Wednesday, 14 November 2012

#globalhub November Insights: Voting From Abroad

Like this beautiful shot of the New York skyline it was plain sailing for the blue states on Election Day. Obama now has to deal with the rest of the world. What's next?

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Tuesday, 13 November 2012

Cookalong: Healthy Tailgating with Turkey Chili

Click to RSVP for the cookalong
It's almost playoffs time. This is a great alternative to your normal tailgating food. This is a recipe that you can make beforehand or if you like to cook at your tailgate, you can make there.

Turkey is a superfood and tastes great with chili. The spices used here are more complex than your normal chili, but blend together to create a smooth heat. 

How Do I RSVP for the Cookalong?

You can see, hear and chat with me while we cook together using Liveplate Video Chat. To get access to the video chat you need to RSVP by creating a account (you can use your Facebook account) and clicking on the RSVP (this event) button. Once you have RSVP'd you will see a Join the Event icon. On the day, use the icon to join the Liveplate Video Chat.

Turkey Chili Recipe

This recipe was invented in New Jersey. I was looking for a way to get turkey in to my diet and I thought that a chili would be a great way to enjoy it.

The recipe and preparation is part of the video chat, but here is the recipe if you want to try it yourself.

Ingredients Preparation
1 tablespoon of olive oil 1. Heat the oil in a frying pan.
2 dashes Worcester Sauce 2. Soften the onions in the pan and then add the chili powder (to taste).
3 bay leaves 3. Add the chopped turkey bacon.
2 dashes Cholula 4. Brown the mince.
3 teaspoons chili powder (or to taste) 5. Add the tin of plum tomatoes.
1 teaspoon tomato paste 6. Add the kidney beans.
1 chili (chopped - only add if you like it hot) 7. Add the tomato paste, the Worcester sauce, Cholula, chili and bay leaves.
1 medium onion (finely chopped) 8. Simmer on a low heat until the flavors fuse together for about 30 to 40 minutes.
1 pound turkey mince (ground turkey)
Family, places and...
By Sharon Lorimer
4 slices turkey bacon
1 tin of kidney beans
1 tin plum tomatoes

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Monday, 12 November 2012

Book Launch: From the Global Scottish Kitchen

Learning to cook is a culturally specific experience. We are taught by our parents and grandparents when we are growing up and most chefs talk about who taught them to cook and what dishes inspired their love for food.

How Does Living Abroad Influence What You Cook?

The change in the way things taste is one of the first things you notice when you move abroad. Immigrants all know where to get brands that have been imported from their home country; their favorite dishes don’t taste the same with a local substitute.

One of my first failures when I moved abroad was in a supermarket. I was trying to make Pavlova, which needs a fine-grained sugar. Unfortunately, I couldn't see the sugar and I didn't understand the labels. The words I had weren't understood by the locals and I ended up coming home with lots of different packets! 

My first experience of Mexican cuisine in New York was eye opening. I had never been to Mexico or eaten traditional Mexican food and I was surprised at the range of dishes that I could choose from. I always enjoyed Tex Mex, but Chili Rellenos and mole sauce were two Mexican classics that I hadn't had.

Why Is It Global and Not Fusion?

Click here to RSVP for the cookalong
Most ethnic restaurants are run by immigrants who bring their national dishes from other countries and tailor the dishes to locally-available ingredients and the eating habits of their customers. This creates a fusion of cuisines, but in this cook book you will find influences from all over the world and not a fusion of two regional styles.

The recipes in my cook book are all original. They are influenced by experiences that I couldn't have had without living abroad. Traveling doesn't give you the time you need to find the small stores and local cooks that can help you to reinterpret your cuisine.

Many of the dishes include unusual herbs or sauces common in other people's cuisines. The invention of mass transit and refrigeration has changed the way that we cook. Now that we can ship and store produce around the world, we don't have to cook with just local ingredients.

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Tuesday, 6 November 2012

#globalhub November: Voting from Abroad

When deciding to take an international assignment, you rarely discuss how you will feel about losing your vote. When you start to understand how political living in another country can be, you start to question why you are excluded from the system.

Foreign policy has a larger impact on your daily life when you are abroad. People have strong opinions on politics and you can be forced to represent your nation in absentia.

Most expats pay taxes in their host country, but don’t get voting rights. It is difficult to come to terms with losing your rights, especially if you have grown-up in a young country where your rights are protected under a constitution.

The US Presidential Election is one of the elections that you can vote in if you are an American citizen living abroad. The states have different ways of collecting your vote, but it can be counted. You might feel that your vote is unimportant because you belong to a small group, but the US expat vote could have been used to decide the outcome of the 2000 election.

The questions for this month’s #globalhub:

Q1: Is it easy for you to vote from abroad?

Q2: Why do you want to vote if you live abroad?

Q3: Does it make a difference who runs your country if you aren’t living there?

Q4: Does your party affiliation change depending on the nation you live in?

Q5: What’s the most noticeable difference between the political systems in your home and host country?

Q6: Who do the people where you are in the world want to win the US Presidential #election2012 and why?

Tuesday, 30 October 2012

What is HR's Role in a Natural Disaster?

People feel very cut off in a natural disaster, not just physically, but emotionally too. Good communication between HR and the employees in the emergency area is important. People are getting news from several sources about the emergency, but it won't be about your company. When designing your communications, tailor them to talk about the business.

Storm clouds clearing over NYC
Let employees know that you are there for them and ask them to keep in touch with HR or their line managers. Once you have established their safety, start to communicate with employees about what you can do to support them. Does your company have insurance or support services that they need? Can you provide them with contact information for the government services that they need? Some may need extra time to deal with problems and you should make sure that they can resolve those issues so that you can get them back up and running as quickly as possible.

It is tough for employees to meet their commitments and helping them to manage their commitments is an excellent way to achieve a supportive business culture.

How Do I Communicate Effectively?

Start to communicate with your employees about how they can help to get the business back up and running once the emergency conditions are over. 

Communicate effectively by keeping your statements short. Let them know what your progress is and that you are concerned for them and the business. Employees will take great comfort in knowing the business is there for them to get back to and that senior managers are making that a priority.

Try to create a schedule so that employees know when you will next communicate with them. Ask your employees for their input, they probably know what is (and isn't) a priority in their role. Don't make people keep checking in, but keep them involved. 

If you're advising your CEO on communication tone and style ask them to keep it short and provide leadership. Ask them to try not to tell personal anecdotes during these communications as empathy may come across as self-indulgent or combative.

What is HR's Specific Role?

Within the HR function, you need to coordinate between local HR people and your corporate HR structure to make sure that you can provide services to the local team in the country where the emergency has happened.

You need to create separate communication plans for the employees who were part of the emergency and the employees who work with people who are in the emergency area.

Use your existing plans to coordinate your staff and provide as much support as possible to your employees. Once the emergency is over, you need to review your performance and document the skills you have learned. If there are people that need to be acknowledged for their commitment or for their heroism, take the time to formally do that.

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Monday, 22 October 2012

What's Missing in the Foreign Policy Debate?

How patriotic are expats?
Obama and Romney are in Boca Raton in Florida tonight for the foreign policy debate in the US presidential election. They will cover many issues about their attitudes towards other countries, but there are two questions that I would like to see asked that I think won't make it in to the debate.
  • How will you promote sustainable, stable global trade?
  • When will you create an expat policy to promote the rights of your citizens living abroad?
Why Are These Questions Important?

Countries that open their borders benefit from trade. In this debate there will be strong positions taken to show leadership, but trade shouldn't be a consequences of a change in leadership, or driven by a political agenda. We need sustainable global growth that open borders. (China bashing is not a policy.)

Changes in the way we live because of accessibility of travel and the Internet means that citizens are choosing to live, work, or retire abroad. There is no legislation that helps citizens have global lives. In the future there will be more global movement of people and it is important to start creating the legislative framework that will protect the rights of citizens abroad now, before it is needed.

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Friday, 19 October 2012

Expats Buck The Global Trend

TD Global Investor Confidence Survey found that expats were still confident in their choice of company to invest in, even though emerging- market growth is slowing and the global economy is cooling.
Alternative investments?

They are confident that the companies in their portfolio will generate an income for them and help them build wealth.

What's Different About Expat Investors?
  • Expats have a unique perspective, they see how markets are changing where they live and where they visit. Lagging indicators (like GDP) don't reflect grass-roots growth. 
  • Expats are more risk tolerant than people who only see their local economy. They can compare and see changes in the cost of products from country to country.
  • Expats can see gaps in the market. Sometimes it is just a product they can get at home that they can't get abroad.
  • If your partner works for a local firm, or starts a business, you get a broader perspective on the economy, which can give you a different take on what's happening in the world.
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Monday, 15 October 2012

#globalhub: How Has the International Experience Inspired You?

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Currently Without Country!

Nationalism is now a meme, I've been following the debate about Scottish independence (#indyref) on Twitter because I live abroad.

It may have seemed unimportant!
When I started to follow the independence movement, I felt this was about the Scottish people. A race of people who need a homeland. But, as I'm not getting to vote on my nationality, I have started to ask what will happen to me and the Scots who live and work abroad like I do.

Is it a Mandate from the Scottish People?

It seems undemocratic to me that I'm unable to vote while I'm abroad. How has this happened and why is it OK?

The right to vote is based on verification of residency. If you are registered to vote in a the local elections (because you live in Scotland), you can vote in the referendum, regardless of birthplace.

What Happens Next?

If the local people vote "yes," Scotland will be created. The people who are entitled to be Scottish will then be defined by citizenship laws, which need to be written.

I say I'm Scottish because I was born there, but this referendum has made me question that. Ironically, I won't be excluded from other British referendums while I am abroad. I would be given an opportunity to vote in 3 different ways.

It seems that my nationality will be defined for me without my consent and my right to live and work in my country of birth won't be clear until these decisions are made by others.

I don't know whether I will be able to be Scottish, or if the residency rules will be applied because they are easy to administer and I won't be Scottish.

People already believe I'm a foreigner, because I talk funny, but this will affect my life as much, if not more, than the people who live there.

How Does This Affect People on International Assignments?

The visa system governs your right to live and work in a country and it is based on the immigration laws of the country (amended by treaties signed with other countries and international bodies). Does Scotland have immigration law on which to base treaties?

Currently the citizens of EU members have the right to freely move within the EU. Non-EU or non-EEC members require visas. Britain has limited integration with the EU and Scotland's membership is still not clear. Will the English and other ethnic groups resident in Scotland now require a visa? What will happen to the American and Chinese oil workers now working on intra-company transfers valid for the UK? What happens to Scottish-owned companies abroad who operate their foreign subsidiary under UK treaties?

Will Scotland adopt the UK points system for immigration; a system that has inbuilt bias against developing countries? Will Scotland apply for dual nationality for its citizens with other countries? Without consulates or established diplomatic relationships it will be difficult for it to lobby other governments for its citizens and for Scottish companies trading in foreign countries. 

If you are working abroad and you have a baby, the rules for conferring citizenship on your child aren't yet written and in the past have been associated with men only. If you are a Scottish women on an international marriage your children may not get the right to be Scottish and if you choose not to become British, they may not get UK citizenship either. 

What Type of Nationalism?

If Scotland won't recognise the diaspora in an referendum on nationality, how concerned should I be that I can end up without a country? How hurt should I feel about this rejection? Many people leave their homelands because of hostile political systems and want to retain connections or return. In Scotland, I felt the call for independence was based in nationalism, but because I'm not included, I wonder what it is all about? Is this a land grab?

What are the Benefits of Recognising the Diaspora?

I like the American way of recognising heritage. I know that the Brits find this annoying and feel that it is a false sentiment. It is dangerous to think and act like this and it will cause long-term international problems.

Emigrants and global workers remain connected to their homelands in many ways. China has a huge emigrant population that sends money home. Scotland will need foreign direct investment as a country and the most likely people to do this are the diaspora.

Scotland has an opportunity to define itself as an open, inclusive nation and learn from the mistakes of other nations. It's a time for statesmanship and new approaches to recognizing the diaspora. If you don't take this opportunity now it could take another 300 years to get another chance.

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Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Photobook Launch: Oktoberfest

Like other festivals and fiestas around the world, when you arrive in Munich for Oktoberfest an other-worldly feeling is palpable. Locals and visitors balance a sense of stolen leisure with an urgency for enjoyment.

At Oktoberfest, the senses become a bit more acute. Of all the sense, taste is bombarded the most (of course). Ears are filled with the music of the oom-pah band. But the sights of the parade, tents and streets are magical as well.

Sharon Lorimer brought a brilliant photographer's eye and a first-time visitor's perspective to capture some of the most enchanting photos of this beer-soaked holiday. As day turned to night, she took photos that brought the energy of the celebration alive again.

So raise a Stein to the pictures of Oktoberfest. They're not just as a refresher of what you can't remember from the previous day!


Kim Khan,
Editor and Writer.

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Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Gafftermath, Voting as an Expat

Opening up to an IHRM colleague I lamented disenfranchisement. His response -- get a postal vote -- could help me resolve the logistics, but not the power issues! The problem isn't my inability to vote at home, but more my inability to participate in either my home or my host country's political process.

Most expats aren't diplomats, they are parents, partners, employees and business people. They talk about cultural transition because that's what they experience, and they ignore the political process because they can't or don't want to participate.

Unfortunately, their very existence is governed by politics. The length of stay, the way that immigrants are treated, the way they do business, how they live, if they can own property, what personal freedoms they have and even in some places where they can go, who they can talk to and what they can wear.

If you aren't a diplomat, how do you get the system -- that you aren't included in -- to work for you? When I go through immigration in my home country, I always go in the line with the non-citizens so I can ensure that my husband's status isn't in question. I talk to my leaders about my issues, I protest and I take part in shaping the society that I come from.

When you are an expat it is difficult to have the same confidence in the political process. You aren't able to vote and politicians aren't legally responsible to help you. Your embassy can't resolve every interaction that you have that goes wrong.

Immigrants are scapegoated and targeted by unethical people who often use the justification that they should be treated better than you because they've been living in a place longer. You are excluded with the justification that you are transient and that someone native should be given the rewards of better housing, or a promotion at work, or just be liked more.

In the end, power plays become racist.

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Editor's Note: This is the first in a series of blogs about expat disenfranchisement that I will post during the run-up to the American presidential elections.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Editor's Picks for the Summer Roundup

Sharon Lorimer
The Nature Abroad blog is a surprise hit for me. When I was choosing these links, the traffic spiked and brought it to my attention again. I like this blog because it is something that most of us don't take into consideration when looking at places to live, especially in new places, but it can make a big difference to your quality of life. 

I've just published a cookbook influenced by my travels and I thought you might enjoy reading my idea of a gastropub menu. The cookbook demonstrates how you can take local ideas and create a global mindset from your national identity. The blog on Think Globally, Act Locally helps you understand the pitfalls on the way to creating a global mindset.


Editor's Picks
Summer Roundup
Subscribe to this mailing list.

    Thursday, 6 September 2012

    #globalhub September - Expat Trends: How will 2012 end?

    Thursday, 30 August 2012

    #photooftheday: Roses for St Rose of Lima Day, Peru

    How does this photograph of roses and the holiday that it represents in Peru help me develop a global identity?

    Monday, 27 August 2012

    Book Launch: Encierro N'awlins

    It's the Big Easy Rollergirls' tribute to the San Fermin encierro fiesta in Pamplona, Spain. The Rollergirls dress up as bulls, the streets on the waterfront are closed and the residents of, and visitors to, New Orleans get out bed early (or stay up), dress in white, wear red pañuelos (handkerchiefs) and run with the bulls.

    It was hard to find the motivation to go to this event (there was also a French waiter's race that captured my creative imagination), but after a short talk with my husband in our hotel room, recounting a long week we had just spent eating buttered barbecue shrimp at Mr. B's and drinking frappes in the Old Absinthe House, we took the streetcar two blocks and followed the crowd to find the bulls.

    When we arrived the event had a unique feel. You could sense that people were looking forward to it. The bulls were in a big group on one side; posing for photographs and chatting with each other, friends and photographers.

    Once the running started the Rollergirls formed a funnel to make sure that as many people as possible got bashed with a bat. The mood changed at this point to a kind of platonic version of chasey-chasey spalshy-splashy. The first shot in the book is taken while I ran through the funnel. It's a surprise that it isn't out-of-focus as I'm giggling and trying to dodge a bat.

    Most people take a snapshot and it is a process of framing and posing. The interesting thing about shooting is seeing the shot in a split second and knowing that you have captured the way the person experienced that moment. Once you start to see shots in this way it can be hard to stop shooting. I can be a hazard to myself in this moment and I am pleased that Kim is usually there to make sure that I don't get run over.

    When I shoot, I am looking for the essence of the experience and when I see it I click and represent it on film. The camera captures emotions and attitudes and my favorite shots in this book are the ones where you see both motion and emotion.

    I hope you enjoy this book.


    Monday, 13 August 2012

    Remembering #London2012

    The Olympics for me was a mix of unknown athletes, political conversations, old versus new media, and the human spirit.

    Wednesday, 8 August 2012

    What Can You Tell About Me From My Facebook Self Portrait?

    My Facebook page contains two pictures: an inset of my face and a river bank scene. If you are from the East, would you think that I was more in tune with your culture or that I was more Westernised?

    The focus on my face shows a strong tendency to an individualistic Western culture while the setting shows that I understand myself to be part of a larger whole (a more collectivist Eastern approach).

    What Difference Will Culture Make To My Self Perception?

    Huang and Park’s (2012) study of Facebook users from six universities in two areas of the world showed a difference in the photographs that the students used for their Facebook profile based on home and host cultures. In East Asia (Hong Kong, Singapore, and Taiwan), the student choose settings that they liked, while the students from United States (California and Texas) choose to focus more on showing their head (and shoulders).

    The study also showed that people who move abroad adopt aspects of the culture they live in and change their photographs on Facebook in a way that shows the adoption of the host country's culture.

    The study also found that although East Asia showed a more collectivist culture, the number of friends people have is higher in the more affluent cities of Singapore and Austin.

    How Can I Use This Data on My International Assignment?

    When you move abroad you need to create a support system in your local area. When you are choosing a place to live you can start with the more affluent cities as they are more open and more likely to include you as friends.

    Western and Eastern cultures have different visual perception, attention and reasoning skills. Over time you will pick up the local and adapt to your new culture. If you are designing a page, you might want to make it more culturally friendly to the people you want to live and work with. Some changes to the way you present yourself may help you work and live in your new culture.

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    Thursday, 19 July 2012

    Is a Company Your Romantic Rival?

    When your rival isn't human!
    When your partner told you that they had been asked to work in another country, you were excited about the opportunity. You made plans about your new life and the places you would see. You spent time discussing how you would live and imagined yourself living a whirlwind romance in another country.

    The reality of an international assignment is different. The logistics of the move themselves are enough to take the romance out of anyone, but the subsequent change in your relationship is not usually for the better.

    Honey, I'm Not Home!

    Many international assignments mean more autonomy and responsibility for the assignee. At first you can find new things to do, but once you settle in to a routine, you find that your spouse isn't there. You are now on an international assignment on your own!

    This can play out in different ways. You might be reasonable at first. Of course they need to work, but your unmet emotional needs soon turn to resentment. You are lonely and isolated. You are here because of them and they aren't with you at all.

    And then this strange idea comes in to your mind; the company gets your partner's attention instead of you. Suddenly you are the jealous rival!

    Never Leave Your Wingman ...

    An unconventional power struggle emerges in your relationship. Both of you start to leverage your power for your own advantage.

    Your partner plays their trump card of work and you list the accompanying partner problems (and the kids' new set of outsider problems).

    In the end, the financial strain, the isolation and the additional work quickly overwhelm both of you and you return home to the life that you liked.

    Tip: Before you accept an international assignment, ask your company what support they provide for your family and take the training course, What Should I Know Before I Go on an International Assignment?

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    Wednesday, 18 July 2012

    The British Way: Queueing To Be An Astronaut!

    515 people have pre-booked for the first commercial flight in to space. A full-size replica of the prototype SpaceShipTwo was on display at Farnborough International Airshow this year for people to take a look and dream about going in to space.

    Tuesday, 26 June 2012

    #mhealth Anywhere Around the World

    The Internet has made people more informed about their health. When you move abroad (or you travel) you can now contact a doctor and have your problem diagnosed with the help of your iPhone.

    Lost in Translation! Getting Health Care Abroad

    An apple a day...
    When you need health care abroad, the interaction with the doctor may not just be about your treatment, the doctor may try to determine your eligibility for care.

    If your doctor starts to ask you about where you are from, don't treat it as though it was a normal meeting and explain where you were born and how you came to be in your host country. If the doctor is determining your eligibility for care, omitting that you are now legally resident in the country you are in can lead to non-resident charges, or refusal to give you health care.

    If you've recently repatriated you might be asked eligibility questions too. If you have developed a foreign accent people won't believe that you are a citizen. If you are concerned you can take some ID to your appointment.

    Private Health Care

    There are several health-care companies that provide different levels of service for expats. You should check the level of service you need, and the availability of the providers in the country you are going to live in before you accept an international assignment.

    Self Help

    There are numerous apps that can help you to communicate with a health-care professional in another language. You can also get diagnostic tools on some of the apps.

    Sam. Galaxy
     - There is currently no data.

    For more help on different health-care systems and ways to get medical support as an expat, sign up for the course, "What Should I Know About an International Assignment Before I Go?"

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