Global - Virtual Collaboration and Co-Creation Tips - Digital Promise

Global – Virtual Collaboration and Co-Creation Tips

Collaborating and co-creating with others is a great way to learn about the world. Below are a few tips for collaborating with partners in other places.

“The Platinum Rule”

While the golden rule tells us to treat others as WE want to be treated, the platinum rule guides us to treat others as THEY want to be treated. As you collaborate and co-create with others, remember the platinum rule and practice active listening, curiosity, humility, and empathy. These habits can lead to more productive and fulfilling collaboration, and projects that are more likely to resonate with others.


If you’re collaborating with other creators, take time to establish some rules of engagement. Keep in mind that people may be paying for their time online, have limited or slow bandwidth, or might have certain sites and tools blocked in their country or location. These considerations can help in determining things like what platforms you will use to communicate, scheduling and frequency of your communications, and what tools and apps will work best on the hardware and devices you each have available.


Your partner may have to translate your message into their first language to share with others in their community. As you write, think about the various slang and colloquial phrases you might be using. For example, describing someone as having “dirty blond hair” could lead to confusion.  Even in the same language, pronunciation and spellings vary – for example, the “colour” versus “color.”

Time and time zones

Look at where your partners are on a map and find out what time zone they live in. If scheduling a meeting, check a time zone tool to see what the time difference is between you so that you choose a time that works best one both sides.


In most countries, people write dates with day, month, year, or year, day, month, unlike in the United States, where it’s written month, day, year.  Writing out the name of the month can help both sides avoid confusion.

Distance and weight

There are two main systems for measuring distances and weight – the Imperial System and the Metric System. Most countries use the Metric System, which uses the measuring units such as meters and grams and adds prefixes like kilo, milli and centi to count orders of magnitude. The United States uses the Imperial system and measures things in feet, inches and pounds. Check to see what your partners use and if needed, convert measurements to make things easier for your partners.


Do your partners live in a place that uses Fahrenheit or Centigrade temperatures?  Most countries around the world use Celsius, not Farenheit for describing temperature. Curious what the weather is like in your partner’s location? This is a great chance to practice your math!

  • °C to °F -> Divide by 5, then multiply by 9, then add 32
  • °F to °C -> Deduct 32, then multiply by 5, then divide by 9

Or, you can use an online conversation tool like or the one above to see what their temperature is.

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