Jeffrey Sheehan served as Associate Dean for International Relations at the Wharton School for 30 years. He has lived, studied, worked, and volunteered in 85 countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and Latin America. He has amassed 13,464 visiting cards and out of them, he has extracted 17 who had nothing in common other than the author’s respect and affection. Were there characteristics these individuals shared, despite being from different countries?
The author’s hypothesis “is that there are humans today, representing a variety of cultures, civilizations, ethnicities, and spiritual traditions; speaking multiple languages; and following vastly different pursuits, who share what I believe are some common dispositions.” He believes that these characteristics can help interconnectedness.
He disputes the concept of the clash of civilizations advanced by Samuel Huntington and concludes that fundamental similarities in human disposition make communication and resolution of differences possible. The book is an inquiry into intercultural communication.
The 17 individuals selected for the book include:
- Luis Fernando Andrade Moreno- Colombia
- Boediono- Indonesia
- Chanthol Sun-Cambodia
- Dawn Hines-US
- Eric Kacou-Cote ‘d Ivoire
- Rosanna Ramos Velita-Peru
- Durreen Shahnaz- Bangladesh
- Shiv Khemka-India
- Jacob Wallenberg-Sweden
- Anthony Hamilton Russel-South Africa
- Keisuke Muratsu- Japan
- Arantxa Ochoa-Spain
- Leslie C. Koo- Taiwan
- Vassily Sidorov-Russia
- Roberto Canessa-Uruguay
- James Joo-Jin Kim- Korea
- Yu Minhong – China
The author creates a snapshot of these 17 individuals, with their unique cultural, educational, family backgrounds and the shaping of their attitudes to philanthropy, materialism, micro-finance, spiritualism etc. He concludes that everything is a spiritual problem and that spirituality is the solution to every problem. If we are true to our authentic selves, we can exercise control over our own spirituality. Intercultural communication is facilitated when one is free and spiritual.
The book was first published in Chinese for Shanghai University Press and enjoyed a two-month run on the best-seller list in China. It includes a glossary, maps, and uses Arno typeface, which is named after the Arno River. It is available for free on Kindle Unlimited. This is a book for everyone who has an interest in how people can work together more collaboratively and productively.
The book is available on Amazon.