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Relacja z IV edycji Konferencji "Zarządzanie międzykulturowe"

Summary: Intercultural Management Congress 2010 - by Alex Atkins

The IV Intercultural Management Congress began for us upon landing at the Warsaw airport. First, we traveled from Warsaw to Lodz by van, in the rain. Regardless of the weather, the ride was both serene and relaxing. With little sleep under our belts, my professors and I disembarked from our van, and were ushered to a wonderful dinner of Beef Goulash. I fell asleep quite quickly on a comfortably full stomach. 

I was up at the crack of dawn on November 19th, to prepare for the day’s festivities. After a cordial breakfast I rushed upstairs to grab my laptop before leaving for the Polish Branch Campus of Clark University. Escorted by one of the event organizers, Wiktor Kolysko, I arrived on the campus with enough time to look around before finding the lecture hall. The campus I observed was quite familiar to me. Like the grounds of Clark University in Worcester, students had created artwork that spanned many of the walls. Inside the first building I stepped into was an auditorium and library, again resembling those at home.

Finding a seat near the front of the lecture theater, I prepared my laptop for the Congress. The auditorium was soon greeted by a panel of speakers and the conference began. This year’s Congress was the first one held solely in English. As a native English speaker, I was quite excited to learn that I would understand nearly everything discussed. I greatly admired, and was impressed by, the presentors who did not speak English as a first language.

I took a copious amount of notes in hopes of documenting as much of the Congress as possible. I also spent time trying to define the various approaches speakers took in analyzing intercultural management. I paid especially close attention to the presentations regarding public administration in multinational regions. The format for speakers at the Congress was not what I had expected. The Congress focused primarily on each speaker in turn, as opposed to a more interactive format. In turn, each presentation was followed by a session of questions and answers, allowing the audience to consider more than one point of view per presentation. Because we were in attendance at an international Congress, I felt that the feedback voiced by the audience was essential in determining the significance of the research.

Following several presentations and a brief lunch, the Congress reconvened in the early afternoon. The eight hours of presentations, questions, and answers literally flew. The presentations were compelling and stimulating. Wrapping up my notes on the day, my colleagues and I were returned to the hotel in preparation for dinner. For the remainder of the evening we were wined and dined in the most hospitable of Polish company.

We traveled to the historical capital of Poland, Cracow, on November 20. Although I enjoyed a long nap on our travel, I was awakened on the outskirts of the city. Driving through industrial areas that reminded me of Lodz, we ventured deep into the heart of the city. The metropolis was truly breathtaking. A melting pot of culture and architecture, I found Cracow to be Prague’s cuter cousin. In between the food, tour, and unrivaled hospitality, my colleagues and I attended the second day of the Congress, held at the historical Jagiellonian University. The audience was smaller for this part of the Congress, which I found to be most enjoyable. With smaller numbers, the presentations became far more interactive. Even with the time crunch we found ourselves in, the feedback from professors, deans, and students was quite significant.

By the end of the second day I was fascinated with the process that had taken place over the previous forty-eight hours. As a student, I am familiar with classroom instruction, and found the event of peer instruction quite compelling. In the future, I feel it would be advantageous for a Worcester Clark student to present at the Congress. This could benefit the conference in two ways. Polish attendees would experience a more American outlook on conference presentation. Furthermore, a Worcester Clark student presentation would help to strengthen the relationship between the two Clark campuses. I look forward to the Congress of 2011, and the research that will be presented.

Alex Atkins