ICHSS 2016 : 18th International Conference on Human and Social Sciences

Swiss Scientific Society for Developing Countries

Abstract—Cultural setup is varied from country to country and nation to nation, but the ability to adapt successfully to the new cultural setup may pave the way toward the development of cultural intelligence. Overcoming differences may require to build up our personality with the ability to learn, exchange thoughts, and have a constructive dream. Adaptation processes can be accelerated if we effectively utilize our cultural diversity. This can be done through a unified body or society; people with common goals can collectively work to satisfy their values. Narrowing the gap between developed and developing countries is of prime importance. Many international organizations are trying to resolve these issues by rational and peaceful means. Failing to understand the cultural differences, mentalities, strengths and weaknesses of developed and developing countries led to the collapse of many partnerships. Establishment of a neutral body influenced by developed countries intellectuality and developing countries personality may offer a better understanding and reasonable solutions, suggestions, advice that may assist in narrowing gaps and promote-strengthening relationship between developed and developing countries. The key issues, goals, and potential concepts associated with initiating Swiss scientific society for developing countries as a model to facilitate integration of highly skilled scientists are discussed.

I. Introduction

HUMANS are a social living entity driven by motivation, needs, desires, and values. Intellectuality is part of human nature; consequently, exploration, development, innovation and adaptation are characteristic human behaviors that distinguish human from other living organisms. Humans utilize these behaviors to fulfill their mission and achieve a constructive outcome in life, hence the ability of humans to develop cultural intelligence [1]-[4] by adapting successfully to any new cultural setup is certainly feasible. Illuminate thinking drives us to recognize that all humans are equal but not identical, hence natural diversity is evident in human beings and observed in terms of personalities, abilities, geniuses and aptitudes; consequently, there will be variation and limitations in vision, mission, and objectives. These variations, to a certain extent, do exist among people coming from the same country, but they are more diverse and obvious among people coming from different countries. Therefore, it would be unrealistic to claim the absolute equality of human beings, even though humans are basically equal in rights, duties and accountability.

Thoughts/concepts that humans adopt, dictate our behavior, attitude and influence our thinking. Thoughts about life, the universe and other living entities are not adopted through evolution but through rationalization [5]. Rational thoughts are based on objective facts and comply with human nature. In the past and untill now, humans utilize rationality and freedom to protect and maintain Mankind, whereas other living organisms protect and maintain their existence through evolution followed by adaptation. Construction is human’s main mission on earth, building civilization requires to focus on three pillars namely health, food and security [6]. Those are the sign of a progressed society, and any initiative, which enriches health, food, and security will promote development of societies. Consequently, throughout history, humans designed medicines to maintain good health, built houses to increase security and developed food production to achieve adequate nutrition. Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) said: “The one among you who wakes up secure in his property, healthy in his body and has his food for the day, it is as he owned the entire world [7].”

II. Why We Are Different?

People are different; these differences have been a source of strength and personal identity. Positive thinking drive us to consider the honorable message behind the existence of cultural differences and intellectual diversity, however, their existence clearly not to deceive but to improve our understanding of one another. In general, the existence of these differences is a gift for society, understanding why we are different is knowledge and utilization of these differences is strength. To visualize better our differences, we need to understand the human nature and adaptation mechanisms [8]. Humans are rational beings, determined to develop knowledge, however development of knowledge is not necessarily required to change culture but to learn how culture in general can shape behaviors, values and beliefs. Humans are driven by vital forces namely organic needs and instincts. These forces do exist in all living organisms and act as a source of motivation to take action and obtain satisfaction. The presence of organic needs and instincts do not make humans a distinctive or unique entity, but what raises the human status, and made him superior to all creatures is the existence of mind and freedom of choice. Humans are the only thinkers with free will ability among all living organisms. Understanding and utilizing this intellect is necessary, and linking these specific abilities with our instincts and organic needs will formulate the best thoughts/concepts that lead to the development and progress of society. “Truly, we have honored the offspring of Adam and carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with At-Taiyibat (lawful good things) and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with (definite) preference” [9]. Therefore, mankind is absolutely the most favored creature, and this preference lies in our intellectual capabilities.

Thoughts and concepts are rationalized by humans, but human’s understanding of everything that surrounds him is different, varied, and influenced by the circumstances and surroundings, therefore human’s explanation and understanding of our organic needs and instincts is diverse, thus the system for organizing and satisfying them is different, varied, and influenced by the surroundings. Due to free will ability, human’s selection of his thoughts and concepts are more complex and depending on the degree of interest and type of thinking human adopt, those who utilize the illuminate thinking in their life are most rational and driven by intellectual paths compared to deep and superficial thinkers. With regards to thoughts/concepts selections, it is always associated with the seriousness to get answers about the purpose of life. Some are highly interested to know why they exist, what will happen after death and what is the relation between the life they live and life after. Those people will choose rational thoughts supported with reasons, others are less interested, therefore they will select thoughts and concepts which are more flexible and offer more freedom, though they are not rational and supported with reasons. This may explain why humans have different point of views about life and values; these differences are natural and will remain part of our natural makeup as long as we are thinkers with the free will ability. “Mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you [10].” The first part of the verse, God indicates that we have been created to be different for good intention, and basically not to replace or ignore each other but to know and deal with each other. The last part of the verse, God defines the most noble among us, clearly they are not the richest, healthiest, or belong to most noble family, but the most noble for God is the one who does good deeds and encourage others to do good deeds.

III. Management of Cultural Diversity

Science is an activity practiced by civilized society that aims to provide reliable and verifiable knowledge about the physical world. Utilizing science to achieve security in health and food are the prime signs of prosperity. Scientific progress is not visualized as the result of one nation and location, but rather as a series of continuous hard work and contribution from different nations and locations across the world. “Human’s instinct for knowledge has constantly urged him to probe the secrets of the unknown and to explore in advance what his further conditions may be, so that he can take the necessary precautions toward off with fortitude the danger and mishaps that may beset him” [11].

Cultural diversity [12] is an established fact and varied from community to community, the ability to adapt successfully between different communities paved the way toward the development of cultural intelligence. Overcoming cultural differences between communities can be achieved if we gather people to common terms and goals, take into consideration that cultural diversity is not an issue that needs to be solved, but a source of enrichment needs to be managed. If cultural differences are well managed, they will be a source of new perspectives, new ideas, and new hope. However, if mismanaged, they will be a source of discrimination, oppression, conflict and misunderstanding that sabotage teamwork, productivity and hinder human effectiveness. The best approach toward rational management and effective utilization of cultural diversity is to develop a framework where people with common goals can collectively work to satisfy their values and facilitate their adjustment. The framework could be represented by a unified body and strategy that need to deal with the type of challenge humans are willing to resolve. Narrowing the gap between developed and developing countries may represent one of the main challenges that need to be resolved. Understanding the cultural differences, mentalities, strengths and weaknesses of developed and developing countries may pave the way toward productive and practical solutions. To be more effective we need to establish a neutral body where members are influenced by developed countries intellectuality and developing countries personality. Such existing skills and qualifications may offer a better understanding and reasonable solutions, suggestions, advice that may assist in narrowing gaps and promote/strengthening relationship between developed and developing countries [13].

IV. Swiss Scientific Society for Developing Countries (SSSDC)

Switzerland is located in the centre of Europe, and shares borders with Germany, Austria, Italy, France and Liechtenstein [14]. The geographical location of Switzerland is a key element of Swiss economy; it is surrounded by major trading partners and has borders with three of the four largest European markets. Due to the strategic location, Switzerland gained diversity in cultures, languages and partnerships. Switzerland is committed to many key values such as neutrality, humanity, diplomacy and tolerance. Neutrality is highly reflected in Swiss political history, and has no history of colonization. Switzerland is a world leader in the development of environmentally friendly technology and systems for efficient energy use, reduction of carbon dioxide emissions and recycling. Consequently, Switzerland has the right qualification to play a role in bridging Europe with developing countries [15]. Therefore, we opted to establish the Swiss Scientific Society for Developing Countries (SSSDC) as a neutral, non-profit organization devoted to promoting communications, research, education and business between Switzerland and developing countries.

The main objectives of the Swiss Scientific Society for Developing Countries are to:

  • Promote and coordinate scientific and technical exchange with developing countries.
  • Build strong partnerships and networks that aim to develop an innovative project, knowledge transfer, and experience exchange.
  • Provide highly skilled advisors, consultants and auditors for bilateral investors to promote scientific and economic prosperity.
  • Provide a neutral and trusted body to initiate negotiation and facilitate investment flows, stabilizing the investment climate and provide neutral dispute management for investors to ensure mutual benefit.
  • Establish specifications and standardizations for chemicals and biomaterials.
  • Cooperate with other societies, institutions, universities, government, NGOs, and the private sector to advance common goals.

The society will have to interact with different potential partners. It can assist the Swiss government to promote scientific, economic, and social development in the developing countries and provides appropriate advising, auditing, and consulting to identify key opportunities and requirements. The society can also get involved in standardization and adaptation of marketing strategy that meet the needs of different geographical markets. In addition, the society may improve academic curricula for universities and institutions and promote research of relevance to fight disease in developing countries.

Fruitful interaction can be achieved between the Society and their potential partners through highly skilled and trusted members whom they are aiming to merge their scientific and intellectual skills with their oriental background. Members need to be equipped with the capability to build trust, resolve conflict, minimize the probability of misunderstanding, and cost negotiation between their partners

V.  Main Benefit

The main issue for highly skilled foreigners living in Switzerland is to create right atmosphere that may facilitate their integration and enhance their participation in the local society. The term integration is used to describe the process of adjustment when two different cultures are determined to live and merge within one society. The concept is debatable and highlighted the lack of consensus on its definition. The differences in the interpretation of the concept of integration may lead to different objectives from their respective integration policies [16].

The challenges related to integration are becoming more relevant, and the diversity of society is increasingly being considered. In this context it is necessary to improve knowledge regarding integration and analyze the link between highly skilled scientist and integration process, in order to generate new models and initiative that may facilitate integration. This dynamic process should be based, in order to be effective, on a peer-to-peer relationship and on a win-to-win approach.  Many models have been designed to integrate highly skilled foreigners, Swiss Scientific Society for Developing Countries represent one of those model which deals with the integration of highly skilled scientist living in Switzerland.

Having a decent job and high salary for a highly skilled foreigner is a source of motivation to stay in Switzerland but not enough to create mentally relaxed atmosphere that may facilitate their integration. It is always the mixed sentimental and feeling which dominate on being fair for the country where they born and the country where they lived with sincere intention to serve both countries equally.

The concept of SSSDC is to create a suitable atmosphere for highly skilled scientists who have the possibility to stay in Switzerland but still have mixed feeling toward Switzerland and their native countries. Their unique skills can be supported and utilized through the Society by creating the atmosphere that will give the chance for foreign scientists to serve their native countries while they are working in Switzerland by involving them, part time, in projects that serve Switzerland and their native countries. Those scientists are the most qualified to bridge Switzerland with their native countries by managing projects, which are of interest of both countries. They can understand the mentality of their native countries better than native Swiss and meanwhile they can comprehend Swiss mentality more than any of their native countries. Being loyal and productive for both countries, they are highly determined to promote and facilitate information transfer between partners, secure clear understanding, neutralize any potential conflict and achieve success for both nations. The atmosphere of being productive for both nations will create mutual satisfaction, which is an important factor that will definitely help and facilitate their integration [17].

As part of additional benefits, members will acquire greater knowledge and develop their profession, expertise, expand their network and skills to be able to identify key opportunities, define valuable strategies and deliver high quality results through interaction with partners and members.

VI.  Why SSSDC Is Important ?

The main principles SSSDC will adopt to achieve its goals are based on developing a vision that will allow to become a dominant player in bridging Switzerland with developing countries. This could be done by following strategies which will lead to removing barriers, building bridges, expanding markets and satisfying partners. Fruitful interaction between partners and SSSDC can be achieved through members which are highly skilled professionals with diverse cultural background. The Society will be acting as an important body for bridging Switzerland with developing countries, and will create the right atmosphere to enhance and facilitate integration of highly skilled scientists, initiate negotiations to expand Swiss markets and seek affiliation with Swiss universities to act as a source of education focused on topics, which are of importance for Switzerland and developing countries, such as clean water, fighting disease, environments and other fields of common interest.

VII.  Conclusion

Swiss Scientific Society for Developing Countries will act as a neutral and trusted body with intention to initiate negotiation and facilitate investment. The Society will assist Swiss government in promoting scientific, economic, and social development in the developing countries. The Society will act as a catalyzing body as well as stabilizing body to maintain a friendly atmosphere and neutralize any potential dispute and create a high standard business environment to ensure mutual benefit. The Society will provide appropriate advising, auditing, consulting to identify key opportunities, design a marketing strategy that meet the needs of different geographical markets and develop training courses that address industrial demands. The Society will help in developing and improving academic curricula for universities and institutions, and will act on strengthening and promoting research of relevance to fight disease in developing countries. The Society will be playing a useful role in bridging Switzerland with developing countries, with intention to facilitate integration, expand Swiss market and act as a source of education.


The author would like to thanks Dr. Ulrike Rieder for her fruitful discussion and corrections. Special thanks to Prof. Dr. Khaled Abou Hadeed, Dr. Asim Siddique, Dr. Afzal Dogar, and Dr. Loay Awad for their input and discussion about issues related to developing countries.


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