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Biljana (not verified) September 05, 2018

Thank you for these very useful insights into Educational Diplomacy! I think you capture one of the key challenges of intercultural communication with your example of what the diplomats and educators learned from each other: "The diplomats reminded the educators that our preconceived understandings of a context might not be the complete reality. The educators reminded the diplomats that listening and learning beget intercultural communication and provide a foundation for diplomacy." It seems anomalous that the diplomats, aware that other realities exist, should not be listening and looking out for them, and just as puzzling that the educators, committed to listening and learning, should not be questioning their preconceptions (or that they should need reminding). It seems to me that these blind spots are at the heart of intercultural misunderstanding: we are so sure of the validity of our own approach that we become "self-regarding." Complacency, confirmation bias, the search for commonality and comfort zones is inherently human and should not be dismissed, but we definitely need to build up our awareness of the self-regarding trap, and your blog has convinced me that Education Diplomacy and GCED are an important step towards this goal.

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