International House Berkeley

I-House Times 2018 Spring/Summer

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I n this era of increasing polarity of beliefs, customs, and traditions, it is all too easy to find people with whom one disagrees about key topics. One's natural reaction to such disagreements often leads to interpersonal conflict. For instance, one's internal voice may say, "ere is just no way that I can get along with that person." Or, even worse, "I am going to avoid interacting with that person because there is no possibility of building a bridge between our divergent points of view." ese natural inclinations or tendencies of dealing with others who are different need to be confronted and surmounted if we are going to have a global society where people learn to get along better than they often do now. Failure to find common ground can lead to an ever-growing chasm between those who see the world so differently and eventually lead to interpersonal anguish, strife, and animosity. Current residents and alumni of I-House Berkeley know that there is indeed a better way of dealing with those with whom one has considerable differences. is doesn't necessarily come easy, but it is something that one can learn over time. is is an approach based on trainings embraced and taught by our Robertson Center for Intercultural Leadership. is training involves identifying how we deal with such conflicts, so that we can overcome them by learning to display a sense of appreciation and understanding of others' values, even if we don't agree with them or see them as counterproductive. For social enterprises such as International House, the challenge and resulting need is that we must find a spirit of community, even in the face of such different ways of seeing the world. Living together in relatively close proximity actually helps move this along because one simply can't avoid a number of conflicts because they are literally in one's face every day. e reality is that when such differences are dealt with successfully, then all community members share in the common satisfaction of knowing that what was once considered to be a substantial difference is something that can be overcome. In recent years, we have seen this tendency playing out on the world stage frequently. Real progress in overcoming such differences is hard to achieve, however, because many world leaders have not learned how to transcend their own narrowly framed personal perspectives with the broader view of appreciating and valuing the other's value system and the behaviors that stem from it. Our hope is that when more of our own alumni infuse the world's political and social systems with a broader perspective of appreciation and understanding for successfully bridging such differences, then there will be a better sense of cooperation and harmony in the world, too. We will continue to do our part to advance this way of approaching difference here at I-House, and we hope that you will do so as well in your own spheres of influence. e outcome that we hope to see is a much more widely displayed atmosphere of collegiality in the midst of so much disharmony and polarization. n 2 International House Times Executive Director's Message Finding Collegiality Out of Conflict and Difference Mark Cavagnero is founding principal of the architecture firm, Mark Cavagnero Associates in San Francisco, known for its work with civic and educational organizations nationally and internationally. He received his M.A. in architecture at UC Berkeley. Charles Guo (IH 2013-14) serves as a strategy consultant at Ernst & Young Parthenon with the corporate development team. Charles received his M.B.A. from the Haas School of Business focusing on emerging technologies and innovations. While living at I-House, he served on the Resident Council. Jenna Hahn specializes in social impact, program management, and strategy design as the Global Social Performance Advisor, Corporate Responsibility at Chevron Corp. Jenna received a Masters of Development Practice degree from UC Berkeley. Bukola Mabadeje is an attorney with Buchalter in San Francisco. Bukola specializes in commercial, technology, life sciences, and real estate lending. She is a former resident of the International Student House in Washington, D.C. We are pleased that Joan Kask and Robert Wong are returning to the Board of Directors after their mandatory one-year hiatus periods. Both longtime supporters of Cal and I-House, we look forward to continue working with them. Diane Dwyer termed off the board effective June 30, 2018 after nine years of dedicated service. Diane served on the Executive and Program Committees and chaired the Technology Committee. International House Board Transitions New to the Board Retiring from the Board Hans C. Giesecke, Executive Director

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