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NATO's Extended Hand Program

Through a partnership with Penn State and NATO’s Allied Command Transformation - Future Solutions branch, the Extended Hands program leverages technology to foster understanding through dialogue across cultures in vastly different parts of the world. Extended Hand pairs cadets and military personnel from NATO nations with civilians in conflict-torn regions to have cross-cultural exchanges.

The program operates on two core principles:

Virtual Reality for Experiencing other Cultures

What is the power of virtual reality to provide you with an emmersive cultural experience?  The tourism industry is experimenting with VR to see if it can be used to expand their reach and entice prospective clients.

Expedia’s take on the technology is somewhat unusual. Although it has used it in films promoting travel deals to Australia, in March it started a fund-raising campaign involving virtual reality for the St. Jude children’s hospital.

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Military Culture and the Transition to Civilian Life: Suicide Risk and Other Considerations

Suicide among active duty military members and veterans has increased in the wake of the two international conflicts, surpassing those of the general population for the first time since Vietnam. Recent research has identified the period of separation from the military as a period of elevated risk, regardless of deployment history.

Professionalism in Peacekeeping: In Multinational Missions, Preparation and Discipline Are Key

Military professionalism has three main characteristics: responsibility, corporate unity and expertise, writes Col. Emmanuel Kotia, Ph.D, Chief Instructor at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre in Accra, Ghana. These should be at the core of all military functions. Their importance in peacekeeping dates back to 1948 when the military played a central role in the United Nations Truce Supervision Organization in the Middle East, the first modern peacekeeping mission. Today, the U.N. leads 16 peacekeeping operations worldwide.

The Cross ­Cultural Assessment Tool

The Cross-Cultural Assessment Tool was developed in 2010 by ARI and 361 Interactive with the support of funding through the Small Business Innovation Research effort. The tool is a standalone battery of questions that is administered on a computer and assesses an individual Soldier’s cross-­‐cultural competence. The questions generate mission-­‐relevant competence ratings, descriptions of individual strengths and weaknesses and how these can impact mission performance, as well as suggestions for improvement.

ACOTA - Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance

The Africa Contingency Operations Training and Assistance (ACOTA) program is funded and managed by the U.S.Department of State. The initiative is designed to improve African militaries’ capabilities by providing selected training and equipment necessary for multinational peace support operations. U.S. Africa Command supports the ACOTA program by providing military mentors, trainers, and advisors at the request of the State Department. ACOTA provides a full range of peacekeeping training and instruction tailored to match a country’s needs and capabilities.

Free Culture Classes on Cousera

Hello Culture Ready Followers! We wanted to update you on some upcoming Coursera courses which touch on culture related issues and fields. If you are seeking to get smart on different parts of the world, Coursera is a great tool to help you achieve your goals on your own schedule. Coursera is an education platform that partners with top universities and organizations worldwide, to offer courses online for anyone to take, and the best part is ... its totally free! Courses can be taken on your phone, tablet, laptop, or desktop computer easily.

Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace Program (LDESP)

The Leader Development and Education for Sustained Peace Program provides a cultural, regional and socio-political framework that sets the stage for leaders to understand, visualize, describe and assess the operational variables in regions/countries of interest.  Audience is the leadership of O6 and higher commands supporting Regionally Aligned Brigades/Regionally Aligned Forces, Korea Forces, and NATO allies supporting SFA and ISAF missions in Afghanistan.

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