A Community Gathers, to Learn, Share and Connect

Contributed by Deborah Valentine, Program Director FIGT

There are many challenges and phases in the world of globally mobile individuals and families. A wealth of resources exist in the world and Families in Global Transition (FIGT) is but one of the many communities worldwide offering and providing support. FIGT has been doing so since 1997. It has evolved since its start with Ruth van Reken discussing Third Culture Kids and the book she had written with sociologist David Pollock, Third Culture Kids: Growing Up Among Worlds – which itself evolved over time, and is now in its third edition.

The discussions around this globally mobile life have also evolved. The community has expanded and continues to expand. FIGT is delighted to continue to be a part of this evolving ‘world’. – as it hopes to show, and share during its upcoming Forum, entitled “Momentum: Moving forward together”, online, on 20 and 21 April 2024.

A gathering of people, ideas and the community

Covid has influenced all our lives, and what was once an annual in-person three day gathering has become an online event over two days. The online format provides an opportunity for more people to participate from anywhere in the world. The additional ‘community’ space, for attendees to gather, meet, laugh, exchange ideas and continue conversations is also a part of our annual event in the form of Kumospace.

While we may miss gathering in person, technology has given us chances to explore this change as well. Feedback from past event attendees on Kumospace was extremely positive. Given the importance of community and connection, FIGT would not have considered planning an event without a ‘community’ space. If you’re not familiar with Kumospace, then take a moment to listen to a short presentation recently done by one of our members – on FIGT’s Forum rooms in Kumospace or read some of the testimonials from past Conference attendees.

Session topics and speakers

Our keynote speaker is Dr Hossein Hassani, a highly accomplished and skilled data scientist, academic, and researcher with over 15 years of extensive experience working with national, international, and multicultural organizations, research institutes, and academia. Dr Hassani will take us on a journey to explore the fascinating — and sometimes unsettling — world of Artificial Intelligence. This fast developing field may not seem to be directly relevant to our ‘globally mobile’ community per se, but it is and it will continue to impact our lives.

As well as Dr Hassani, the #FIGT2024 Forum will feature:

  • a speaker talking about unplanned transitions — preparing for and living through mobility changes without the preparation that so many of us make when moving from one place to another;
  • a speaker who will share tips for handling trauma in our lives and in the lives of those around us, helping us reach feelings of safety;
  • a panel discussing challenges for people who move without their families and how we can best support them;
  • a presentation on the value of advocating for neurodivergent children and children with special needs at international schools;
  • a session about the challenges faced by migrating families — proving an increased need for improved understanding of different cultures and countries, and;
  • a session that focuses on the strengths and skills associated with a globally mobile life.

A brief description of each of these Sessions can be found here, with an overview of our speakers and their experience and backgrounds, here.

Join us!

The Forum will take place over a two-day period – scheduled to accommodate different time-zones as best we can, but for those who may have difficulties attending the sessions live a recording of each presentation will be made available to registered attendees for 6 months following the event. Early BIrd (US$ 90) Registration is now open, but closes on 6 April 2024, when the full-rate (US$104) will be applied.