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  • Gordon Dumoulin

Sorting old books... a changing globalization


Came across this guide last weekend when I was busy sorting old books from boxes that had been sealed for over 10 years as we are moving later this month.



“Onderhandelen in Zuidoost-Azie" (“Negotiating in South-East Asia) written by Paul R. Voogt, published in 1987 by het Koninklijk Instituut voor de Tropen (Royal Institute for the Tropics).


1987 was one year after my first experience in Asia as a teenager, traveling with my family in Indonesia from the city of Medan (Sumatra’s capital) overland through the islands of Sumatra and Java to Bali in the typical Volkswagen van from that time (light green and I believe without air conditioning if remembering well 😊).


This first experience in #Asia has greatly influenced my roadmap since. A passion learning different cultures, societies and their histories and present and working in cross-cultural environments in different societies. And certainly humble and grateful for the privilege.


During the past 35 years since my first touch with Asia, the world has changed in many ways, in technologies of communication, infrastructure and trade bringing people, goods and services so much easier together from any place.



Though in recent times we also see other consequences of this time of #globalization. Globalization seems not an option anymore but more a necessity. Regions with significantly different cultures, histories and forms of governance have gradually grown interdependent with each other in various ways such as trade, technology and supply and certainly sharing common challenges.


A change from distinction and comparison with choices to engage, dismiss or counter between different #cultures, societies and forms of government towards a fast growing necessity of inclusive multilateral collaboration for facing integral global challenges such as environment or inequality.


A change however inciting increasing anxiety with some, either for losing or adjusting identity, for their way or standard of living, or for their ideologies with fear drivers of polarization and confrontation as consequences. For others though a stimulus or encouragement towards a new multilateral world in diversity, inclusiveness and responsibility, building bridges and roads and tackling common challenges with multilateral initiatives.


Cross-cultural communication with mutual respect for diversity is now more important than ever, guided by inclusive multilateral manifests, new or already laid out such as the original UN Charter. Being able to attain viable global consensuses to tackle common challenges and paving roads towards a next chapter in human civilization.


Our immediate responsibilities are knocking on doors by next generations.


This guide was a gift when I departed to #Indonesia for my master thesis assignment (for Cargill Inc.) in Java and Sulawesi in 1995, one year after my internship in #HongKong (as well first time visits to mainland #China #Beijing and #Shanghai).


#crosscultural #peace #multilateralism #inclusiveness

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