SIETAR FRANCE Workshop in Paris: “The TOPOI Model: Cultures Don’t Meet, People Do”, with Aarjan Verdooren, Dr. Edwin Hoffmann and Florence Lorent Loubeyre


10 h 00 min - 17 h 00 min

IESEG School of Management Paris Les Collines de l'Arche

SIETAR FRANCE Workshop in Paris: “The TOPOI Model: Cultures Don’t Meet, People Do”, with Aarjan Verdooren, Dr. Edwin Hoffmann and Florence Lorent Loubeyre

With networking lunch from 12:30 to 14:00, please contact Grazia.Ghellini@gmail to let us know if you wish to join us.

Although the TOPOI model has been around for over 20 years and is taught widely in higher education in The Netherlands, it is often still received as innovative and refreshing. While firmly based in academic thinking and research, TOPOI provides a pragmatic response to many pressing challenges and dilemmas.

Different from most approaches to intercultural communication, TOPOI doesn’t take culture as such as its starting point, but the interaction and communication between unique individuals, embedded in their social contexts. In doing so, TOPOI humanises otherness: the other is just as complex and multi-layered as we are ourselves, and intercultural communication is always interpersonal communication: Cultures don’t meet, people do.

TOPOI then represents an overall approach to ‘intercultural’ communication that builds on a dynamic (‘nonessentialist’) view of culture, an inclusive notion of people’s multiple cultural identities and an emphasis on communication and dialogue. In addition, it takes account of two critical issues: power inequalities and ethics.

The TOPOI model itself is an analytical tool to detect possible misunderstandings during or after an intercultural encounter. It allows learners to zoom in on the five ‘TOPOI-areas’ in communication where miscommunication or differences can be located: Tongue (the verbal and non-verbal language), Order (the view and logic regarding the issues at hand), Persons (the identities, roles and relationship) Organisation (the organisational and societal context) and Intentions (the motives, needs, emotions, values and spirituality).

In this workshop, we will discuss societal and academic backgrounds of the approach, its main principles, and the model and its different areas. Consequently, we will apply the TOPOI model on a number of real life case situations to highlight how it can help to analyse situations in search of possible interventions.

Edwin Hoffman PhD (born in Indonesia, Dutch nationality, living in Austria) is an independent trainer, lecturer and researcher of Inclusive communication and Diversity competence. In addition, Edwin is an external lecturer at the Alpen Adria University in Klagenfurt, Austria. Edwin is the creator of the slogan “Cultures don’t meet, people do” and he developed the TOPOI-model: an analytical tool to detect possible misunderstandings during or after an intercultural conversation.

He has several publications to his name, of which the most important are in German: 2015, Interkulturelle Gesprächsführung. Theorie und Praxis des TOPOI-Modells and 2020, Interkulturelle Gesprächsführung. Menschen begegnen einander, nicht Kulturen. Wiesbaden: Springer Verlag. In Dutch: 2018, 4th edition Interculturele Gespreksvoering. Theorie en praktijk van het TOPOI-model. Houten: Bohn Stafleu Van Loghum.  In English – together with Arjan Verdooren Diversity Competence. Cultures don’t meet, people do (2018) and in Dutch Diversiteitscompetentie. Niet culturen, maar mensen ontmoeten elkaar. Bussum: Coutinho.

Arjan Verdooren is a consultant, lecturer and author in the fields of Intercultural Communication and Diversity and Inclusion. He is a long-time associate of the Royal Tropical Institute, a knowledge center in Amsterdam. In this capacity, he has provided courses and consultancy for a variety of organizations and sectors for almost twenty years.  In addition, he regularly delivers (keynote) presentations on inclusion and (cultural) diversity. Arjan has been a lecturer at several universities including the University of Gothenburg and the HTW University in Berlin, as well as a regular guest lecturer at many other universities. He is the author of several publications in the field, most prominently the book Diversity Competence- Cultures Don’t Meet People Do (with Edwin Hoffman), Arjan divides his time between Amsterdam (The Netherlands) and Gothenburg (Sweden).

Florence Laurent Loubeyre who comes from a multi-faith family, became a trainer for adults specialising in interculturality after creating an associative network of intercultural exchanges in Bordeaux, winner of the 2015 Bordeaux Prize for Equality. In this context, she has designed and facilitated more than 150 meetings to bring together people from different cultural backgrounds, and to value diversity. Her commitment to diversity is also civic: she has been a member of the diversity council of the Bordeaux metropolis for several years. In addition, she is authorized to provide training on laïcity.



Type de billet Prix Places
Tarif non-membre 50.00€
Tarif membre 30.00€
Tarif étudiants et chercheurs d'emploi 20.00€
Etudiants et personnel de l'IESEG 0.00€

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