#TCKSummit - Interview with Lesley Lewis

A domestic TCK and CCK (British-American), Lesley's career in education, mental health and organisational consulting is underpinned by her deep interest in culture and the Third Culture phenomena. Having lived in Hong Kong for 30 years and worked across global markets, Lesley's work enables schools and organisations to understand the growth and importance of engaging TCKs and developing their unique experiences and talents. 


We asked her to share her insights on the Past, Present and Future of Third Culture….

[Watch the full video (15mins) here]

Interview Recap

What are some common characteristics of TCKs?

  • High Mobility - frequently moving cities, school, countries

  • Enriched cultural experience and background

  • Common questions that always prevail through to adulthood: Who am I? Where is home? What kind of relationships do I have?

How are organisations involving TCKs and evolving with TCKs? 

  • In Business: Recent work with organisations and companies reveal that they know little about TCKs or haven’t ever heard of them. Among mainstream US companies, much attention is given to diversity and cultural relevance but nothing appears to give relevance to TCKs or adult TCKs

  • In Schools: Despite the fact that the majority of existin research comes from education settings, few schools offer continuous programs for TCKs and few educators have been educated on what is cross-cultural. While some programs do exist, how continuous they are is a question to dig deeper in the future.

What are the differences you see in Western vs Asian contexts?

The differences in TCK research and education in Western vs Asian contexts are rooted in distinct historical contexts.

  • In the West: A lot of TCK research covers immigrant families and how they assimilate into Western cultures - a very different focus when you look at how a person is perceived in a cross-culture context. 

  • In the East - We see a hodgepodge of locals/expats/international living side by side in Asia, where people have been coming for centuries for business/trade. Rather than assimilation, importance is placed on learning local/multiple languages in order to work in Asian countries. Moreover, the fact that more Western-educated students/young adults are returning to the East with blended values, speaks to the transition and changes happening in Asia. 

‚ÄčIn both the East and West, education spheres are starting to pay more attention to the Third Culture phenomena.

What advice would you give to individuals trying to live their values and global citizens?

  • Embrace your TCKness

  • The world is becoming a global community, and who you are

  • Understand the value of being the mosaic of a global community; the world is wanting you

  • Help to create the change with your morals/values and create the mosaic of interdependency in the global community


  • What do we call ourselves? Are we global citizens? Are we global nomads? is TCK or CCK enough?

  • Where do you go into your community?

  • How are you letting people know about your amazing background, characteristics, assets and unique qualities you have?

  • What is our responsibility to share who we are and what we understand of the world with others? 

Tell us your thoughts! @TheChangeSchool #TCKSummit