Keynote Speakers


Sivasailam Thiagarajan (“Thiagi”)
Thiagi labels himself as a global nomad and describes himself as an oxymoron. He has lived for long periods of time in three different countries and cultures: India, USA, and Liberia. His life in three continents and in his training activities in 25 countries qualifies him to be a global nomad. His current area of interest is identifying and reconciling opposing cultural values. That’s what makes him an oxymoron.
Stories. Thiagi spent childhood in the world of stories, reading Enid Blyton and English boys’ adventure yarns. This made him the oxymoron: He could not figure out whether he was Ganga Din or Colonel Creighton of the British Army.
Third-culture children. Thiagi is particularly interested in the contributions and challenges of third culture children and believes that miscegenation is the best path to intercultural understanding. He currently conducts a longitudinal study of third culture children since his grandson happens to be one of them.
Europe. Thiagi has worked regularly in Switzerland and France and intermittently in other European countries. He brings the dual perspectives of an ex-colonial Asian and a current bleeding-heart liberal from the USA.
Digital tones. As a technology geek, Thiagi never leaves home without his iPhone, iPad, and Macbook Air. He works with a virtual team around the world. His digital newsletter boasts a subscriber list of 20000 readers. Thousands of followers interact with him 24/7 on social media platforms, especially Twitter. He is a pioneer in microstories of fewer than 140 characters.
Perspective. Thiagi has worked with several multinational corporations (example: KLA-Tencor) and GPOs (example: UN Department of Peace Keeping Operations). The basic mindset that informs his current work is human universals. Alas, he is in a blissful state of denial and minimization.


Marta Williams
A native of Washington, D.C., Marta moved to Spain after finishing university studies in the States. She founded The Washington Quality Group in 1992 with partners John Byrne and Carlos E. Marin, in order to help Spanish executives develop their leadership skills. She also founded The Institute of Coaching in 2001.
As a journalist, Marta represented ABC News and U.S. News & World Report as their Spanish correspondent for many years. She was a member of the founding editorial team of EL PAÍS, Spain’s most important newspaper, before she began her career as a consultant and coach.
In 2001 she was given Honourable Mention by the Spanish Federation of Women Entrepreneurs as “Business Woman of the Year.” She is also a collaborator of the Peter Drucker Foundation, Leader to Leader.
She has taken part in workshops, seminars and courses on leadership, feedback, coaching and executive development in the US and Europe. She participates regularly in television and radio programs on human resources and leadership and she teaches classes at three of Spain’s MBA programs.



Portrait Rathje HR

Prof. Dr. Stefanie Rathje
Stefanie Rathje works as a professor, consultant and coach, supporting students, managers and organizations to get along better in a globalized world.
She received a B.A./M.A. in Social and Business Communication and a Ph.D. in Intercultural Communication from the Berlin University of Arts. She holds an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business where she majored in Econometrics, Strategy and Marketing.
Prior to her academic work, Stefanie was a management consultant for A.T.Kearney. Leading numerous international client teams from the telecommunications and high tech industry, she gained business experience in more than 12 European countries. In 2004, Stefanie accepted an assistant professorship for Intercultural Business Communication at the University of Jena Friedrich Schiller. In 2008, she became a full professor for Business Communication at the Berlin University of Applied Sciences. She teaches classes in intercultural management, leadership and change management. Stefanie also holds a coaching certificate from the New York University and has been working as an executive coach since 2005.
Stefanie‘s research topics in the field of intercultural communication include contemporary concepts of culture, the development of organizational culture and international business collaboration. She is known for her critique of the essentialism of traditional culture theory and proposes an alternative view of culture that focusses on the interdependency of cultural and collective phenomena. Her works on intercultural competence have had a significant impact on the German-speaking research community. She is the author of the book “Intercultural Corporate Culture“, the management toolbox “Cooperation Competence“ and the leadership instrument “The Seven Styles of Influcencing“.
Stefanie lives with her husband in Berlin. In her freetime she loves to sing renaissance madrigals with her friends and play rock songs on her ukulele.



Foto Carlos Gimenez

Carlos Giménez Romero
Catedrático de Antropología Social de la Universidad Autónoma de Madrid (UAM) y Director del Instituto Universitario de Investigación sobre Migraciones, Etnicidad y Desarrollo Social (IMEDES). Director científico del Proyecto de Intervención Comunitaria Intercultural (ICI) de Fundación Obra Social la Caixa. Combina teoría y aplicación en temáticas de interculturalidad, antropología del conflicto, convivencia y ciudadanía local, mediación y codesarrollo. Codirector de la Acción Formativa de Postgrado en Migración y Relaciones Intercomunitarias (UAM/Dirección General de Integración de los Inmigrantes, 1999- 2012) y de la Acción Formativa sobre Intervención Social y Gestión de la Diversidad en el Ámbito Local (UAM/Fundación Obra Social la Caixa). Ha impulsado y dirigido desde la universidad iniciativas de relevancia más allá de la academia, como la Escuela de Mediadores Sociales para la Inmigración de la Comunidad de Madrid; Servicio de Mediación Social Intercultural y Observatorio de las Migraciones y la Convivencia Intercultural, ambos del Ayuntamiento de Madrid); el Proyecto de Mediación con Jóvenes de Origen extranjero y su entorno familiar, integrado dentro de la Red de Mediación Intercultural de Fundación Obra Social la Caixa; es asesor de la Red de Mediación en Portugal con el Alto Comisionado para la Inmigración y el Diálogo Intercultural (actualmente Alto Comisionado para las Migraciones) del Gobierno Portugués (ACIDI); representante en la Conferencia de Universidades para el Estudio de la Mediación y los Conflictos (CUEMYC). Como antropólogo aplicado, ha asesorado la formulación y evaluación de planes relacionados con las migraciones y la diversidad. Coordinó la elaboración del II Plan Estratégico de Ciudadanía e Integración (2011-2014) para la Dirección General de Integración de los Inmigrantes del Ministerio de Trabajo e Inmigración. Ha sido presidente del Instituto Madrileño de Antropología de 2011 a 2013. Miembro del Consejo Asesor de la Fundación Esplai y del Consejo Asesor del Observatorio del Tercer Sector de España. Entre sus libros como autor, coautor o editor se encuentran Inmigrantes Extranjeros en la Comunidad de Madrid, Guía de conceptos sobre migraciones, racismo e interculturalidad, Antropología más allá de la academia, Guía de Interculturalidad, Qué es la inmigración, El Codesarrollo en España; protagonistas, discursos y experiencias y La Construcción del Codesarrollo.


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