In many parts of our world, everyone wears jeans, sends the same emojis 🙂 and spends way too much time staring at smartphones; today, globalization makes it seem that the world is coalescing around a single cultural perspective and that those who don’t share that perspective simply haven’t caught up. Yet a “prost” in Munich is still distinguishable from a “toast” in the City of London. And if those honest celebrations of companionship are still that different among European capitals, imagine how different such rituals are in Dakar or Manaus! As tourists, we can marvel at such cultural distinctions and laugh at the misunderstandings that come from making jokes with people who don’t get them. But it’s a different game when you are dispatched to foreign lands as corporate ambassadors: intercultural training becomes key to interacting successfully with your foreign counterparts. That’s why Amelie Kreiter is called on to prepare businessmen and women for their upcoming assignments. Amelie, a specialist in intercultural business, speaks six (6) languages and gained her insight into spoken and unspoken cultural differences as an employee of the global airline Lufthansa. During her Master’s in Intercultural Studies, she connected her international experience with key theoretical concepts of managing a global workforce, which led her to her calling as intercultural trainer and consultant. Come welcome Amelie to our show and see for yourself how intercultural training is the difference between “contract” or “no contract” in today’s global business world!
In the late 1990s, a sticker provided by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (acronym OSHA) could be read on the backs of cars in the United States. The sticker confronted its reader with propositional logic: “If you don’t know what OSHA means, you’re in trouble.” Today you may hear less about physical workplace safety (and see fewer OSHA stickers) and more about safety of another kind: psychological safety. According to the management consulting behemoth McKinsey, psychological safety is a workplace climate in which “employees feel comfortable asking for help, sharing suggestions informally, or challenging the status quo without fear of negative social consequences.” Are you still thinking about that OSHA sticker and getting in trouble because you’ve never heard of psychological safety? Lucky for us, Dr. Karolin Helbig and Minette Norman just co-authored a practical step-by-step playbook to help you implement psychological safety in your workplace and are coming on our show to do a live workshop with us!
Are cities filthy, dangerous places; the cesspools of immorality, where the rich trample on the dreams of the poor, where the poor steal whatever they can from the rich and animals and nature are wantonly desecrated? Or, are cities the hallowed ground on which the divine promise of humanity slowly reveals itself; where communities based on ties of shared spirit, not of shared blood, work hand-in-hand to guarantee that the life of every citizen is lived to the fullest, to serve as proof that humans were wisely charged with inheriting the earth? Author and economist Niall Kishtainy takes us on a wild ride through the utopian dreams and nightmares of the most influential thinkers to call London home. And keep in mind that “no man is an island”: as Niall reminds us in The Infinite City, his forthcoming powerhouse publication: “today we live in anti-utopian times, but utopian dreaming is essential to a vibrant society that is truly conscious of its own desires; without it we fall back on unexamined utopias, often those dictated by the powerful.” Come welcome Niall to our show and let’s become friends with the greatest citizens in modern history.
Imagine yourself seated at a table in 16th-century Tuscany. You are the guest of one of the most intellectually elite households in all of Italy. No, you are not at Cosimo I. de Medici’s house, but rather, at Vincenzo Galilei’s home. Vincenzo, the father of astronomer Galileo Galilei, is a well-respected musician who just arrived back from Venice, where he learned state-of-the-art music theory from Zarlino. Vincenzo admits to you that Zarlino’s theories about musical consonance and dissonance (i.e. the rules of harmonious music) are convincing and foresees them influencing music even in the 21st century. But Vincenzo then suddenly gets angry and pounds his fist on the table. “I don’t care if Zarlino is the music director of Saint Mark’s Cathedral,” he exclaims, “there is no human passion in his music!” Then he gets eerily silent and looks at you as if to confide a secret. He whispers, “Music should reveal the feeling behind the words.” With that, Vincenzo picks up his lute and starts singing – in first person – the words of Orpheus, who is eternally separated from Eurydice, his beloved wife. His sad music and song breathe life into the words he sings and emotion overcomes you; tears run down your face. Seated at that table, you have just taken part in the birth of opera, the quintessential art form that ushered in a new musical era, we now refer to as ‘baroque.’ Tempesta di Mare is Philadelphia’s premier baroque orchestra for a reason: every note they perform adheres to Vincenzo’s vision of music as rhetorical craft: a conversation that conveys all of human emotion and expression. Come welcome Tempesta di Mare to our show and let’s find out just how they do it (and if you can be sure you won’t be brought to tears in front of your date at one of their concerts)!
Classical music insiders know about an extraordinary organization headquartered in New York City. Chamber Music America is a charitable corporation whose sole mission is to develop, support and strengthen the chamber music field in the United States. CMA CEO Kevin Kwan Loucks and his eight-person team are right offstage supporting chamber musicians all over the nation by providing them tailor-made professional resources and benefits: CMA offers six different grant programs, multi-modal networking opportunities, an annual conference, and the quarterly publication of its flagship Chamber Music Magazine. Are you feeling left out because your chamber music isn’t all that classical? As recently as the turn of the millennium, Chamber Music America redefined chamber music by including jazz and world music genres and, since 2016, has made “diversity, equity and inclusion” a primary focus of its work. Nevertheless, as the organization acknowledges, bold restructuring won’t be easy: CMA was chartered to promote a form of European classical music that is exclusive in nature. Ethnomusicologists surely nod in agreement while pointing out that music divides people as much as it unites them. In fact, didn’t the elite cellist Yo-Yo Ma and pianist Emanuel Ax just perform the “Our Shared Humanity [classical chamber music] Concert” at the world’s most exclusive forum? Come welcome Chamber Music America CEO Kevin Kwan Loucks to our show for an inclusive look at the future of chamber music!