"Extended Hand" Cross-Cultural Dialogues


increase cross-cultural understanding


The 1st NAEF is dedicated to peace building -- a focus area which includes fostering and enhancing understanding of different or separate societies and cultures. We are adamant in our belief that many conflicts, of the past and present day, are attributed to fomenting hatred, whereby state actors and non-state actors spread disinformation and misinformation to dehumanize. 

At the same time, of course not all regions are in conflict. And despite whether a population or community is in conflict, faces risk of seeing conflict, or merely wishes to increase cross-cultural knowledge for general increased awareness, educational and professional goals, or for humanitarian work, the 1st NAEF is the North American organization to engage with for assistance.

Currently, we are partnering with distinguished and reputable institutions which are also passionate and recognize the immense value of cross-cultural learning. Most recently we have successfully implemented cross-cultural dialogues between academic institutions and civil society organizations in Kurdistan, Iraq, and Herat Provence, Afghanistan. "World in Conversation" is the parent program PennState formed in the early 2000s and was the basis of the Extended Hand concept to support NATO learning. Extended Hand was funded under the grant and has since become a collaborate effort of the 1st NAEF.

Notably, our collaborating university in Kurdistan, Iraq, includes the Center for Peace and Human Security at the American University of Kurdistan (AUK) in Duhok, which has undergone its first Pilot Phase dialogues with Afghanistan Independent Bar Association. Soon, student participants at AUK will complete the second Pilot Phase dialogues, and speak directly with members of NATO member countries' militaries on a range of topics developed and designed to benefit both military and students.

As the 1st NAEF continues to develop and implement further partners recognizing value in cross-cultural learning, we actively seek private and institutional donors to fund our dedicated work in this highly relevant space in the 21st century.

Participants in cross-cultural dialogues can be members of civil society organizations, academic institutions, government branches/departments, and even separate NGOs/I-NGOs, among others. The benefit from these dialogue programs has no boundaries and we are able to implement dialogue programs virtually anywhere with access to internet/data. Past participants of the dialogues report real, tangible increases in cross-cultural competency.

Cross-cultural learning to build understanding and further humanize each other is the future. We are dedicated to creating that change, today. This is the change we want to see in the world we share.




1. Penn State World in Conversation program website:

2. WinC NATO project website (with video):

3. NATO News Room article supporting WinC: 


4. 1stNAEF announces Extended Hand pilot with AUK Kurdistan: