Written by Alexis Dursunyan, Graduate Student of International Communication at St. John’s University.
A round table allows for equal, free flow of conversation and collaboration between individuals. Research shows that circular seating arrangements lead to people feeling a need to belong. ICSB Academy was a series of round tables; inspiring innovation, creativity and best of all friendship. Continue reading “Sustainable Innovative Collaboration”→
On March 28, 2017, the Institute for International Communication and the Division of Mass Communication at St. John’s University hosted an academic symposium on “Consumer Identities & Digital Culture”. The symposium gathered scholars across disciplines to examine notions of identity in consumer culture. Speakers presented a range of research from historical perspectives to industry practices, from policy questions to race, gender and global diversity, across film, television and social media. Continue reading “Scholars Engaging in Academic Discourse at Consumer Identities & Digital Culture Symposium”→
Sustainable business in relation to our physical environment has become the norm. Today, companies commonly make extensive efforts to take environmental and social responsibility for their business activities. However, most companies do not pay the same respect to our digital environment. Internet and telecommunications corporations need to contribute to creating an information ecosystem in which our fundamental human rights, such as privacy and freedom of expression, are respected. The next step toward transparency about what companies are doing and how it affects our lives is to get companies held accountable for our digital environment. A powerful lever to bring this change and to get companies to do the right thing is the Ranking Digital Rights 2017 Corporate Accountability Index.
A developed and progressive country needs both genders to play an active part in economy and politics. No society can be strong if half of the population is left out. Why should one gender be underrepresented? That would be like having two hands, but only working with one.
For some, the Internet is a tool with great potential to bring about social change, mobilization of people and revolutionary movements. Contrasting to this, others argue that political engagement of people on social media cannot be considered activism and real participation after all. Is a new digital democracy evolving or is this idea of revolutionary change through opportunities of mass mobilization on social media just a myth and we have ‘politics as usual’ and the illusion of participation? Dr. King-Wa Fu, Fulbright Scholar and Visiting Associate Professor at the MIT Media Lab, originally teaching and researching at the Journalism and Media Studies Centre of the University of Hong Kong, addressed this timely issue in a guest lecture at St. John’s University. Continue reading “Guest Lecture by Fulbright Scholar: Political Participation and Media Use”→
A concluding learning from all these explorations is that, just as on the personal level, on the diplomatic level it is equally important to learn about the history and language of the other culture when facing negotiators from differing cultures. One should not assume that the other side will always interpret things in the same way that he or she would do. Definitions and perceptions of concepts such as happiness differ in accordance with different cultural backgrounds. Negotiators need to be patient and sensitive towards nonverbal or indirect communication, build warm personal relationships and finally, another important aspect is to always show respect and maintain face of others, in the sense of not offending or surprising the other side (Glaser, 2005). Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 3: Different Thinking Styles Reflecting Prominent Philosophies”→
Since I am sure that failure to understand and appreciate the other culture can lead to conflicts or misunderstandings when people with collectivist and individualistic cultural backgrounds socially interact, I can further assume that these cultural differences also have a significant impact on public diplomacy. Consequently, the next question I asked myself was what role these differences play in the context of diplomatic negotiations between Western and Asian countries. I think, just as on the personal level, it is important to develop mutual understanding for each other’s cultural differences to avoid conflict resulting from not being aware of these differences. Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 2: Indications of Different Cultural Backgrounds for Effectiveness of Diplomatic Negotiations”→
What is happiness? This is a question I asked myself several times during and after our study trip to China. Whether we were visiting ancient temples in Beijing or the world’s fourth largest statue Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya, lighting incense sticks for prayers I always found myself somehow silently wishing for happiness. Besides this, we had the opportunity to visit the End of the Earth, the Edge of the Sky and the Rim of the Sea – a meaningful spot at the Southern coast of Hainan where couples go to have a very happy married life. To me, coming from the West, aspects of happiness are love, self-fulfillment and health, for example. But what does happiness mean to the many others, mainly Chinese, who were internally praying around me? Continue reading “Reflections on Traveling China – Part 1: Effects of Individualistic and Collectivistic Perceptions of Happiness on Social Relationships”→
What is the role of communication technology in the development of global cities and what is the significance of metropolises in global economy? These were overarching questions we – a group of eleven students of the Graduate Program International Communication and Dr. Basilio Monteiro – explored during our two-week study trip to the People’s Republic of China. Right after New Year’s, on January 2, we took off to China’s capital Beijing where we spent our first week exploring ancient as well as modern sites, which were and are integral for the development of the city. For the second week, we travelled to warmer climates, to study at Sanya University on the tropical island of Hainan, the most southern province of China. Continue reading “Cities in Global Economy: How China does it.”→
On 24 October 2016, the Institute for International Communication and Learning Communities hosted Anu Partanen, a Finnish-American journalist and author, giving insights to her book ‘The Nordic Theory of Everything – In Search of a Better Life’. Following, she discussed Nordic models of education, family and healthcare as well as questions from the audience with a panel of experts.
On 22 September 2016, St. John’s students and faculty were honored to welcome Isa Mustafa, Prime Minister of Kosovo, for a speech and discussion on the economic, social and political development of the young Republic. More than 200 students coming from areas of study such as law, communications or economics, were attending this special event arranged by the Institute for International Communication. Continue reading “Students discussing with Prime Minister of Kosovo”→
On 22 September 2016, Ulf Wahlberg gave a live video presentation from Sweden to St. John’s students on the upcoming 5G mobile standard and the consequences it will have for our future work. Wahlberg, Vice President of Industry and Research Relations within Group Function Technology at Ericsson in Stockholm, joined the company in 1984 and has ever since gained outstanding expertise in digital mobile systems development. The event was hosted by the Institute for International Communication and arose great interest of students and faculty as Wahlberg spoke to an audience of approximately 150 people gathered in D’Angelo Center on St. John’s University campus in Queens. Continue reading “Insights from Ericsson into 5G and the Future of Work”→