As Dr. Taras was preparing a new International Business course, he thought it would be a good idea to partner with a professor in another country who was teaching a similar course. The students from the two countries would work in international virtual teams on a term project, in the process experiencing the challenges and learning best practices of international collaboration firsthand.
To find a colleague in another country who was teaching a similar course, Dr. Vas Taras sent out a call through the Academy of International Business mailing list. To his surprise, he received dozens of responses from business professors around the world within the first hour – and the rest is history.
Universities from 7 countries (about 400 students total) participated in X-Culture in the first season. Since then, our team has been growing steadily. As of 2015, almost 4,000 master’s and undergraduate students from over 100 universities in 40 countries on 6 continents participate in X-Culture in a given semester.
In late 2012, X-Culture expanded beyond academia when about 100 corporate employees and other non-student professionals participated in the project.
In 2013, a number of companies teamed up with X-Culture and presented their real-life business challenges for our students to solve. Cooperation with the business community makes the project more practical, facilitates research and learning and further benefits our students – as well as provides our corporate partners with creative solutions to their challenges.
In 2012, the first X-Culture symposium was held in Florida as a part of the AIB-SE conference.
In 2013, Mercedes-Benz hosted X-Culture symposium at its full-cycle bus and truck factory in Turkey. Since then, annual X-Culture meetings have been hosted by corporate partners such as the Home Depot, Louis Vuitton, and JBC. The opportunity to meet face-to-face with their teammates, exchange ideas, expand professional and personal networks further benefits our students. Contact us if your company wants to host an X-Culture Symposium.
In 2015 X-Culture started experimenting with new models crowdsourcing business solutions. If diversity and numbers really trump ability, X-Culture will harness the power of crowds and change the business consulting model like Wikipedia changed the way encyclopedias are written and Linux changed the way software is developed. The initial results of our experiments with different crowdsourcing models are very encouraging.
X-Culture was the right idea proposed at the right time. A project of this scope and scale would have not been possible just a few years ago, not without significant funding and specifically developed proprietary online collaboration and performance monitoring tools. Today, with Google Docs, Dropbox, Facebook Groups, numerous video chat options and new tools added every few months – all free, all easy to use – which makes X-Culture possible.
Looking into the future, X-Culture is changing the face of International Business education and business consulting.