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FIGT (Families In Global Transition) Conference March 2014

FIGT is offering an Early Bird Discount for their superb annual conference with inspiring guest speakers at Marriott Tysons Corner, just outside of Washington DC, March 21-23, 2014. Get in quick as their Early Bird offer ends February 15! Check out details:

What is FIGT? : “Families in Global Transition leads the worldwide community in empowering families and those who serve them in global transition. FIGT is the premier advocate and educational resource for families, organizations and service providers.”

What is the theme of this year’s conference?FIGT 2014 is rallying around a central question: How do today’s global families “do family” in real life? We have asked twelve cross-sector experts — grouped into four themes — to share their findings, practices, and nagging questions about the changing worlds of global nomads. And we’re asking you to help us redefine how to put cross-cultural family support into practice in the future.

Who will be speaking?: FIGT Connections newsletter sent the following info.

Introducing Our Exciting Lineup of Concurrent Speakers!

Theme #1: SYSTEMS opens the lens wide to look at the big picture. In these sessions, we’ll explore not just how we “do” global family support, but how we think about social structures, diversity, and how we form global identities in the communities we inhabit.

  • Ruth van Reken & Michael Pollock: Founder of FIGT and co-author of the Third Culture Kids “bible,” Ruth van Reken, and international educator Michael Pollock will go right to the heart of thinking through a “flow of care” for all types of global family constellations.
  • Rebecca Grappo & Ryan Haynes: Psychologist and educational consultant Rebecca Grappo and high school counselor Ryan Haynes will unpack global teenagers’ ever-more complex identities — both hidden and visible.
  • Danau Tanu: Danau Tanu, University of Western Australia lecturer and 2014 David C. Pollock Scholar specifically addresses the social hierarchies existing within international schools and how these power dynamics further impact the self- and outside-perception of third culture kids.

Theme #2: FOUNDATIONS attempts to redefine how we conceive and describe unique aspects of global expat family experiences. We’re taking creativity, research and revised definitions as the base ingredients for a recipe for success. You can use these foundations in any sector and in any family — and have an impact in ways you might never expect.

  • Evelyn Simpson & Louise Wiles: The founders of Thriving Abroad, entrepreneur Evelyn Simpson (MBA) and occupational psychologist Louise Wiles, will have a fresh look at the realities of the “trailing spouse” — a role particular to the expat family experience that’s changing constantly.
  • Patricia Stokke: Global-mindedness is the topic of 2013 Pollock Scholar Patricia Stokke‘s freshly minted research, which demonstrates both how adult third culture kids approach leadership and how professional research itself can set the tone for corporate leadership practices.
  • Mary Langford & Kyung Hee Kim: International education guru Mary Langford and creativity researcher Kyung Hee Kim take “thinking on your feet” common to the global lifestyle a step further to show us how specific creativity practices can boost the potential of a third culture upbringing.

Theme #3: CONNECTIONS uses our common personal experiences to bolster real-world connection with others. One of the unique aspects of FIGT is its personal and highly connected environment. These sessions are made for a conference like ours as well as the global communities to which you belong.

  • Justin West & Jennifer Gold: There’s a magic in each ending, as Hermann Hesse once wrote. Beijing International Middle School counselors Justin West and Jennifer Gold will share with us a practice they are perfecting in their field: How to harness the potential of a “good goodbye” and build relationships for life.
  • Jill Kristal & Elizabeth Vennekens: But what about those in our families we have to leave behind? Psychologist Jill Kristal and international trainer Elizabeth Vennekens provide their skilled insights into connecting with and supporting “forgotten relatives” from afar.
  • Elizabeth Liang: In her reprise writing workshop, actor and writer Elizabeth Liang prompts attendees to answer simple questions about personal moments of transition that allow for fresh ways to share one’s global story.

Theme #4: APPLICATIONS takes what we’ve learned in theory and applies it to careers in the “real world.” How you end up using what you learn at FIGT will set the course for families and communities around the globe.

  • Trisha Carter: In the past few years, FIGT has drawn an increasing number of professional coaches working in all sectors. Organizational psychologist Trisha Carter will deliver practical tools derived from neuroscience, cultural intelligence and positive psychology — specifically for global coaches.
  • Jennifer Patterson: A leader in the emerging specialized field of cross-border financial planning, Jennifer Pattersonmerges the traditional field of money management with the needs of 21st-century global families with assets in more than one country.
  • Ellen Mahoney: Founder of Sea Change MentoringEllen Mahoney will use the launch of her global teen mentoring business as a case study for thinking about how to professionalize the cross-cultural field as a whole.
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