We launched the Adcenter’s Cultural Exploration program with an overview presentation covering cultural topics from Buddhism to Star Trek to Burning Man to the Cosa Nostra. We had a “Crumbelievable” guest appearance by Stephen Colbert and followed it with a discussion of the Long Tail and cultural fragmentation. We talked about cultures we are born to (ethnic, geographic, family, etc.) and cultures we choose to become part of (political, social, career, etc.) and we talked about how in some areas, like religion, we are less likely to remain within one group.

Click to download: Introductory Culture Presentation

Most of us belong to many cultural groups. They give us a sense of identity and belonging. We enjoy common bonds, shared experiences and even language that is understood by others in our group. (Just ask a techie what “RTFM” means or ask a Trekie what race greets each other with “Qapla”, and be careful how you use the term “throw-up” around a graffitti artist.)

In this class, you are required to become a Cultural Explorer, using curiosity, empathy and courage to fully immerse yourself into new cultures, learning their habits, their history and their reason for being. Here is your primary charge:

Your Quest

  1. You and your colleagues will select a cultural world that is unfamiliar to you – a place you haven’t been before.
  2. You will immerse yourselves, actively participating, connecting with people, learning the language and the customs and exploring the value its members derive.
  3. You will develop a clear, focused and professional presentation about your exploration. You must make the presentation to your class, immersing us in the world you have explored. Do not treat the class
    as spectators, it is your charge to help us experience the culture as participants.
  4. You may take us anywhere practical. Or bring almost anything here.
  5. We are curious, so be prepared to answer all of our questions.

Other Assignments

For September 10

  • Team Project Selection
  • Personal Cultural Map: On one 11” x 17” sheet of paper, map each cultural group you belong to. Be prepared to share this information with your peers.
  • Cultural Uniform: Come to class dressed in keeping with a specific culture that you do NOT belong to.

For September 24

  • Book Presentation: Pecha-Kucha
  • What did you learn about the culture you explored? Help us to understand the motivations, values, customs, etc.
  • You will be selected randomly to discuss your book and report in class. Be prepared to answer our questions.