What is Cultural Diplomacy to you?

By Edward W. Scott, Co-Founder, Enterprise Software Company BEA Systems

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“Being culturally sensitive is an important element in doing business in somebody else’s country.
Cultural Diplomacy and school exchanges are the most important tools.

If I were the President of the United States and I wanted to do one thing that would improve the relationship between the United States and the rest of the world, I would quadruple student exchanges, students coming to the US to go to the University, and I would pay for that. This is a piece of Cultural Diplomacy that I would be very much in favor of.

How could corporations work with them? Maybe, corporations could provide scholarships. One of the things that are now being talked about in the US are how to find ways so that students who come from the overseas can stay and contribute and then later go back. A lot of people say that this mindset is wrong, that we want them to go back to their countries because then they can benefit from American education. But as far as I am concerned the fact is that they would do much better for their countries by staying in the US, because the money they send back to their countries would be much more significant in helping the country grow.

You have people talking about nurses who come to the US from Malawi and criticize the US for stealing nurses from Malawi. Yet with the money that each one of them sends back to Malawi, five nurses can be trained, with a multiplying effect on the Malawian economy.

This is a piece of Cultural Diplomacy that I would be really in favor of, giving students scholarships throughout the world. Corporations could participate to some degree; they are in business to make money and they do quite a bit for the local economy just by hiring people and giving them decent conditions of work, and this is very important as well”.