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First newsletter, founding the company, goals and strategies (September 2000)

In the newsletters I write about the activities of CICB in the past months as well as about my experiences, encounters and thoughts.

The German newsletter contains also a second part where specific topics of intercultural competence are described. These parts contain extracts of my ‚Handbook Intercultural Competence’ which will be published in 2001 in German; during 2004 it will also be published in English (pre-orders and inquiries here); after which the english newsletter will include this second part, too.

The foundation of the ‚CICB Center of Intercultural Competence’ was quite an extended, continuous process. For many years, I have been interested in the different ways of thinking and communication; an interest which grew during my former work and activities in international enterprises, during stays abroad and trips in over 65 countries so far.

I was fascinated not only by the different cultures, their history and their ways of expressing, but also about the many different forms and meanings of the languages. My mother tongue being German, speaking fluently French and English, pretty well Spanish and also a bit Italian and Russian, I found out that although it is possible to translate words and sentences, their meaning or connotation can be very different. The versatility of the world – mankind, countries, languages, cultures – is fascinating and at the same time challenging, but certainly an enrichment.

Although my professional activities, last as deputy general manager at the Swissair Training Center in Zurich, were very interesting, I was looking for a new challenge – on the one hand to realize my further interests and hobbies, on the other hand to approach my goal of direct responsibility and self-realization.

By the end of 1998 I wrote for my studies of economics my diploma-thesis ‚Measuring Intercultural Competence. An abstract of methods in business and science’. I received very positive feedback on this work, both about the topic of intercultural competence and the so far unique comparison between the different ratings and assessment methods.

In October 1999 I created my private homepage ( to gain more experience within the internet and its publication methods, but also to offer friends and acquaintances a better view into my interests and activities.

Because of my growing interest in human relations, in the countries and cultures of this world, and also because of the positive echo on my diploma-work, I decided in early 2000 to take the risk of founding the CICB: I extended and actualized my diploma-work and wrote a marketing- and businessplan for the new company. Many organisational and administrative activities became necessary: legal, economic and tax advise, choosing a graphic artist (to develop a corporate design, the logo, papers, cards, power-point-presentations a.s.o.), a web-designer (to design the internet-pages), taking decision about the legal form of the company, making many contacts with companies and universities working in intercultural competence and related topics, and preparing visits and talks with many people to learn about their opinions and experiences.

I received many ideas and constructive feedback from friends, family members, colleagues, acquaintances, business-partners and co-workers concerning my ideas, drafts and presentations as well as by critically reading the pre-print of the ‚Handbook Intercultural Competence’ and helping with or reviewing concerned translations – many thanks to all of them!

In almost all parts the selection of matching partners was quite challenging, as both high professional and personal abilities as well as the „common interpersonal chemistry” are very important.

In my strategy and timetable I was mainly able to keep the sequence, but I had to correct the timeframe several times, as many elements were either foreign-influenced or just more time-consuming – or even both. But every contact, every part of my work for CICB was even more interesting and manifold as I thought!

The going-public took place in three steps: the foundation of the company (registration in the commercial register) on 30 May 2000, then the online-availability of the CICB-homepage on 21 September 2000, and several articles and media-work after finishing all preparative work and the publication of the ‚Handbook Intercultural Competence’ in late 2000.

At the moment I am performing corrections and reviews of the ‚Handbook Intercultural Competence’, of the presentations and courses and prepare talks, visits and other media-related topics, about which I will write in the next newsletter in two months.