Deep Culture Seminars and Certificate Program

Deep culture workshops are designed for intercultural educators, trainers, those working in international settings, and those who seeks to grow through intercultural experiences. The seminars were developed over a period of five years at the Japan Intercultural Institute, through the work of Joseph Shaules (e.g. Deep Culture, 2007; The Intercultural Mind, 2015). Seminars provides the latest insights into culture, mind and learning. Participants tend to be individuals who have had meaningful intercultural experiences, and who are committed to the deep forms of intercultural learning.

Seminar content  Seminars focus on various aspects of deep culture, the out-of-awareness cultural patterns which influences our thinking, feelings and communication patterns. Our understanding of deep culture emerges from the brain and mind sciences—cognitive neuroscience and cultural psychology. Participants learn about recent research into deep culture and apply this knowledge to their own intercultural experiences. Participants will learn about deep culture’s powerful yet subtle effect on communication, values, relationships, identity, and more. Seminars are particularly suited for who play the role of the “bridge person” in education, training and business contexts.

There are three seminar types: 1) Foundation Seminar (covers the basics) 2) Core Seminars (focuses on specific areas of deep culture), 3) Advanced Seminars (for practitioners, educators and trainers)

I – Foundation SeminarDeep Culture Learning – This seminar provides a foundation for understanding deep culture learning and its importance in cultural insight and intercultural effectiveness. Covers overall themes and key ideas related to deep culture. Participants develop an intuitive “feel” for the role of deep culture in everyday life. Current research into deep culture is introduced. Activities focus on becoming aware of deep culture’s influence in our everyday lives, both at home and abroad.

Core seminars and advanced seminars 

Core seminars focus on key knowledge related to specific areas of deep culture. They are a prerequisite for advanced seminars. Advanced seminars are intended for practitioners who seek to use the deep culture approach in educational, training or other professional settings. 

II-1 Core Seminar: Deep Culture Difference This seminar helps participants gain a deeper understanding of cultural difference and diversity. Activities focus on learning to look beyond the surface of cultural difference and enter more fully into other worldviews. Participants practice gaining an intuitive understanding of contrasting patterns of culture that we discover through intercultural living. An understanding of cognitive processes has provided new avenues of understanding the complexity of cultural patterns, and comparing cultural communities. This workshop focuses on this new body of research, and provides participants with an opportunity to reflect on the deep cultural patterns they find within themselves, and through their intercultural experiences.

II-2 Advanced Seminar: Deep Culture Empathy  Research in cognitive science, evolutionary psychology, genetics and intercultural communication has shed light on the biological bases of the intercultural experience. This seminar focuses on a scientific understanding of deep culture as it is experienced in our everyday lives. Humans have the capacity for great kindness and empathy. They can perceive the thoughts, feelings and intentions of others. But they can also be intolerant, jump to conclusions, misinterpret situations, discriminate against those perceived as different, and develop prejudices. We will see that bias is a natural, though not desirable trait of human perception and cognition. Understanding bias is seen as the first step in reducing its negative impact.

Core Seminar III-1 Deep Culture Adjustment  Adapting to travel or life abroad can lead to positive transformational change, but it can also lead to stress, culture shock and even increased prejudice. This seminar helps participants understand and successfully manage this powerful process. Participants learn to distinguish between surface and deep culture learning. They learn about psychological stresses of intercultural adjustment, including culture surprise, culture stress, and culture shock. They learn that psychological resistance is a natural part of the cultural adjustment process. They learn how to encourage the development of deep culture empathy, the ability to look at the world through a new pair of cultural glasses.

Advanced Seminar III-2 Deep Culture Journey This seminar focuses on developing deep intercultural insight and effectiveness. It focuses on issues of identity and self that arise from intercultural living. It is intended for “bridge people” who adapt deeply to foreign cultural communities, have multicultural backgrounds, or frequently cross cultural boundaries. It focuses on the complexities of navigating multiple cultural worlds. It shows how intercultural experiences can lead to insights regarding culture, but also lead to discoveries within, and profound personal growth—intercultural living as an inner journey. Participants learn practices designed to increase personal and deep culture insight.