WEC23: Bridging divides through cultural intelligence

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WEC23: Bridging divides through cultural intelligence

By Michael Pinchera | Jun 8, 2023

Melissa Acosta, MBA (MPI South Florida Chapter), founder and president of Cultural Spark, provides some insight into her June 15 WEC23 session “Bridging Divides Through Cultural Intelligence and Building Connections.” This session is sponsored by IHG Hotels & Resorts.

Melissa Acosta 600

Are there some recent trends or challenges relating to cultural intelligence that you anticipate discussing during your WEC23 session, "Bridging Divides"?

  • The challenges and opportunities presented by cultural diversity and globalization in conducting business.
  • The importance of adaptability and flexibility in navigating unexpected or changing cultural dynamics.
  • The increasing emphasis on diversity and inclusion in the global business landscape and the need for cultural intelligence to navigate this diversity effectively as it applies to your company goals.
  • The challenges posed by virtual or remote work environments and the importance of adapting cultural intelligence to digital interactions.
  • The increasing recognition of cultural intelligence as a critical skill for success in today’s global marketplace.

Similarly, what about recent trends or challenges with regard to building professional connections?

  • The evolving nature of professional connections in a global and digitally connected world.
  • The challenges and strategies for building relationships with multicultural colleagues, clients and partners.
  • Leveraging technology and virtual platforms to build and maintain professional connections in diverse markets.
  • Addressing specific challenges or trends in building professional connections within culturally diverse and dynamic business landscapes.
  • The role of cultural intelligence in building trust, rapport and effective communication across cultural boundaries.

Can you share some first steps that meeting/event professionals can take to begin overcoming cultural divides in their work?

  • Developing cultural self-awareness and recognizing the influence of culture on business interactions.
  • Actively seeking cross-cultural learning opportunities, such as cultural training programs or immersion experiences.
  • Building relationships with individuals from diverse cultural backgrounds and seeking their perspectives.
  • Adopting a mindset of curiosity, respect and openness to different cultural perspectives and practices.
  • Seeking guidance from cultural intelligence experts or mentors to enhance understanding and bridge cultural divides.

What are some key lessons you hope attendees of your WEC session will take away from it?

  • Increasing awareness of how culture influences business interactions and outcomes to increase profitability.
  • Equipping attendees with practical skills and techniques to develop and apply cultural intelligence effectively in their industry and organizational goals.
  • Understanding the benefits and strategies for working with multicultural colleagues and customers.
  • Providing practical examples and cultural values that can be applied in diverse and ever-changing business landscapes.
  • Inspiring attendees to embrace cultural intelligence as a key driver of success in today’s global business environment.


Michael Pinchera

Michael Pinchera, MPI's managing editor, is an award-winning writer and editor as well as a speaker, technologist and contributor to business, academic and pop culture publications since 1997.