Hrishabh, let’s start with looking back a bit. What events have you been involved with for Youth Time in the past how was that? And what do you expect for the Summer School in Beijing 2017?
I was previously involved with in my capacity as Vice President of Anglo-American University in Prague, which partnered YT for the Rhodes Youth Forum, the New Paradigm of Education Conference in Paris, and a previous version of the YT Summer School in Sienna, Italy.
In Beijing, I expect another well-executed conference, with some great speakers, and eager participants and a chance to hear about the all the great things that today’s youth is up to.
For the people who don’t know you yet, could you please offer a short introduction of yourself?
I am a Prague-based entrepreneur who spent a number of years in academia/education before making the switch to working for myself, and the common good. I am a trained political scientist, but I realised that I while I was happy teaching and sharing knowledge with young people, I felt I could do it better outside the classroom, than in the classroom. I am currently focussed on a number of cultural, hospitality and travel projects and working with a few different start-ups.
Of late, I have been involved with a few different youth initiatives like Youth Time and DEMCOP in Europe, where I’ve tried to bring in my own perspectives and experience, through trainings and workshops in various fields.
What drives you to be part of the Youth International Summer School Beijing 2017?
It’s the same thing that’s driven me to attend YT events before – I look forward to the opportunity to interact with a host of bright young minds who are interested in working together to address some of the pressing challenges that face us today, to share some of my perspectives, and to learn from them.
What is ‘Communicating Across Cultural Diversity Workshop’ going to be about?
We live in a global world. Innovators, entrepreneurs and founders are increasingly faced with the challenge of communicating across cultures, and developing the skillsets and abilities they need for this. This workshop, will provide an introduction to intercultural communication, and put participants on the path to communicating across cultural diversity, efficiently.
In a more exact sense it will help participants, identify the roles their individual cultures and backgrounds shape the way they think and they interact with other people, which in turn helps them to be sensitive to the cultural needs of others, as well as allowing them to adapt to the situation at hand.
Ninety minutes is not a lot of time, but it is enough to get an idea, understand the concept and it will be all done interactively, through roleplaying and case studies.
Why is this topic an urgent matter according to you?
Because, while the evolution of technology means that every day the world we live in grows smaller, our audiences grow larger and more diverse, and communicating to this diversity is then the key to success.
For example, pretty much any start-up or social entrepreneurship project today, brings together people from so many varied backgrounds, each with their own ideas, concepts and even prejudices. To succeed a project and its participants need to be able to overcome this at the very beginning, rather than later on, when it’s too late. I mean YT itself is a great example of an organisation that has had its own diversity and cross-cultural training through the many events it has organised, and facilitated the success of its Ambassadors and regular participants in this sense.
What should Summer School participants do to prepare best before attending your workshop?
Not much – just come in with an open mind and realise that everyone has his or her own prejudices … that can and should be overcome.
How can Summer School attendees use the knowledge best in their future?
It’s more like this is part of a life-long learning process, communicating and interacting with all kinds of people, ideas and mind-sets.