Category Archives: Culture

Brexit: Sovereignty vs. Isolation


Photo by David Dibert on Unsplash OK, let’s do it… Let’s talk about Brexit. But let’s not talk about the pros and cons or against the dominion of the European Union. Let’s talk about the melting pot of inevitably interconnected cultures that constitute Europe. A much more interesting… and unifying topic! There is something poetic about the end…

Azerbaijan: Multiculturalism as a state policy

Flame Towers, Baku, Azerbaijan

(Photo:,_Azerbaijan.png) When you hear/read the word “multiculturalism”, Azerbaijan may not be the first thing that comes to mind. Yet the South Caucasus nation on the border of the Caspian Sea has become one of the few countries to embrace multiculturalism as a governmental policy. The Republic of Azerbaijan lays between Russia to the north,…

Cultural Intelligence: Turning Conflicts Into Connections

Cultural intelligence: Real Equality Isn't Possible, If We Don't Celebrate Our Differences

Cultural differences can be a catalyst for conflict, but they don’t have to be. Globalization and the internet are blurring the physical barriers between nations and people. Despite the distance, we are now closer than we have ever been before. This proximity has opened our eyes to differences and similarities between various cultures. Rather than…

Culture and the Rise of Emerging Markets

Perspective aérienne de la ville de Shanghai, quartier général de la New Development Bank pour les nouveaux marchés.

What can happen when you launch a product abroad without cultural awareness? Ask IKEA who released a cute toy wolf whose name in Cantonese regrettably turned out to be a crude insult. With the rise of emerging markets, cultural intelligence is becoming increasingly strategic as companies expand their operations to new horizons. Since the 2nd…

Culture and Language – The Narrow-mindedness of the Ontario Government

Context In Ontario, a Canadian province bordering Quebec, known for its French-speaking majority, unilingual Anglophone Premier Ford raises the ire of French Canadians by imposing his narrow vision with cuts to francophone university programs. And to hell with the other official Canadian language! Thus alienating a large Francophone minority that since the imposition of the…

Cultural intelligence, diplomacy and business

It is probably safe to assume that few people know more about cultural adaptation than diplomats and foreign ministers. It came to me as I was reading Madam Secretary: A Memoir, the brilliant autobiographical book by Madeleine Albright, the 1st woman named Secretary of State in the US government. Appointed by President Clinton, she previously…

Trudeau Goes to India – Adapting to local dresscode

La famille Trudeau s'adapte à la culture indienne

A plethora of news feeds and social media commented on the Canadian Prime Minister’s clothes during his recent visit to India.  Faux pas? A distant echo of the Emperor’s New Clothes? Or a colourful cultural tribute that tickled media keyboards? Through the cultural intelligence lens, one may see a strong will to adapt to local culture….