2016 FIGT (Families in Global Transition) Conference in Amsterdam


Conference 1


When was the last time that you felt a sense of acceptance and belonging as you walked into a room full of people? Have you ever met someone who was a stranger but quickly became a friend because of your unique, yet shared experiences? Was there a time when you looked around and thought, “I have found my tribe!”

At Families in Global Transition (FIGT) events, globally mobile individuals find others who “get them” and understand the unique joys and challenges of navigating family life abroad. The organisation’s mission is to provide a welcoming forum for globally mobile individuals, families, and those working with them. While this “welcoming forum” includes connecting online through FIGT’s active social media community and webinars hosted by cross-cultural transition experts throughout the year, as well as in-person events hosted by four FIGT affiliates located in the U.S., Europe, and Asia, FIGT’s main event is their annual conference.

The three-day conference includes thought-provoking keynote speeches, insightful concurrent sessions, and intimate “kitchen table” conversations to honour the legacy of the organisation’s founder Ruth van Reken, who started FIGT around a kitchen table with like-minded expatriate women in 1998. While historically the conference has been held in the United States including Indianapolis, Houston, and Washington, D.C., the 2016 conference is moving outside of the U.S. for the first time to Amsterdam from March 10-12. “Moving the annual conference to the Netherlands after seventeen years in the United States was an intentional decision to help engage our community in a new way, and to bring additional awareness of FIGT to a country with a large expatriate population,” said Kilian Kroell, FIGT Board President.

The theme of the conference, Moving Across Cultures: Bringing Empathy and Expertise to the Evolving Global Family resonates across all sectors and promises to bring together perspectives from global corporations, military and diplomatic services, academia, arts, missions, cross-cultural service providers and the expatriates themselves. To encourage a diversity of voices at the conference, FIGT offers attractive conference rates and encourages writers, cross-cultural practitioners, and researchers through three unique programs.

The Parfitt Pascoe Writing Residency offers four budding writers scholarships to the conference, while the FIGT community benefits an annual publication of their conference experiences. The David C. Pollock Scholarship Fund aims to attract, involve, and educate emerging intercultural leaders by providing them the opportunity to attend the conference and make lasting professional connections. Finally, the conference hosts a Research Forum and Writers Forum to support important research and writing around the globe.

Fore more information about the 2016 conference and how to become a part of the collaborative, empathetic, and vibrant FIGT community, please visit http://www.figt.org

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