Multicultural improvisation

Multicultural improvisation

Multicultural Improvisation (MI) is a concept founded by Ms. Kerstin Gauffin, head of Division of Theatre and Creative Applications, Mälardalen University, School of Innovation, Design and Engineering, Eskilstuna, Sweden and Tomi Välimaa, teacher of Drama Education/improvisational theatre, Finland.

People travel around the world more than ever today, in their studies and work as well as for leisure. We cross borders with people of diverse ethnic backgrounds and coming from different cultures; meanwhile we often wonder about the differences in behavior and habits, from which misunderstandings and miscommunication often occur. Multicultural Improvisation gives the opportunity to explore these issues through experiential action and interaction.


What is multicultural improvisation?

Interaction in Multicultural Improvisation (MI) involves quick decisions, spontaneous actions and it enables people to bring unconscious knowledge to a conscious level and share it with others. MI provides you with the means to help you to read, understand and express communicative signals in different culture-specific contexts. It diminishes the risks of misinterpretations and helps you to keep your mind curious and playful instead of being judgemental and narrow. Offering not only the means for transmitting multicultural knowledge, MI also aims at generating it.

Where can multicultural improvisation be used?

The concept of MI is both experiential and experimental learning through action and it expands the repertoire of social roles we normally play in our own cultures. MI has been practiced in companies, organisations and schools, such as Mälardalen University, Sweden. It has also been introduced at international conferences in Trondheim, New York and Tokyo.

Learning in multicultural improvisation

MI is a method that can be applied worldwide. It is a practical and tangible way to learn an active and social learning environment about, for instance, everyday life, education, art, history, religion, social norms of other cultures, and also of one's own. MI also helps to develop skills that support personal growth and professional competence such as communication and interpersonal skills, creativity and innovation, constructive cooperation, negotiation, problem solving and leadership skills.


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