Workshops, courses and lectures

are based on yearlong and successful teaching experience

at home and abroad

In the classroom or at the podium emphasis is always on interactive dialogue between the lecturer and the participants. Mirra‘s education as well as research and consultation is always conducted in cooperation with the client/s and aim at addressing their specific needs, if required. 

For managers 

Workshops and courses 

Multi-national workplace – an asset or a liability?

Different languages, different values, different understanding, different work culture, language difficulties and prejudice are just few of the uncountable challenges accompanying multi-national workplaces. In this workshop the participants acquire a deeper insight, understanding and training in cultural competence and its unequivocal value for all concerned at the workplace.

Cultural competence and international relations

The ever increasing international cooperation between Icelanders and peoples of other cultures whether at home or abroad calls for the need of cultural competence. In the workshop the participants will learn how their own culture has molded management styles, meeting protocols, business negotiations, culture and contracts.

For mixed groups 

Workshops and courses 

Gaining cultural sensitivity and competence in culturally diverse settings/workplaces

Cultural diversity is a new dimension in Icelandic society. How does culture influence and shape ideas, interactions, behavior and people’s existence? In what ways do immigrants influence Icelandic society, my workplace, my home district and what really characterizes Icelandic culture? Is integration a one or two way street? Participants are alerted to the challenges embedded in cultural diversity, simultaneously as they are trained in cultural competence.

 Diversity in the workplace

The Icelandic labor market is well organized and flexible where women’s participation is over 80% – one of the highest in the world – and with immigrants constituting one fifth (20%)  of the labor force. However, the labor market is divided both by gender and country of origin, with some workplaces heavily biased one way or the other. Challenges following cultural diversity in the workplace will be explored and discussions on how they can best be approached to the advantage of every employee in the organization.

Communication and better morale in the workplace

Well-being in the workplace is dependent upon good morale. It is in everyone’s interest to solve disagreements and conflicts bound to come up wherever people are together. In this workshop the focus is on how to improve communication and morale. Emphasis is on how each individual bears responsibility in maintaining good workplace morale. Participants learn various ways/methods to better express themselves that will eventually generate overall better workplace morale. Empowerment is the bonus of this workshop.

Whether I can? Not a problem. Empowerment and more confident communications 

The workshop aims at making people more secure of themselves – and happier – by improving their confidence and give them tools/methods to acquire these objectives. The workshops focus and emphasis are on empowerment and the connection between positive self-image and good communication skills.

For everyone

Talks and lectures 

“You can play with us but not you” – on discrimination and exclusion of the “other”

Divisions and categorizations have deep roots with the human race and do not necessarily, have to be bad. However, when divisions into “us” and “them” entail exclusion, contempt and discrimination toward others, something is seriously wrong. Such ideas and behavior are expressed in various ways such as homophobia, racism, Islamophobia, misogyny and more. Where do these ideas come from, how are they maintained and how do they rhyme with Icelandic reality and the demand for equality for all citizens? The lecture addresses these imposing ideas and questions and puts them into perspective.

International migration: destination Iceland

Iceland is a new destination on the map of contemporary international migration. What characterizes ‘Immigrant Iceland’, how does it compare with the neighboring countries? Immigration policy according to law – de jure – and immigration policy in reality – de facto – what is the difference? Are the authorities/ government proactive or reactive and does it matter? How does the cohabitation between the migrants and the locals/nationals go? Is it possible to measure impact economic/social/cultural of immigrants upon their new country?

Icelandic, immigrants, English and the tourists

Icelandic society is changing faster than ever before. That some knowledge of English- written or spoken – is necessary, is a fact. English is more often than not the first language of communication between immigrants and Icelanders in and out of the workplace. What will become of our “beloved” Icelandic if this trend continues? There are few things that stir up equally strong emotions like the discourse on the Icelandic language. The presentation will address the hotly debated issues within this discourse.

Being an Icelander – national identity – what does it mean?

Culture is a powerful, mystical and oftentimes an unconscious power that determines the perceptions, values, conceptions and behavior of individuals and groups. What is it that makes Icelanders Icelandic? Do the ever increasing influences from other cultures pose threats to specific characteristics of Icelandic nationality? The presentation discusses the volatile, ever changing and mystical power and value of (national) culture in an unusual and critical manner.

Has the shiny picture of Iceland fallen apart? Iceland’s reputation –

one narrative or many?

In this presentation, Icelanders ideas about themselves in the 21th century are under scrutiny. From ‘innocence’ to massive immigration, economic crash and a ‘gender paradise’, to money scandals and millions of tourists. What are the ideas others have about Iceland and Icelanders and do they matter for the national identity? The presentation will discuss these controversial issues from the inside out.

Name giving – Icelandic laws on names –

some may do what others are banned from doing

In Iceland, family names or surnames are only permitted for some but banned for others whose surnames have to be either  patronymic a name that is based on the given name (= the name given at birth) of someone’s father (patromymic) or the given name of their mother (matronymic). . Immigrants are however, only allowed to pass their family names down two generations. Given names have to be acknowledged by an official naming committee. Why is Elizabeth banned but Elísabet permitted? Is it more dangerous to be named Kevin than Baldvin? Is it justifiable to legally ban non-gender specific names in the day and age of several genders? In the presentation the Icelandic naming laws will be discussed and put into historical and ideological context. Questions will be posed regarding the fairness of the law in times of ever increased consciousness concerning social and legal equity for all of societies citizens.

General Information

Mirra emphasizes, that each and every workshop and/course can be tailor made to fit the demands of the customer. Classes are held at times most suitable to the customer whether in regular working hours from 9AM – 5PM or at other times. The classes differ in length, some are 1×2 hours others are 2×3 hours with breaks in between. Bigger and longer courses or workshops are arranged in cooperation with the customer. Teaching is based upon presentations of the lecturer and an interactive dialogue between her and the participants. Participants are engaged in short tasks, either as individuals or groups.

Lectures/presentations are usually 35-40 minutes and with questions from the audience an hour all in all.

Discount is given upon purchase of several workshops/courses at a time. Confirmation fee must be paid upon registration and is non-refundable. Cancellations must be notified at least ten days ahead. Should a cancellation be notified only 5-9 days ahead, customer will be charged 50% price. If notifications for cancellation are less than five days, customer pays full price.

The mean size of groups in workshops and courses is 22 persons.  No limits are set for the size of the audience at lectures.