M&E Thursday Talk – Building Cross-Cultural Relationships through Virtual Exchange and Virtual Reality – 05.19.16

On May 19th, 2016 at 10:00 am EST, Allison Finn of Global Nomads Group hosted a Thursday Talk on Building Cross-Cultural Relationships through Virtual Exchange and Virtual Reality.

In the lead up to this year’s Alliance for Peacebuilding Annual Conference, Allison Finn explored how virtual exchange and virtual reality can help youth and diverse communities develop intercultural empathy, break down stereotypes, and prevent conflict. Alli introduced these tools through the lens of Global Nomads Group’s (GNG) virtual exchange programs, which bridge gaps between youth in the US and Arab and Muslim worlds. GNG’s programs pair classrooms in different countries, to learn from and with each other through project-based learning curricula, online collaboration, videoconferencing, and virtual reality. Alli shared examples of effective student dialogue and social activism projects, and fostered a discussion about how these tools can be used to combat extremism and discrimination.

Please find the recording below (webinar begins at 1:30):


2016-05-19 09.59 M_E Thursday Talk – Building Cross-Cultural Relationships through Virtual Exchange and Virtual Reality from DME for Peace on Vimeo.

About the Speaker

Allison Finn is a conflict resolution professional focused on intercultural dialogue, mediation, and education, with experience working in multicultural NYC, the Middle East, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Since 2012, she has worked with Global Nomads Group (GNG) to design and facilitate virtual exchange programs connecting youth in the Muslim and Arab worlds with peers in the US. As Program Coordinator, she leads development of multilingual curricula, facilitator and educator training, and digital tools for schools in 11 countries.

Since 2014, Alli has also served as a mediator and coach with the New York Peace Institute. She has completed advanced trainings on youth casework, criminal court mediations, and restorative justice. She is a 2015-16 fellow in NYU Wagner’s Fellowship for Emerging Leaders in Public Service, a leadership and career accelerator for young NYC public service professionals.

Prior to joining GNG, Alli innovated with an ed tech start-up, studied Arabic in Jordan and Tunisia, and completed a junior diplomacy fellowship at the US Department of State. She is a proud alumna of Northwestern University, where she studied International Relations, Theatre, and Arabic. In her free time, Alli writes, hikes, and rock climbs.

At the Alliance for Peacebuilding conference, Alli will lead a May 25th workshop on GNG’s work using virtual exchange and virtual reality to promote empathy and break down stereotypes, specifically between the US and Arab and Muslim worlds.

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