Book Launch with Team on Zoom Meeting

Date : 20 November 2020 at 17:48

Bettina von Stamm wrote :
To : Chris Igwe; Hande Binns ; Maria Goulina ; Meltem Etcheberry ; Triany Navarro
Objet : So wonderful to see you all

Dearest All,

It was so wonderful to see you all, and the book truly is testament to the fact that diversity creates outputs that are so much more valuable than those of any individuals – if and when there us love, respect and appreciation of those diverse minds and hearts :-).

Attached the best image – what a wonderful moment!  May we have an opportunity soon to repeat this in person.
Much love, and wishing you all a fantastic weekend,


Date : 18/11/20 at 22:26

Objet : Our Book – Social Media Marketing
Triana Navarro De Chollet wrote :

Dear Chris,

Many thanks for all this information and your precious work.
And thank you to Meltem for inviting us to be part of this great adventure!!! BRAVO!
Looking forward to seeing you all on Friday.



Date :  18 November 2020 at 12:40

Objet : Our Book – Social Media Marketing

Maria Goulina Rabany wrote :

Dear Chris,

Thank you very much for putting this info! 
And, of course, a HUGE thank you to Meltem  – the source, the idea, the never-give-up (and never-let-it-end :-))) wonderful engine!
Looking forward to seeing you all on Friday!
Huge hugs,


Date : 17 Nov 2020 at 16:11

Objet : Our Book – Social Media Marketing

Hande K. Binns wrote:

Great news :)) Thanks for the info and details Chris.

My heartfelt thanks go to my childhood friend, my sister I should say, Meltem.  I can’t remember how many years she and I had discussed cultural diversity and its impact on our world. One day I received a call from her, and she told me about the book. She said forget about all other ideas we had, let’s go for this one. And so, we did. She put all her heart and energy into this book. She reached out to all of you and brought us together. For that and everything she has done to bring this book into life, I am most grateful. It has been a pleasure to work with you all. 

Thank you for your effort and relentless work even in the hardest times, You are an inspiration. Never give up my friend, never give up!
I love you…

Cheers to all,

Date :  Nov 17, 2020 at 2:07 PM

Objet : Our Book – Social Media Marketing

Chris Igwe wrote:

Dear Ladies,

As we countdown to the Friday launch, we are ready to share the marketing piece we have prepared for social media. In order to give us a framework, I have noted below the approach we recommend for those who need guidance but realise that each person will have their own twist and give their own touch to it!

Let me know if there are any questions! Otherwise, see you on Friday for champagne!!

She will not want me to say it, but as I have the “pen”, I can say what I want……we are grateful to Meltem (again!!) for being the champion of the website development with Serhat Soydan and also for her putting together the marketing page!

Best wishes,


Date : 10 November 2020 at 11:26

Objet : Congratulations on Secrets of Working across 5 Continents : Thriving Through the Power of Cultural Diversity

Meltem Etcheberry wrote :

To : Chris Igwe ; Hande K. Binns ; Maria Goulina Rabany ; Triany Navarro de Chollet

Cc : Bettina von Stamm

Dear Chris, Hande, Maria, Triany,

Bettina and I are delighted to share this wonderful news – confirmation from Emerald Publishing with you !

And what do you think for congratulate it all together on 20th of November by a Zoom ?

Please let us know.

Again with our recognition… for your lovely time, generosity, support and patience 😉


Bettina  & Meltem

Conversations with HR Teams on Building Resilience in Times of Covid-19 – Part I

Right after Covid-19 lockdown across the world, I was a guest speaker for the entire Middle East and Africa HR team of a multinational company at a zoom conference. Zoom calls were something we were getting used to by then. The attendees were as diverse as it gets yet everyone on the call shared one common human reaction to uncertainty: stress. But we needed resilience and hope.

Those HR people attending the call were asked all sorts of support/info about almost “everything” by the employees and they did not have all the answers. It was their job to support others in the company but and this was a BIG BUT, one could only give something she/he had! So, we started talking about resilience.

I don’t think it is going to be an exaggeration to say that since world war 2, humanity has not faced such uncertainty that was caused by Covid-19. The whole world came to a standstill. We had to adjust to this uncertainty in a way that would keep our lives going. HR teams were not an exception either! They experienced uncertainties in their personal environment as well as in the business due to Covid-19. At the same time, they worked so hard to find answers to people, to prepare guidelines to support. So, improving the resilience of HR teams would result in increased business resilience.

Research shows that the number one reason for stress is uncertainty. Our brains react to stress in a certain way like we have butterflies in our stomachs, our hearts start pounding faster. And that is not a bad thing as research shows that we need a mild level of stress to succeed.

Our brains perceive uncertainty in the environment and then start using more energy to cope with stress. The more the perceived stress is, the more energy used by the brain and the less energy left for the rest of the body, this is called “Selfish-Brain Theory”. Of course, how much of stress our brains perceive because of uncertainty in the environment varies individually.
When we are in uncertainty, we get fearful and our brains fill the blanks. That provokes more anxiety and fear. And this fear can be contagious which is called Emotional Contagiousness. Thus, how we see this uncertainty is very important. I think we will agree that uncertainty and challenging times are also opportunities to learn from them If we agreed on the lesson plan.

Covid-19 has been a great reminder that in order to build the future of our world and celebrate diversity as we discussed in our book “ Secret of working across five continents ”, we need to rely on our inner resources, agree on the lesson plan and be hopeful.

As novelist Barbara Kingsolver said once, hope is a renewable option: If you run out of it at the end of the day, you get to start over in the morning.

Hande K. Binns

New Communication and Diversity

Cross-cultural awareness, sensibility towards diversity, and differences are the factors that drive the success in terms of innovation. Curiosity, another huge driver of innovation, is very helpful for improving communication methods. Openness of mind, thoughtful evaluation, and benevolence will open the door from one culture to another.
Tolerance and empathy, ability to listen, and willingness to understand – in short, the same qualities that play a major role in inspiring and successful communication – would be as precious as ever to succeed in cross-cultural awareness.
In 2020, we are facing unprecedented times… Indeed, digital technology has obviously been very useful during this pandemic period. Yet, it is up to all of us to recreate a sustainable relationship even during COVID. The desire to communicate together would be a natural, human way.
As I already mentioned in the book : Learning about others, and explaining things about yourself, exchanging experiences, traveling, and discovering the different cultures by living at least several days in their respective country, surrounded by local inimitable atmosphere would bring much more than grasping to prejudices and stereotypes.
Let’s enjoy living and communicating again, with all our diversity.

True luxury is

Being deeply in my values, new thinking and vision of “ True luxury is ”

True luxury is to surround with people we share the same values and the same vision with respect and mutual love
True luxury is innated and invisible elegance and refinement
True luxury is silence and dream to innovate the quest for harmony and meaning
True luxury is time both ending and never ending, timeless and precious enchantment with care and wisdom
True luxury is to stay consistent, free, sincere and authentic
True luxury is to be happy to make people happy

Curiosity & Design

When we started to work on this book, it was my curiosity that pushed me to get involved. The title ‘Secret of working across five continents’ aroused my interest, made me curious about the views and opinions of others; the pleasure of sharing and exchanging professional experience, that was the cherry on top.
The contribution of each contributor was extremely revealing about how to improve innovative design and creation, and five main themes emerged :
  • The importance of human value
  • Confidence in others and ourselves
  • Curiosity
  • Open communication
  • Adaptation to the specific context of the environment.
All contributors agreed that diversity is the key driver for innovation and also recognised that context plays an essential part when contemplating innovative design and creation. This context includes sustainability considerations as a central topic.
Yet, those five main themes, and also sustainability become more and more important during and notably after pandemic period. We need to work hand to hand to create an innovative future, with diverse cultures. 

The Legend of Kintsugi

“ The word Kintsugi comes from the Japanese Kin (gold) and Tsugi (join), and therefore literally means: join with gold. The art of Kintsugi is called Kintsukuroi, meaning “mending with gold”.

This ancient technique, discovered in the fifteenth century in Japan, invites us to repair a broken object by enhancing its scars with real gold powder, instead of trying to hide them. This is a long and extremely accurate repairing process, with many steps, taking several weeks or even months. It is even said that it sometimes takes a whole year to achieve the best Kintsugi…

The Kintsugi technique, step by step : The shards of the broken object are first assembled one by one, then cleaned, and glued with a traditional natural lacquer derived from the tree lacquer tree . The object is set to dry and then sanded. Then its cracks are underlined by successive lacquer layers and, finally, sprinkled with gold, or any other metal powder, which, mingling intimately with the moist lacquer, gives the illusion of flowing metal. Then the gold scars are burnished.

The object can then reveal all its brilliance”.
Dear Friends,
Let us live a new way of life, join with gold… even more precious, sensitive, sense of solidarity and sharing… with the traces of our lived experiences…

Life is ;
Understanding, which gives liberty…
• Getting out of comfort zone, which gives challenges…
• Adapting, which gives empathy…

and then,
• Concentrate to the next steps, which gives innovation…
• Acting intelligently, which gives peace…

Meltem Etcheberry – 05/2020

Visionary and Authentic Leadership

One of my favourite quotes is by the writer, Eric Hoffer, and it frames a key point: “In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.”

Yes, it takes some thinking about to understand what he is saying. As authors of this new and very insightful book, we seek to unlock the “Secrets of Working Across Five Continents”. We wrote the book, with insights from over 145 people from across the globe. This helped us frame the thoughts and ideas we wanted to get across for the reader to learn.

We completed the book in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic. Make no mistake, the fundamentals of the book, and in particular the section I wrote about, “Visionary and Authentic Leadership”, are even more important and valuable today than they were before the pandemic outbreak.

Why? Very simple! Probably at no other time in our recent history, or certainly in the lives of those living today, has there been a greater need for leadership. You only have to look at the pandemic itself and the responses and strategies from so many different Presidents or Prime Ministers, and you can see for yourself that not everyone is singing from the same sheet of music.

Today, we desperately need Visionary and Authentic leaders for our communities, our businesses and our countries. Our hope is that our book will shed light on the path for strong but empathetic leadership at a time when we really need it.


During Covid period :

I am thinking of you & family and hope you all are safe & well…
Take good care… Be carefully

For my side, I think this is a major event that has an impact on the whole world. Beyond what is happening on the medical and scientific level, I feel that a new page of history is opening up to us…
It is true that when we do not know, it can be very worrying, overwhelming, even upsetting.
But, at the same time, it is good to think to gether about our future and how to make it more human, more natural, more ecological, more interactive, more sustainable, more exchange, more solidarity… with love and intelligence…
This event has clearly remined us that the world is organic and that the ego has no more reason to exist…
It also showed us that very quickly, the “ME ” must become the “WE”…
This is how we will be able to move forward together for the good of all being and protect the nature of our world…
I also thought that the exchange of ideas, projects, data is more important than ever for living together, for cooperation, innovation and progress in the right direction. Sharing is vital…
Please take care of yourself and your beloved ones… allow, as much as you can, your time for friendly, artistic and digital sharings…