This two-day seminar focuses on a scientific understanding of cultural difference as it is experienced in our everyday lives, and will help you to gain a deeper understanding of cultural diversity, bias and empathy. You’ll learn how research into cognitive processes is taking us beyond old cultural difference paradigms. You will learn to look beyond the surface level of behavior, and see how culture shapes cognition, mind and self. You will be challenged to reflect on the deep cultural patterns you find within yourself. We will learn that bias is a natural, though not desirable trait of human perception and cognition. Humans have the capacity for great kindness and empathy, but can also be intolerant, jump to conclusions, misinterpret situations, discriminate against those perceived as different, and develop prejudices. Understanding bias is seen as a first step in understanding the universal qualities that all humans share, as well as the cultural patterns that shape our view of the world.

Is this seminar for you?

The seminar is meant for anyone who wants to deepen their understanding of cultural difference through a new body of research. You either work as a trainer, educator, coach, mediator, you are an HR consultant dealing with cross-cultural challenges at the workplace, and/or you have experienced the challenges of global living yourself.

You will …

  • Become familiar with the new paradigms of understanding cultural difference
  • See how culture affects identity, cognition and emotion
  • Become aware how cultural difference can be measured
  • Learn about biases and how bias affects empathy and intercultural learning

Seminar content and key questions

  • What are the new paradigms of cultural difference research?
  • How can we measure cultural difference from a brain-mind perspective?
  • How does culture affect identity, cognition, and emotion?
  • What is bias, how many biases are there and what bias affect intercultural learning?
  • How can we become more empathetic and avoid negative bias in intercultural contexts?


Day 1: Cultural Difference

  • New paradigm to cultural difference
  • Cultural difference in identity, cognition and emotion (Kitayama)
  • Understanding and measuring cultural difference
  • Dilemma theory

Day 2: Bias and Empathy

  • Bias and the bias codex
  • Bias is built-in in the intuitive mind
  • Bias and intercultural learning
  • Developing Empathy for intercultural understanding


  • Joseph Shaules (PhD). Professor, Author and Director of the Japan Intercultural Institute
  • Yvonne van der Pol. Sociologist, Author, Intercultural Trainer and Board member of SIETAR Europe

Deep Culture Learning Certificate

Participants who satisfactorily complete the seminar, and demonstrate an understanding of course content (through a written evaluation), will receive the Deep Culture Learning certificate.

Dates and location

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic we haven’t planned any dates yet. Add yourself to our mailing list if you like to be updated.