Culture! What exactly is it?

In this episode Pellegrino and I explored culture in both a society wide and organisational context.

We pushed ideas around about what “culture” actually is. We talked about values, value systems and how these drive complex patterns of ideas, emotions and behaviours”.

After talking about culture and what it is, Pellegrino and I explored our own life experiences, of living and working in culturally diverse environments, to explain fundamental, but very often overlooked aspects of culture. How, often we do not acknowledge the existence of our cultural values, or even know what our values are until something challenges them. And, how very often, when our values are challenged in provokes a very real emotional response in us.

The question I would put to all of our listeners is how effective is your organisations efforts to develop and embed its stated cultural values, including those associated with cyber security, into its every day working environment?


Pellegrino was born in the UK in an immigrant family from the south of Italy. For the last 25 years he has lived in Norway with his Norwegian wife and three, very Scandinavian-looking, blonde children.

During his career as trainer and public speaker, Pellegrino has excited and delighted audiences all over the world. With his unique brand of public speaking, Pellegrino has a rare ability to present complex ideas in a simple, practical and accessible way.

In 2020, Pellegrino won Norwegian Speaker of the Year, an award he won against tough competition from over 600 of the country’s top speakers. A deciding factor in the jury’s decision to award Pellegrino with this accolade was the way in which he managed to successfully make the leap from the pre-Covid physical stage to the “new normal” digital one.

Pellegrino has 3 TED Talks under his belt. His TEDx Bergen Norway about cultural differences talk has clocked up over a million views.

Pellegrino’s talks aim to “Entertain, Educate, and Elevate” the audience (The 3 Es). This he achieves by means of a seamless fusion of masterful storytelling and observational humour in what he calls “edutainment” (education + entertainment).

Coupled with a unique combination of powerful visual and multimedia effects, Pellegrino takes his audience on a visceral and emotional journey.

“I don’t just want my audiences to understand my message; I want them to feel it too,” says Pellegrino.

Key Topics 

    • What is culture.
    • How we don’t recognise and value our own cultural values easily.
    • How cultures are formed in 3 steps.
    • Cultural influence.
    • The tipping point. Building momentum in behaviour to deliver culture change.
    • Culture clash. Examples using Hofstede’s “Uncertainty avoidance” value.
    • How different values of different cultures provide opportunities to design awareness and behaviour initiatives differently.
    • Technology impact on society and how this impacts culture.
    • What’s missing from how many try to influence cyber security culture.
    • How technology can contribute to cultural change.
    • Technology needs to be combined with human inter action, face to face, to achieve the most effective cultural change.


    Pellegrino Riccardi Pellegrino (

    Pellegrino Ted talk: Cross cultural communication | Pellegrino Riccardi | TEDxBergen – Bing video



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