[MUSIC] Hello, my name is Aurelien Colson. I'm a professor of Political Science at ESSEC Business School, where I am the Director of the Research Center on Negotiation and Conflict Management, IRENE. Welcome on board this second MOOC dedicated to cross-cultural and international negotiations. This MOOC belongs to the specialization negotiation, in which you are encouraged to enroll if you want to develop your negotiation skills. In this specialization, our first MOOC focused on negotiation fundamentals. This second MOOC explores cross-cultural and international negotiation. A third MOOC will introduce mediation as a conflict resolution process. The globalization of economies and the massive flows of professionals around the world turn many business negotiations into a truly cross-cultural experience. Even internal negotiation within the same organization, may be cross-cultural as most corporations, global NGOs, or international entities gather professionals from an ever wider set of origins. Of course, cultural differences should not be overestimated. As a matter of fact, increasing international exchanges also cultivates a form of homogeneity. You compare with when Marco Polo discovered at the end of the 13th century, the empire of Kublai Khan in China, he certainly had a cultural shock. Nowadays, everybody has heard of China. So let's be careful about cliches and stereotypes. However, cultural differences should not be underestimated either. Indeed, they clearly constitute a source of misunderstandings, of optimal solutions, of stalemates, and even of conflicts. Research tends to demonstrate that culturally heterogeneous pairs of negotiators achieve larger results than homogeneous pairs. In addition, cultural differences do not simply echo different national cultures. Within the same country, regional cultures can be different. Organizations have their own corporate culture. The negotiation culture at the World Bank is different from that at the IMF. There are also different professional cultures. Do lawyers negotiate the same way as salespeople? I don't think so. Last but not least, there is the uniqueness of each and every individual, depending on the values he or she cherishes. That diversity is a given. It is also the shared treasure of humanity. As a result, which principles and tools can help you turn cultural diversity Into a source of strength and value creation potential? This MOOC will walk you through a fascinating journey, investigating cultural differences and their impact on the people dimension and the process dimension of any negotiation. Many examples and tools will be shared with you. And of course, the making of this MOOC had to be as multicultural as possible. The main speaker will be my colleague, Professor Alan Jenkins, a British gentleman who has managed to survive in France for many years. Many scripts were written by Severine Lebrun-Kuan, who was born in France, and whose husband is from Singapore. Additional input will come from Francesco Marchi from Italy, Ta Wei Chao from Taiwan, and Joseph Maila from Lebanon. And this team relied on the experience of ESSEC's Institute for Research Education and Negotiation, IRENE, which has carried out missions in more than 75 countries so far. So we did our best to bring diversity into this MOOC, and we all hope that you will enjoy it.