A network of collaborators from around the world, who want to make a difference - to spread cultural awareness, and bring people together.
We contribute using the resources we have: expertise, experience, enthusiasm.
We are a network of over 100 people from around the world. Meet some of us:
Dr. George F. Simons
diverophy® Founder & Editor in Chief
George Simons (né Simonovitz) was born of mixed Central European immigrant families to the US Western Reserve, where difference was at best suspect and at worst punished. Hence cultural identity has been a concern of his from day one, and has continued to motivate him to a lifelong chase for ways to encourage and enable himself and others to peaceably and peacefully cohabit the neighborhood and the planet. diversophy® is one of those ways.
Having visited and worked as a consultant, trainer and coach in over 50 countries and lived in four, he is settled in Mediterranean France. Managing a short handful of languages, he has repeatedly served on various boards of SIETAR (the Society for Intercultural Education, Training and Research) and currently manages its large European LinkedIn group on cultural competence.
His published works include a number of books and countless articles and reviews as well as co-authorship of eight Cultural Detective® tools.
Dr. Lidia Maria Wisniewska
Evaluator, researcher, developer of internationalization and innovation strategies in higher education and research; Manager of diversity and inclusion. Developer of international relations in academic and academic-industry-NGO orientation. Interculturalist, trainer of the trainer in international intercultural dimension and interdisciplinarity. Student center methodology, cultural conversations and intelligent internationalization lover.
Coauthor of many international, interdisciplinary articles in the field of internationalization of higher education and research, where understanding of dependencies between organizational culture, national culture, managerial leadership and its impact on development of intercultural competences among different stakeholders of the process have been presented. Education, Pedagogy, History, Philosophy, Sociology, Dentistry and Managerial as well as Intercultural and Ethnographic Studies are mixed in her analysis.
Annabelle (Bee) Baumann
Annabelle (Bee) Baumann is a certified I.B.E.T. and CELTA trainer, Moderator, M.C., and Speaker. She has worked as a blended learning Business English Communication trainer in Germany since 2005. She teaches IMPROV and comedy and performs Stand-up comedy throughout Germany. She published her first humorous self-help book, “Gurrl, You Ain’t Crazy,” in 2020 and has published a dozen literary short stories and essays. As a courageous Stand-up comedian and Humorist, she explores German society, African American culture, and belonging. A Communication Trainer since 2020, she has designed a system to educate emerging leaders about strategic communication and intercultural balance using humor and IMPROV. Through comedy and IMPROV, she shows clients how to have difficult conversations, negotiate, and understand what others may be communicating using a framework she developed termed H.I.V.E, honest, insightful, valuable engagement. She interacts with a dynamic speaking presence sharing stories of diverse personalities and communication styles from around the world while sharing her unique perspective. Co-Creator of DiversiSMILES and DiversiDARE, host of diversophy® game sessions. Certified diversophy® Ambassador for Humor
Mushtakhusen S.M. is an Assistant Professor at ICFAI Business School, Hyderabad, India, and handles courses in Business Communication and Soft Skills. He has over 19 years of experience in academics as well as industry. His area of interest is Business Communication, Cross-cultural Communication, Intercultural Competence, Global Skills, 21st Century Skills, Employability Skills, Online Learning-Teaching, Educational Technology, Educational Psychology, Wellness, etc.
He gave several research paper presentations at international and national conferences and attended more than 50 conferences/workshops/seminars/webinars. He has delivered more than 40 lectures in Management Development Programs, Faculty Development Programs, Workshops, Seminars, Webinars, and Guest Lectures. He is actively involved in teaching, research, institutional development, community development, and knowledge-sharing programs. He has an active association with renowned professional bodies like the Business Communication Facilitators Association of India, diversophy®, Hyderabad Management Association, Electronic Village Online, ELTAI, and AINET.
Born and raised in Germany, Silke Riegler is a business communications and intercultural trainer based in Munich. An eclectic mix of university students and business clients gives her the possibility to draw on her business experience and training, as well as on her passion for the English language and culture.
Having lived on the East coast of the United States for many years, she has personally experienced various forms of culture shock and immersion into a different cultural orientation system than her own. She can now draw on this experience when working with her students.
Silke thoroughly enjoys what diversophy® has to offer and values its constant support. Playing the game online almost every week since February 2021, she has widened her horizon regarding other cultures than her own. As a facilitator of the game, she especially appreciates the dynamics during the game and the willingness of the participants to share their experience and cultural knowledge.
Vicky helps companies and individuals achieve their goal of communicating effectively and efficiently in English. With a strong business background and excellent interpersonal skills, she designs and delivers bespoke courses in business English and English for specific purposes.
Vicky was one of the first participants that joined diversophy® online sessions in June 2020. Her instant fascination with the project led her to volunteer as a host and facilitator of these ongoing regular game sessions ever since.
She describes herself as a lifelong learner with an insatiable appetite to interact with people from multicultural environments. This hunger initially grew when she worked in the hospitality industry for 12 years and was rediscovered and satisfied as an active member of the diversophy® family. She develops a diversophy® game about language teaching.
For over a quarter of a century, diversophy® has mentored interns in creative and business processes - they have come from over 20 different countries. No matter their age, they have joined us to learn more about intercultural work, as well as to pursue projects in the field that are important to them.
Born and raised in Kazakhstan, I was living in a very ethnically and culturally diverse place. Every year on May 1st, Kazakhstan celebrates People's Unity Day. On Unity Day, I just like any other person, would be going outside and visiting fairs where non-Kazakh residents would share their culture and traditions. This day symbolizes peace and mutual respect that every person in Kazakhstan has for another. Probably, that would be a pivotal factor in my decision to study cultures and apply for a university abroad. That's how I ended up at JAMK University of Applied Sciences and on my academic track, Cross-Cultural Management. Since studying there, I managed to participate in multiple global virtual teams and even spent a whole year in South Korea as a part of my exchange program. Basically, I likes to move a lot.
Besides traveling, I love everything that connects people. I like literature, visual arts, martial arts, music, dance, and I even try to pick up cooking traditional dishes from other countries. Nowadays, I am working on my thesis and I am determined to finish my studies this year of 2022. I am very excited to see what working with diversophy® will bring into my life and curious about projects I will participate in. I am very happy and grateful for the opportunity to grow and assist diversophy® in the incredible work.
Maria has been a PhD researcher at the University of Luxembourg and currently at Tilburg University, The Netherlands investigating attitudes towards multiculturalism and intergroup relations in different countries. Her work in diversophy® involves developing and adapting intercultural training games for professionals working with migrants and refugees.
She has lived and studied in different countries, mostly spent time in Greece, Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, Germany, and Canada. She has received a master’s degree in Social Psychology from Tilburg University and a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, in Greece. She has gained experience working in different settings as a researcher, academic tutor, psychologist and graduate school admissions consultant. She has presented her work in international conferences and has published scientific articles in social and cross-cultural psychology journals. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, reading literature and dancing.
I was born and raised in the south of Austria, where I got to develop a love for nature, different languages and cultures. One year ago, I moved to the capital, Vienna, to study cultural & social anthropology and Romance languages at the University there. Furthermore, I have spent some time abroad in the north of Italy studying and working. My interests also include activism and current political affairs. In my free time I like to do sports in the mountains and do creative activities.
I am very grateful to have the opportunity to work for diversophy®, a company that shares my values.
I was born and raised in Ecuador, since young my interest for cultures and different languages was present because of the diversity that exists in my own country. I joined the ONU club of my high school, where we developed simulations of the assembly of this organism, and allowed me to learn about different realities and ways of thinking around the world.
In 2015 I had the opportunity to travel to USA what helped me to decide to study abroad, and in 2018 I received the acceptance letter of JAMK UAS, and subsequently moved to Finland to pursue a Bachelor’s in Business Administration. Currently I am studying a double degree on ESC Clermont Ferrand on Global Management, and looking forward to see what next adventures life will bring.
María Camila Vergara Salgado
I was born and grew up in the beautiful city of Montería, a town with Caribbean flavor in northern Colombia. My interest and passion for cultures are latent from the moment I was born with a mix of indigenous, Spanish, and African roots. Very proud of my cultural background and naturally being a curious mind, I decided to study International Business at Universidad EAN, to have a wider perspective of global dynamics and international flows and seek opportunities to interact with people from all around the world. In 2020 I came to Jyväskylä, Finland to study at JAMK University of Applied Sciences.
One of my hobbies is mixing flavors of different cuisines and create new ones - this is an amazing way to discover different cultures as well. And here I am, continually learning about this infinite world of cultures and identities.
Growing up in Los Angeles, I grew up speaking some Spanish. Now, I am learning French as a lot of my family comes from Switzerland and I would like to get to know them better.
I was born and grew up in Florence, Italy. Since I was young, I have always been drawn to languages and foreign cultures. To my eyes, languages were codes, and to decode one meant to be able to understand someone who came from far-away places. In time I discovered that communication is not as straightforward as that often times, and that is why I decided to begin my studies in Languages and Intercultural Communication at Edinburgh Napier University.
Having lived in the United Kingdom for three years and met people from around the world during travels and cultural exchanges, I had the opportunity to improve my skills in the foreign languages I attempt to speak, English, French, Spanish, and German. Above all, they challenged me to conceive the world we live in and its diverse realities in ways different to the ones I had got too used to. In hindsight, I can say this process was enriching as it was transformational: I learnt a lot about cultures and interpersonal communication. The benefits for intrapersonal skills were equally enormous.
In my free time, I am studying towards a diploma in Forensic Linguistics, but do not forget to leave screens alone and take a relaxing walk in the green, or maybe pick up a good book and let it carry me, yet again, into other worlds and realities.
I was born in a small village in Switzerland where my family has always lived. French is my mother tongue and I learned English at school and university. I was always interested in multicultural environments as I do sport where all cultures are mixed and yet we speak the same language.
I am currently in my 3rd year in Bachelor of Science HES-SO in Economy and Services program. I do my Bachelor thesis concerning the Swiss market development for diversophy®.
I am Thai and Italian, but I was born and raised in Switzerland. I have always been fascinated by languages and cultures thanks to my cultural background. I learned French (my native language), German, English, and Thai. In 2016, I had the opportunity to go to Japan for to learn Japanese and about Japanese culture. It was one of the best moments in my life, I could connect with many people with different backgrounds.
In my 3rd year in Bachelor of Science HES-SO in Media Engineering, I will do my Bachelor's Thesis concerning the UX/UI design of diversophy® game in digital form. Thanks to this experience, I decided that I would like to work in a multicultural environment and I would like to understand people's behavior in a business context.
Laura Maj Fink
I was born and raised in Slovenia where I pursued a degree in Graphic Design and Photography. Upon attaining the degree I moved to the Netherlands, Groningen, where I am pursuing a degree in International Communication. As a part of my curriculum I was interning at diversophy® focusing on intercultural facilitation, consulting, visual design and creative writing, gaining a deeper comprehension of the diverse conscious and unconscious ways people operate in, growing both professionally and personally.
I believe that understanding how our outer environment influences our inner selves greatly contributes to the way we live. This is essential for understanding ourselves, and others, in order to reach a consensus through effective communication. I am most passionate about making people be compassionate towards themselves, and one another.
I was born and raised in Germany, lived in Australia and Netherlands. I am studying ‘International Communication’ in Groningen a little town in the north of the Netherlands. As part of my curriculum and to improve my intercultural competencies, I went to Jyväskylä, Finland for one semester. At JAMK university in Finland I focused on Leadership, Cross-cultural Management and Intercultural Communication. I improved a lot personally by being surrounded by different cultures.
Another part of my curriculum is an internship abroad. In Finland I met George Simons who taught the class about facilitation practices and intercultural communication. George Simons gave me the opportunity to start my internship at diversophy®.
I was born and raised in a Muslim home in a predominantly Islamic society and culture in Nigeria. I moved to the francophone Republic of Benin as a young adult, where I acquired my BSc in mass communication and journalism. I moved to Finland to earn a degree in international business at the school of business in JAMK University of Applied Sciences. I have volunteered for several NGOs, working as a teacher for young people and in immigrant centers. I am deeply concerned about social issues and passionate about creating a world where everyone has space and fertile soil on which to thrive and grow to their full potential.
I am a polymath who loves Arts, music, creative writing, poetry, history, theater, photography, philosophy, psychology, creative mindfulness and the natural sciences. I am training to becoming a personal development and life coach, a Mindfulness Meditation teacher and I am writing my first book.
Favorite quote: “To Transform the world, we must first begin with ourselves .” (J Krishnamurti)
I was born and raised in Russia, Saint-Petersburg. At the age of 18, I decided to change my life and move abroad for my bachelor studies. As a destination I chose Central Finland, a city called Jyväskylä. Studying in English, meeting people from all over the world, and living on my own, changed me completely as a person.
After my first year of studying in JAMK University, I found an internship related to event management. I was in charge of establishing partnerships with different companies and managing the social media channels. In the two years I spent in Jyväskylä, this city has become my second home. For my third year, I had a chance to go further abroad for student exchange, Spain. I adapted to the new culture easily and I enjoyed my stay very much. During my exchange year I decided to expand my working experience with diversophy®, when I had an amazing chance to test my business skills and gain more knowledge about international communication processes.
Marina Marta Ivanova
I was born in Moscow, Russia. After graduation from the Lyceum of the High School of Economics in Moscow, I entered JAMK University of Applied sciences in Jyväskylä, Finland. There, I studied International Business and actively participated in the New Horizons project development and facilitations. I wrote my Thesis contributing to the development of the Youth game. Later, I was interviewed by George Simons for summer Internship for diversophy®. During the internship, I worked on database management, cards’ development, and digital marketing.
I was born and grew up in Finland. I am studying International Business at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä, focusing on Cross-Cultural Management and Economics of Competitiveness. I lived in Switzerland, Denmark, and traveled around Europe.
I was first acquainted with diversophy® in my first year of Intercultural Communication studies, when we played version of the diversophy® New Horizons. I found the game extremely well-executed and the lectures presented by George Simons inspired me even more. Last autumn part of our course in Cross-Cultural Management involved facilitating New Horizons with a variety of companies and organizations. This let me a number of new insights for developing diversophy®.