YES WE CAN was an inspirational slogan in 2008 when the country most needed it. Today many people have been inspired to meet the challenge of working across differences, to collaborate and to work collectively. When cultural aspiration shifts towards more openness people can get stumped with how to meet the new needs, of others and of their own. To meet the challenge people need sophisticated tools and skills to build their capacity for self-knowledge and bias awareness, to communicate with transparency, to empathize with others, to recognize the power of reciprocity and negotiation, and to transform impasse to generative relations. Many have the vision but few know how.
I see this need as a mediator and trainer daily, working with people from all professions and disciplines – talented and engaged people with a vision for social change, but with few skills of how to understand individual capacity, how to collaborate effectively across cultural and personal differences, how to be flexible and creative with uncertainty, and how to work with consensus and horizontality.Foreign Exchanges is committed to offering our toolbox of engagement skills to help people move beyond just getting along. When HOW WE CAN supports YES WE CAN change can happen.