destructive; but the vacuum it leaves also makes society vulnerable to empathy being used to foster division and even hatred rather than connection and healing. The globally mobile and cross-cultural community have cultivated a compelling legacy of heightened empathy being tied to their need to adapt and make use of diversity in order to thrive. We must now focus on honing the connecting and broadening aspects of empathy to actively combat division and fear.

Growth of CCK Transition Programs at Universities

Megan Norton

How do we support Cross Cultural and Third Culture kids as they prepare for university? What are CCK Transition programs and how can we ensure our CCK and TCK students are receiving the support they need to connect with their university, mentors, and peers before during and after their move to university? This session is based on work and research spanning over three decades and dozens of countries. It will include experience with college transition programs, university admissions, and TCK support and mentorship programs and will bring frameworks to help educational institutions and community members know how to help globally mobile students transition well.

How To Prevent Your Relationship From Being Put to the Test When Your Life Is in Transition

Sundae Schneider Bean

In this highly interactive and engaging session, Sundae Schneider-Bean, intercultural strategist and solution-oriented coach, will lead participants through three proven practices designed to leave the participants feeling more connected, able to create better understanding, and regain control in their lives. This session will:

  • Introduce the participants to the top three proven practices to keep a strong connection at home with your loved one, even when life abroad gets challenging.
  • Provide the practice to explore these methods and how they can apply them.
  • Give the participants an action plan to incorporate these three strategies into their everyday lives. 

Lead the Way into Transitions by Working Together as a Family

Diana Rongen and Gerda van Loon

“The world needs new leadership. And the new leadership is about working together” Jack Ma.

Do you want to know more about the basics of systemic coaching, how to start meaningful conversations with your partner and children and embrace the connection? Do you want to find out what your child is trying to say to you? Then connect with us and we’ll see you at our presentation.

In an engaging presentation, practical tools are being introduced, based on systems and relationships coaching. You will experience and learn how to build a foundation of trust and connection in families and teams.

Prevention is Always Better Than Cure: How This Applies to International Family Law Issues

Lucy Greenwood and David Hodson

Lucy Greenwood and David Hodson are two immensely experienced international family lawyers working with many international families from all continents. Their presentation explains how, when and why you should connect with a specialist family lawyer and explore the different approaches needed for international families. Practical, preventative tips given might aid you or someone you know invaluably. The session will inform you about how IFLG are seeking to lead and change family law and its practise to make it more innovative and accessible to all. Common worries will be addressed and myths dispelled about child arrangements and finances upon relationship breakdown. You should take from this session a general awareness of relevant international family law issues, but also what steps to take if urgent advice about international family law issues is ever needed.

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Concurrent Session II
Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 11:30-12:30

Create an Island: A Hands-On Workshop Using This Art-Based Tool for Working with Globally Mobile Children, Adults and Professionals

Shellee Burroughs

If you are looking for a practical, art-based tool that you can apply while working with a wide variety of groups from the globally mobile community, then come and learn about how to "create an island" in a creative workshop setting. This is a session designed to support those who are not trained as art therapists or clinicians and who want to utilize less verbal and more creative approaches in supporting those from the globally mobile community. Communication, belonging and the shared experience are all central to developing self-esteem, awareness and respect for "the other" -- all of which are critical in today’s globally mobile world.

Early-life Transitions’ Influence on Social Connectedness, Spiritual Well-being, Emotional Stability, and Perfectionism of Cross-Cultural People

Esther Tan

This study examined the experiences of 132 cross-cultural people (CCP) who have interacted significantly with two or more cultures within or across international borders, in relation to their perfectionism, and socio-emotional-spiritual psychosocial developmental outcomes. Significant differences were found between CCPs who moved cross-culturally before age 18 — Third Culture Kids (TCKs) and those who moved after 18 — Third Culture Adults (TCAs). Findings showed significant differences between Third Culture Adults and Third Culture Kids in social connectedness, spiritual well-being, emotional stability, inferiority versus self-acceptance, and perfectionism types. The session will also discuss implications for policies and interventions and directions for future research, with additional focus on vocational choices and identity of CCPs.

Heart Connections: Mining TCKs' Potential as Global Leaders

Isabelle Min

Global living, with its numerous transitions and diverse experiences often disconnects TCKs from their local peers, families or colleagues. How can families, schools, and communities reap the wealth of global experiences within every TCK and support their development as global leaders, before they are buried forever? This session begins by introducing seven inherent strengths within TCKs that are often undermined in their struggles for identity, uncertainty, self-doubt and social marginalization. Participants will learn ten patterns that disconnect communication despite their best intentions as teachers or parents, and ways to restore connections using simple, yet powerful process called Circle. The Circle process can be applied in classrooms, communities and at home to support TCKs to open up and build deep connections.

HELP, I’m Living With an Addict in a Foreign Country! Where Do I Find Support?

Mark Burdick and Ian Young

Addiction is the number one destroyer of expat family life. Isolated, spouses find themselves without support or guidance in a foreign country, often living in a compound where indulgence is a norm, blindly noticed, and part of the culture. This workshop identifies ways and programs to redirect that culture of destruction to one of health and happiness within the expat community.

How To Grow a Portable Business That Will Create the Impact You Want To Make!

Amel Derragui

This presentation is designed to answer major questions often asked by globally mobile people and expat partners who want to make an impact through a successful portable business (or NGO). You will:

  • Discover what really makes a business (or NGO) portable despite some legal and administrative challenges, and how to create meaningful relationships even through virtual tools.
  • Learn the key factors to run a sustainable business with no interruptions, even when living on the move.
  • Uncover the money blocks that can stop you from creating the impact you want to make, and how to convert your hard work into real revenue.

Making Your ‘MOLA’ on the Move: The One Tool You Need to Navigate Your Globally Mobile Life.

Mariam Ottimofiore

What is a MOLA and how can it help us make sense of our globally mobile lives? In this practical and insightful workshop, Mariam will present her MOLA tool and concept, explaining her ideas about how it can enhance the life of a MOLA family, helping them navigate their international lives. Based on her research and writing in her newly published book, Mariam will challenge session participants to start using the MOLA as a way of thinking about their diverse international experiences, identities, cultures, languages, races, nationalities not just to see who they are, but also to learn how to show to the rest of the world, their often ‘messy’ and overlapping identity. In doing so, MOLA families can ‘be the change they want to see’.

Surveying the Landscape: Common Practices, Challenges, and Opportunities in International School Transition Support

Ellen Mahoney

In an effort to better understand the transitions support landscape in international schools, Sea Change Mentoring and Globally Grounded partnered together to conduct an independent research project. Building on the important work of Barbara Schaetti, Council of International Schools, and Doug Ota, our research provides a deeper understanding of the transitions-support practices, challenges, and opportunities that the international school community faces. Join us as we give FIGT a sneak peak into our findings and discuss the implications for how schools and organizations can improve they way they care for young people impacted by global mobility.

The Assumption of Privilege? Experiences of Growing Up in the Norwegian Foreign Service

Ragnhild Bjørnsen 

This presentation is based on autobiographies from 41 adults who grew up within the Norwegian Foreign Service. The focus is on their lived experiences, and to what extent their social environment was open to their emotional states and reactions, or rather, governed by cultural expectations on emotion that differed from how they felt. Amongst those who describe their childhood as very challenging, there was a strong presence of a cultural narrative that sees them as a privileged global elite. This has led the informants to emotionally withdraw and pretend to feel differently around their family. Amongst those who describe their childhood as very happy, the family unit has an emotional space that is open to emotional reactions, confrontations, and negotiations.

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Concurrent Session III
Saturday, April 27, 2019 | 13:30-14:30

Cultivating Stillness in a Fast Moving World

Jodi Harris

We live in a hectic world with incredible amounts of information vying for out attention. Join coach, mindfulness teacher and Personal Leadership senior facilitator Jodi Harris of World Tree Coaching to learn how you can cultivate inner stillness in a hectic world. You’ll take away a better understanding of what stillness means to you, helpful tools for how to create a stillness practice in your own life and new insights into how to grow and lead when you come home to the stillness within.

Decision Making and Global Relocation: It’s Not Simple but Is It Complicated or Complex – and How Does That Change What We Do?

Trisha Carter

Global relocation isn’t simple. It’s complicated, complex, sometimes chaotic, seldom predictable. Yet many of us, the professionals who manage or support global transitions, operate from a decision-making framework of predictability as if we really believe there are seven steps to a successful transition and a good process document will solve the problems for our assignees and their families. This session will consider global transitions and the "Cynefin framework" complexity theory. It will reflect on our thinking and decision-making processes to help us build thinking habits and psychological flexibility that can support both us and our clients in situations of complexity and chaos.

Energy Leadership: How to Change the Way You Influence and Lead Those Around You

Alison Goldstein

Our conventional picture of a leader is within the context of formally defined roles found in the workplace. However, being a leader is equally relevant in families and in everyday interactions. Leadership can simply be interaction where influence occurs. The influence can be positive or negative and the impact can be minimal or maximal. In this workshop, we will explore the ideas and concepts behind Energy Leadership developed by Bruce D Schneider and the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). You will be encouraged to identify opportunities to lead through your connections and reflect on past situations where you may have wanted to act differently. You will be provided with tools and methods to help you recognize your 'negative' behaviors, allowing you to change and 'show up' in a way that better serves you.

EY & NetExpat Global Relocating Partner Survey Results

Jackie Tisapramotkul

Facts and data are abundant in international mobility and talent deployment: they are essential to properly guiding corporations as they review their international mobility needs and weigh their delivery options. Unfortunately, much-needed data in partner/spousal assistance has been dramatically missing in recent years. As a result, EY and NetExpat published in 2018, in collaboration with the active support of major international employer organizations such as WERC, NFTC, Cindex, and Magellan, the largest Relocating Partner Survey with the intent to provide a clearer understanding of this key component of international mobility.  

With the added insights from a corporate panel, this session will provide the most current analytics to date, an in-depth analysis of what international employer approaches are, their current policies as well as future plans to manage relocating partner/spouse matters. This session will also provide current industry trends to help global mobility leaders better adapt their program to employee requests for partner/spousal support, be more market competitive and further aligned with their company’s strategic talent objectives.

Finding Their Wings: Coaching Facilitates TCK Metamorphosis

Peter Ransom

On the outside, the life of a TCK may seem idyllic – full of amazing experiences and exotic travel. Internally, it’s often a different story – many TCKs battle for decades with their sense of identity and belonging, rootlessness, and unresolved grief. Left unaddressed, these challenges often result in anxiety, depression, and other debilitating stumbling blocks. The world desperately needs leaders with the skills and experience that TCKs are uniquely suited to provide, yet many TCKs remain trapped or stuck by these stumbling blocks, unable to answer the call. Learn how coaching is an effective yet underutilized tool that has enabled TCKs to overcome many difficult challenges and to find, embrace, and leverage their TCK identity to live their full potential. For this session, Peter will be drawing on his MBA thesis research on the impact of coaching on TCKs.

Research Forum: FIGT Research Network Annual Meeting 

Ann Baker Cottrell, FIGT Research co-chair

This is the FIGT Research Network Affiliate’s Annual Meeting and is open to anyone interested in research. Come to learn what the Research Network has been doing and contribute to plans for future Research Network activities. This is a chance to meet informally with those who are interested in research on globally mobile families as researchers or research consumers.   

The Benefits of Diversity on Staffing and Recruiting in International Schools: Implications for TCKs and Stakeholders

Jonathan Condo

Schools place enormous emphasis on the importance of educating students to be globally minded citizens. But to what degree do international schools truly embody international-mindedness? And, even more importantly, the nature of international schools is evolving, and in many cases, a large portion of the school body consists of local children whose parents want them to have an international education. Are we as a global community adapting to these changes? Are parents and educational leaders internationally-minded when assessing teacher potential? What values do recruiting practices reflect? Do students - the third culture kids, the local kids, the double or triple nationality kids - do they look at their faculty and see themselves reflected? And why is this important, anyway?

The Mobile Life and the Child with Special Needs

Erin Long

This session will be a discussion about the challenges families face when moving from school to school with a child that has unique educational needs. Blending her personal knowledge and experience of the mobile family and special education, Erin will focus on practical approaches one can take when seeking help for a child with special needs. Educational intervention is often unavailable in international schools. Resources are, however, available that can help a child flourish in school and life. In this session, we will break down the term “special need.” and how it applies to children. We will also discuss how to determine short-term and long-term goals enabling families to make meaningful decisions for their children that will make real differences in the child’s and family’s life.

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Concurrent Session IV
Sunday, April 28, 2019 | 11:30-12:30

A Critical Review of TCK Terminology in the Context of 'Thirdness'

Tabassim Ali and Anna Dillon

This session will be offered in an interactive style, seeking participation from the attendees in order to add to the critical review of the TCK terminology. 

Classic pragmatic philosophers such as Peirce consider that there are three fundamental phenomenological categories – Firstness, Secondness, and Thirdness (Raggatt, 2010). When these categories interact with each other, they form a triad.

A TCK can be viewed as triadic. In each TCK we can find “a first bound together with a second by the mediation of a third” (Raggatt, 2010, p. 401). This relates to the classic description of a TCK, which sees the first culture (Firstness) referring to the passport country, the second culture (Secondness) to the host culture, and the third culture (Thirdness) as the trans-cultural intervening space or “interstitial culture” (Lijadi and Van Schalkwyk, 2014, p. 1). Given that the first and second cultures are tangible social structures, while the third culture is less tangible and much more transient and difficult to define, the idea of Thirdness holds weight as meaning becomes dependent on how the Thirdness is mediated through the Firstness and Secondness.

In our session, we will aim to discuss how the TCK terminology we use today is influenced by the notion of Thirdness.

Insights into Navigating Global Mobility: What You Can Do

Darlene Fisher and Sue Richards

The trends of globalization – such as increased migration and mobility - are an increasing reality for our schools and are creating new challenges for students, families and international leaders. Classrooms are increasingly diverse, as are offices, schools and communities. Given the importance of school leadership in bringing communities together and strengthening student resilience in global mobility, what are the key understandings school and professional leaders need in order to successfully guide their learning communities within a global context?  The IB community, with its 4500 schools in more than 134 countries, recognizes that high quality, effective leaders will be reflective and strategic, capable of leading people with varied values, beliefs and expectations in order to build communities of lifelong learners motivated to create a better world through education. In response to the increasingly complex work of school leaders, the International Baccalaureate has recently outlined an approach to leading culturally diverse communities. Using professional inquiry, the workshop aims to introduce participants to the latest research and tools to help families and working professional to navigate international education, schools and diverse communities.

Measuring Change: Multiple Moves and How They Influence Cultural Adaptability

Laurie Shapiro

This interactive session explores the impact of multiple international moves on personal identity and professional development.

Pacific Disruption: Learnings from New Zealand’s Experience of Rapid Change in Global Mobility

Bridget Romanes

Driven by significant skills shortages in our flourishing economy, New Zealand’s largest city is now home to over 200 ethnic groups and is considered more diverse than London. At the same time the globally mobile talent that is flooding into New Zealand no longer fits the model of the traditional expat – it’s just as likely to be a millennial a migrant or a commuter. As a result, New Zealand is incubating new and innovative approaches to meeting the needs of employers and the globally mobile talent on which they depend.

Self-Leadership in the Times of Change

Oxana Holtmann

People often think of leadership as an ability to lead others. Though for individuals who live globally, self-leadership often becomes a more urgent and relevant skill. When we experience a big change how can we gain leadership over our feelings of loss, anxiety and disorientation? How can we stay connected with what brings us meaning and moves us towards our goals? Based on the book 15 Commitments of Conscious Leadership, this presentation will focus on the common psychological patterns which arise in the times of change and interruption. We will explore several conscious leadership commitments that invite self-awareness and engage our creative brain, so we can easier connect with new realities. You will be introduced to tools that are used by many successful companies and organization to promote co-creativity and conscious decision-making promote co-creativity and conscious decision-making process in work environments.

The Universal Language of Music and its Role in Fostering Identity, Understanding and Connection

Melissa Indot

Music is the ultimate universal language; it crosses borders, brings unity and has the power to evoke a deep sense of energy and self. Music also changes our state – it can open a neutral space of safety from which conversations and communication can begin. Intuitive Music Programming (IMP) is a simple tool that uses the power of music to evoke people’s ability to reconnect with themselves and their environments. It involves building conversational playlists that foster communication and provide motivation. IMP will enable you to be more present, thrive in your environment and empower yourself and those around you.

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