Marco Polo workshops - inventing the future of
cross-cultural education

What we do

Marco Polo Project designs and delivers learning experiences for people living and working across languages and cultures.

Our approach can be summed up in three keywords: self-awareness, empathy, resilience.

Self-awareness

Learning to interact in a new language and culture is more than just adding a new skill to the toolbox: it is a deep personal transformation. To support learners in this journey, the first task is to develop a clearer sense of our own personal identity. The more we knowing ourselves, the more we can learn from others.

Empathy

Learning is weaving new with old. Our brain is not an empty box: we come with assumptions and expectations, and these manifest more strongly when we interact across languages and cultures. Only by recognising this can we effectively learn from each other.

Resilience

It’s a long road, so let’s enjoy the journey. When people living across cultures and languages experience embarrassment, exhaustion or fear, the solution is neither grammar nor vocabulary. Instead, our workshops aim to develop emotional strength and positive mindsets.

Our programs

We design and deliver cutting-edge programs that aim to both address systemic cross-cultural dysfunctions and equip learners with tools and mindsets to better interact with diverse settings.

We also design and deliver tailored programs and workshops for groups and organisations facing a specific challenge related to language and/or cultural diversity, with a particular focus on China.

  • Design for Diversity

    A program for senior high-school students, using design thinking to better integrate international students to the school community.

  • Out of the Box

    A program for international students that equips them with the tools and mindsets to take full advantage of their time at university as a time of personal experimentation and discovery, and better engage with the local environment

  • Marco Polo Incubator - Horizon Project

    Marco Polo Project is currently supporting the development of a cutting-edge program addressing cross-cultural challenges in virtual teams, as part of the new Marco Polo incubator.

Partnerships

Since 2011, we have been fortunate to work with a range of cutting-edge organisations to design and deliver new workshops and events.

Here are some of the main organisations we have partnered with.

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Melbourne Knowledge Week

In 2014, 2015 and 2016, we contributed workshops to Melbourne Knowledge week, on ‘Language as a form of knowledge’, ‘Mapping language and culture’ and ‘For a China ready knowledge economy’
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Beijing Bookworm

In 2014, we partnered with the Beijing Bookworm on the first Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature – bringing together readers, writers and translators from Australia and China who embraced new digital tools as part of their practice.
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Sydney Ideas

In 2014, our founder delivered a lectured as part of the Sydney Ideas program under the title ‘A Journey through Digital China’. The lecture is available here
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Monash University, Centre for Translation and Interpretation

Since 2014, we have run a number of workshops, seminars and professional development courses in partnership with Monash University on collaborative translation and translation in the context of technological change.
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Language Connection

Since the start of our operations, we have collaborated closely with Language Connection, Melbourne’s #1 community organisation for language exchange. Areas of collaboration include joint events and facilitator training.
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Richmond West Primary School

In 2014 and 2015, we ran collaborative translation events with grade 4, 5 and 6 bilingual (Mandarin-English) classes at Richmond West Primary School.
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China30s

China30s run Shanghai’s leading storytelling and non-fiction workshops. Our magazine has republished a large number of their interviews with young Chinese innovators, and we partnered with them on a major translation event at Fudan High School in 2015.
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Yeeyan

During the 2014 Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature, we organised joint translation events with Yeeyan, China’s #1 crowdsourced/ community translation website.
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Fudan High School

In 2015, we ran a half-day translation event involving 90 students enrolled in the International Baccalaureate stream of Fudan High School, in partnership with Shanghai’s leading storytelling and innovation workshop, China30s.
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Melbourne Business School

Since 2016, we have been hosting practicum graduate students from Melbourne Business School. In 2017, a team from Melbourne Business School helped us design one of our flagship programs, Out of the Box.
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Writers Victoria

In 2016, we organised a full day event as part of the Melbourne Chinese Writers Festival, co-organised by Writers Victoria.
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Melbourne Writers Festival

In 2014, we partnered with Melbourne Writers Festival to run the first Marco Polo Festival of Digital Literature – exploring how readers, writers and translators in Australia and China have made use of digital tools for their engagement with the written word.
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Ivanhoe Girls Grammar school

In 2017, we partnered with Ivanhoe Girls Grammar School for the first pilot of our flagship program, Design for Diversity.
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Asia Education Foundation

Our founder gave a number of presentations at primary schools and high schools around Melbourne as ambassador for the Asia Education Foundation. In March 2017, we opened a full-day workshop for high school students on the Sustainable Development Goals with a presentation on global risk and global governance.
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Paris Sorbonne University

In 2016, we were invited to run a guest session as part of the Masters of Cultural Management at Paris-IV Sorbonne University on the topic of global cultural collaboration.

Work with us

If you would like to discuss one of our flagship programs, work with us on a program addressing the needs of your organisation, or discuss the potential incubation of a new project, please contact us through this form.