Bettina von Stamm

We thought it might be helpful to share some of the thinking that has gone into the structure and design of the book.  After Meltem invited me to join her on this journey, we discussed what key topics in the context of working across continents, and in the specific context of the 21st century, would be. This resulted the four Chapter topics Meltem has already introduced:

1.         Visionary & Authentic Leadership
2.         Nurturing People & Culture
3.         Innovative Design & Creation
4.         Inspiring Communication & Relationships

Our next step was to identify pertinent questions, some general ones we’d ask everyone, to understand what it means to work across continents, these would be asked of everyone. The second set of questions was specific to one of the four chapter topic.  Our initial thought to invite people to provide the answers in writing, ie use a survey, was quickly thrown out. Meltem took it upon herself to talk to each and everyone of our 145 contributors in great length and detail. The transcripts of these interviews then provided the rich foundation for the four chapter authors, into which to weave their own experiences and thoughts.

I hope it is already quite obvious that the idea and passion behind this project is all Meltem’s – and in the view of the rest of the authors, this cannot be emphasised enough. Her vision, imagination, and absolutely vast global network of amazing people have provided the stage onto which she has invited us to make our own contributions; I know I speak for all of us when I say that it was the greatest pleasure and honour to accept. Her long-time friends and colleagues, Chris, Hande, Maria and Triana, have brought their knowledge matter expertise to play in their respective chapters, drawing on the insight and wisdom of our contributors – between 30 and 35 per chapter. My role, having published a couple of books before, was the orchestration and connecting of all content, suggesting some restructures and illustrations here and there, and ensuring referencing and attributions are sound (and I beg forgiveness if anything was missed!).

As Meltem has also already pointed out, we have made a very conscious and deliberate decision not to streamline language – either between the four chapters, or when quoting our contributors. As english is not the first language for most of those involved in this book, the only attempt made was to correct language and grammar here and there to ensure the message can be understood easily.

The next sentences were stolen from Maria’s introduction and moved here, as I felt that she had expressed it so perfectly that I could not better it: “I let our contributors express themselves directly on purpose. In my understanding, there is hardly one sure way to treat communication and public relations issues (I wonder, if there ever was). By reading this testimony, formulated quite personally, you will be able to “hear” various opinions, discover different points of views, learn about diverse experience acquired in multiple business and private circumstances. The aim of this book is to propose you all this variety of life lessons so that you could find probable solution (or solutions) in your own situations. And get inspired, of course! We do not insist on a single line, we do not pretend to be an ultimate reference, we do not impose our point of view. We just share these precious stories written in the first person in order you can really feel the diversity and importance of a say.

Indeed, how we can talk about the beauty and value of diversity when we do not appreciate and allow it ourselves?

You can find at least one quote from each of our contributors in the chapter for which they were interviewed. So you can get to know them, at leats a little, you will also find a short bio for each at the end of ‘their’ chapter, in alphabetical order. To avoid the constant use of ‘one of our contributors’, we have decided to highlight their names in bold, and use a different font for their quotes.

For each Chapter you will find an introduction, by myself, offering a little more background as to why these topics are so important, and especially so in today’s turbulent world, and also introducing one or two frameworks that are helpful for getting a handle on the topic. The main part of the Chapter is followed by a set of self assessment questions – Questions To Ask Yourself, some suggestions for Honing Your Skillson the chapter’s topic(s), and Meltem’s reflections. Each Chapter closes with the References, and some Additional Reading Suggestions.

We hope that this is not a book that sits on the shelf, gathering dust, but a companion on the journey to discover the beauty and value of working and living across five continents.


Wolfgang G. Sonnenburg

« When I was asked by Chris Igwe, author of one of the chapters of this book, if I would be willing to write the foreword for this project, I was immediately ready to give my support, especially as Chris had supported my own project of Winspiration for many years, and had helped the idea to spread globally.

But then I hesitated. A ‘secret’ ? What does this mean? Do we not wish for an open society?  A secret is something you normally keep to yourself and are not allowed to share. It could even be associated with conspiracy.

With this thought in my mind I talked with Meltem Etcheberry, the initiator of this book, who explained how the authors found the way to creating successful trusting relationships whilst working across five continents and wanted to share these experiences from their hearts.

Meltem answered my question with this answer : The real purpose of this project is peace »

One hundred and forty-five people across the globe opened their hearts and shared their ideas, their experiences, and their world views. They have helped us to realize that which Meltem Etcheberry wants to achieve for us all : Peace is possible.

Thanks to all these pioneers who work together for global understanding and who work together so that thousands or even millions of people can follow their example and benefit. This work, this project is an inspiration for us all and helps us to believe that an extraordinary good future for us IS possible and IS on the way. »


Maria Goulina Rabany

« Passion and curiosity are, to my mind, the biggest drivers of communication. So many unbelievable projects were realised just because the initiator was passionate and convincing, alluring his environment by the idea. So much questioning should be done to find a perfect way to bring it to life and to succeed with it, whereas to be prepared to hold off possible challenges (or benefit from them). In my humble opinion, this book is one of the examples. »