The story of diversophy®
2020 - today
Due to the lockdowns in 2020, the availability of games for virtual teaching and training an urgent issue. While app development continues, we quickly responded to our users’ needs with updated versions of each game in downloadable PowerPoint files that are available on this site. Our workshops went virtual as well. We offered a highly successful four-day online Gamification Week and have continued to offer regular online workshops, presentations and game sessions that familiarize players with the games and discuss their use in their work. We continue to collaborate with universities in Finland, France, Germany, and others, to develop games that provide critically important social insights that unite players in their understanding and abilities to act together for the common good. We have also lanced diversophy® Ambasador project to involve everyone willing to collaborate with us and spread cultural awareness in the world.to add any relevant information that you want to share with your visitors.
We continue development of new games and providing workshops, presentations and lectures. In 2012 we provided Project Management Institute presentation in Paris on the theory and practice behind Global Teamwork. In 2013 the participants of the International Stream of Baltartek were addressed on the topic of intercultural communication via stories, diversophy®, Cultural Detective® and other interactive experiences. In 2014 at the Turkmenistan Institute of International Relations, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Turkmenistan, launched a five-day Negotiation Skills seminar introducing leading international practices for strategic negotiations in which Global Negotiation diversophy® provided interactive learning. In 2015 begins an partnership with JAMK United for Refugees, an ongoing educational project at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyvaskyla, Finland, and together we created a game in English, Finninsh and Arabic, helping to facilitate acculturation between local hosts and migrants. The project took place first in a cross-cultural management course which consisted of students from over 15 countries, including local migrants. These are just few examples of our activities. There were designed and delivered many other workshops at several congresses and conferences for SIETAR and other organizations.
In 2000, we entered a partnership with m2studio, Munich, to develop a multilingual online version of diversophy® game, which was customizable for use on the Internet or could be installed on organizational networks. First customers included France Telecom, American Express, and Virtueller Campus Bayern. In 2007 a major online installation of customized diversophy® was made for Deutsche Post managers worldwide. In 2008 we were one of the sponsors of Global Congress of SIETAR and creaters of a SIETAR Intercultural Learning Center on the popular virtual world, Second Life, in which 19 playable samplers of diversophy® were offered to visitors in English and in Spanish. Over 30,000 people have played these online games. The outstanding success of this venture was followed by a first virtual installation in Second Life for the Doing Business with the USA course offered in the International Business Management program of Espeme/EDHEC in Nice, France. In 2009 we again sponsored the SIETAR Intercultural Learning Center in support of SIETAR India's third Annual Congress in Pune. With that it began development on a 3Ddiversophy® Campus offering a four-level intercultural competence curriculum leading to a certificate of accomplishment. Learners could play one or more diversophy® games and subscribe to the full four-stage intercultural certification curriculum and receive professional guidance in their studies. This campus was open in the course of 2010 to academic, private and public professionals and organizations wishing to use a diversophy® curriculum for individual courses and organizational e-learning. The 3Ddiversophy® Campus is not active at the present.
In 1995 the need to do trainings with large numbers of people led us to develop the Conference Version of diversophy®, designed for play in large groups without tables. Cards were printed in disposable, recyclable gummed paper pads. This product was chosen in 1995 by Training Magazine for its "Training Product of the Year Award". In 1998 user demands led us to combine the best features of the original board game and the conference game into the current paper training tool which can be played with with cards and dice, or the cards only. This met the need for a game that could be played by various sized groups and soon become the standard training and classroom format of the game. There are now over 100 versions of diversophy® in several languages, with many more versions and translations underway. Teams or individuals from a culture and from outside the same culture work to develop games that are both accurate and entertaining, and make sure to add any relevant information that you want to share with your visitors.
In 1992 in collaboration with MULTUS Inc., the game was redesigned and expanded as a tool for domestic diversity training in the USA. A full board game was developed that asked questions about differences and how to handle them. Four to six players rolled dice and moved around a colorful, laminated board, trying to avoid four traps: Ethnocentricity, Stereotypes, Bias, and Assimilation; while facing up to five challenges: knowing about cultures, learning how to behave in the face of differences, reacting to unknown risks, sharing and comparing cultural backgrounds, and absorbing the cultural wisdom of others. The success of the game led almost immediately to the development of new card sets addressing in a more detailed way US domestic diversity issues such as Gender, Disability and Sexual Orientation. Similar diversity training needs in Canada were addressed by a Canadian Domestic Diversity version of the game. The development of North American Free Trade Agreement suggested the creation of the first of the series that now contains over 100 games on doing business with various countries. diversophy® went global in both the content, language versions, and distribution.
diversophy® was first developed by Dr. George F. Simons in 1972 as a tool for training student assistants in university residences. The resident assistants needed skills to handle conflicts and to coach younger students in the challenges and crises they faced in multicultural living situations. It was used in this academic context for a number of years. Then with the Workforce 2000 impetus given to diversity training, the game showed promise as an effective and enjoyable way to raise consciousness of diversity issues and behavior in a multicultural society.