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Welcome to the site of Geert and Gert Jan Hofstede. This is Geert's only website.

FotoGeertn.b. See more lectures through the links on page Geert. Geert Hofstede (1928): I am a Dutch social psychologist who did a pioneering study of cultures across modern nations. To know what's on my mind these years, click here for the article or watch my speech 'the seven deadly sins'. Or check the 30-min interview 'Geert Hofstede on culture' (vimeo here, Youtube on right-hand side of screen), by Gert Jan. Read more about my theory under "culture". See under "Geert" for what was on my mind before, and for my CV.

 

 

Would you like to know how to pronounce our names?

The opening 'G' can be a challenge. Make an 'H' and lift the back of your tongue.

The vowels are different. 'Geert' sounds like 'great' (which is also the etymology). 'Gert' sounds like 'red'.

 

fotoGertJan Gert Jan Hofstede (1956): I am a Dutch population biologist and social scientist in information management and social simulation, interested in the interplay of the contrasting forces of cultural evolution, societal change and cultural stability ( more under "Gert Jan").

Virtual characters with culture. Together with partners from around the world, I (Gert Jan) work on modelling of social behaviour, including culture, in virtual (computer) characters. Creating believable behaviour that is not fully scripted in advance is quite a challenge. Check back here or at project sites www.ecute.eu (education for cultural understanding), www.semira.wur.nl (policy across countries) to know more. You can now see a preview of  MIXER, eCute's cross-cultural learning tool for children. And here is the background story, as well as the demo version, for TRAVELLER, our Xbox-using cross-cultural training tool for adolescents about a youth's travels around the world in sear of grandfather's lost treasure. Our hero encounters virtual humans with a variety of cultures based on AI models. See www.gertjanhofstede.com for more background.

 
Why is culture so important? Every visitor of this site has her or his unique personality, history, and interest. Yet all people share a common human nature. Our shared human nature is intensely social: we are group animals. We use language and empathy, and practice collaboration and intergroup competition. But the unwritten rules of how we do these things differ from one human group to another. "Culture" is how we call these unwritten rules about how to be a good member of the group. Culture provides moral standards about how to be an upstanding group member; it defines the group as a "moral circle". It inspires symbols, heroes, rituals, laws, religions, taboos, and all kinds of practices - but its core is hidden in unconscious values that change at a far slower rate than the practices. We tend to classify groups other than our own as inferior or (rarely) superior. This applies to groups based on national, religious, or ethnic boundaries, but also on occupation or academic discipline, on club membership, adored idol, or dress style. In our globalized world most of us can belong to many groups at the same time. But to get things done, we still need to cooperate with members of other groups carrying other cultures. Skills in cooperation across cultures are vital for our common survival. The authors of these pages are committed to the development of such intercultural cooperation skills.

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