Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cultural Bridge Builders

Ethan Zuckerman is a man to get to know. He has been a fellow at the Berkman Center at Harvard University since January, 2003 and writes about how technology impacts the developing world. He is an original thinker who can clearly deliver an effective presentation and make his work accessible to large numbers of people. His recent brilliant talk talk at the Business Inovation Factory--and embedded below is about the importance of cultural bridge building.

The "TED style" lecture is a highly thought provoking exploration as to how we need to learn about other cultures not through learning them as if we were tourists--and referring to a phrase book or guide but through those who are rooted in one culture but have the ability and the generosity to reach out to those who want to learn the new culture. Zuckerman gives examples from his own visit to Ghana and his need for a cultural roadmap to how Paul Simon's interest in South African music got started. Interesting ideas of how we learn to trust others from very different backgrounds through playing video games with them. This is a video that is both entertaining and educational--and worth a series of conversations about how we might apply the ideas to our global classrooms.

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