This contribution seeks to shed light on potential answers and solutions for selected critical incidents (CI). For these purposes, two well-defined CIs were chosen that allow for a wide range of possible interpretations across cultures. Against the background of the international Erasmus+ project entitled ‘Critical Incidents in Intercultural Communication and Promoting Diversity’ all five project partner countries, namely the Czech Republic, Germany, Finland, Austria and Italy have participated in this exploratory study to identify how the respective societal sample may interpret the critical incidents at hand. At each partner institution, a purposive sample consisting of six selected experts was conducted to elaborate on the CIs and provide possible answers and further introspection of their train of thought. In a second step, a thematic analysis was conducted to allow for the extraction of subthemes and the creation of a thematic map. The findings were then sketched in line with specific cultural theories to verify if prevalent and hard-wired assumptions are still valid. This is all the more relevant in view of the dynamic VUCA world where volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous situations dominate our digitalized and globalized knowledge society. To account for these complexities, it was sought to not only look at societal cultures as a source of possible interpretations. In addition, it was attempted to also take account of demographic, cognitive, disciplinary and functional diversity. Despite the different perspectives adopted by the informants, it was still possible to find common societal ground within their interpretations. As such, a number of culture-specific attributes in terms of communicative styles and orientations to oneself, time and hierarchy were able to associate with the respective geographical regions.