As a young scientific community from diverse regions of the globe, under the flagship of the Global Young Academy (GYA), we recognize that much of our richness lies in cultural diversity and that effective communication is the cornerstone of our collaboration. We therefore present this manifesto outlining the basis for promoting effective cross-cultural communication in our community (GYA members, alumni and our GYA Office).
We declare that:
- *Value and Ethics*: We value and respect individual perspectives, experiences, and knowledge.
- *Active Listening*: We actively listen, allowing each member’s voices and perspectives to be understood and valued.
- *Empathy and Understanding*: We strive to understand and respect all points of view and approaches of others. We understand that, for an effective process of understanding, it is key to focus on asking questions rather than making snap judgments about what is heard.
- *Clarity and Openness in Communication*: We convey our ideas with clarity and simplicity. The GYA requires respectful communication that understands that most members express themselves in a non-native language and that each member brings with them their own verbal usages and cultural expressions that can sometimes seem foreign, strange, or even shocking to others.
- *Open to dissent*: Discrepancy is an engine for progress and advancement, therefore we must advocate for respectful exchanges to ensure that our members can express themselves freely, each from their own perspective (which is intimately affected by their situation and history, among others), and especially try to stay away from sharp positions tending to eliminate or suppress other ways of thinking. Science is not dogmatic, and therefore, our exchanges should be contemplative and open.
- *Constructive Conflict Resolution*: In the face of possible conflicts, our response will always be constructive, oriented towards mutual understanding and collective well-being. If the community can’t agree on a subject, pausing a debate may not mean the conflict is resolved, but sometimes a pause is needed for future reflections.
- *Equality and Diversity*: We guarantee equal voice and participation in the GYA, valuing each contribution without prejudice.
- *Promotion of Intercultural Communication*: We encourage intercultural learning and training within the GYA, providing our members with tools and resources (e.g. webinars, workshops, etc.).
- *Building Bridges of Understanding*: The GYA offers a platform for intercultural understanding, fostering peace, collaboration and scientific cooperation locally, regionally and globally. Some bridges may take longer to build, but openness is crucial.
- *Responsible Representation*: Although we have been selected for our individual contributions, we are indirectly representative of our cultures and nations. Therefore, we assume the responsibility to project a respectful and positive conversation and discussion.
- *Continuous Engagement*: Cross-cultural communication is an ongoing process. We embrace diversity and disagreement because through such conversations we broaden our horizons, strengthen our individual skills and become catalysts for change with a global vision.
- *Empathy and perception of others*: Face-to-face exchanges (whether in person or virtual) should be encouraged in order to have the opportunity to understand emotions, contexts and interpretations, especially when discussing complex topics.
This manifesto will not only guide our intercultural communication within the GYA, but should also reflect our commitment as a young scientific community to the world. We come together to strengthen our community and, consequently, to empower science worldwide.
Members and Alumni of the Global Young Academy working group on “Science Diplomacy in the Americas”, November 2023