Putting Global Citizenship into Practice – A Townhall
Global Citizenship is a concept which intertwines our identity with the interconnected, interdependent world of today. The Global Citizenship Townhall revolved around the theme of “Putting Global Citizenship into Practice”, where we explored ways to elevate the concept from the realm of theory to the realm of action!
We fully recognize that the essence of global citizenship lies in the spirit of teamwork and camaraderie. Meet our inspiring panelists from around the world, and witness the conversation by tuning into the Townhall!
“The planet stands at a critical juncture today during a pandemic that has forced people everywhere to introspect on our journey as a human force hitherto. The COVID-19 induced anthropause has called upon the whole of humanity to unite This opportunity beckons us to rise above our conditioned mindset and narrow paradigms and discover our role as global citizens. By shedding individualistic approaches, we appeal to the collective human conscience to join hands for a reliable, sustainable, and peaceful future. The die is yet to be cast, and the onus is on us to chronicle the annals of history as responsible world citizens inhabiting an inclusive and tolerant macrocosm.” – An excerpt from our Whitepaper ‘The State of Global Citizenship’
For too long, Global Citizenship has been confined to select academic circles, giving it a mythical aura of elitism. The reality is that Global Citizenship can be practiced anywhere, anytime, and by anyone! Hannah Arendt brought out the essence of the concept when she described Global Citizenship as nothing but ‘an ethic of care for the world’. With this background, our Townhall, organized during our maiden ‘Global Citizenship Week 2021‘, aimed to be a roundtable conversation that deliberated on the tools to promote Global Citizenship on various levels, linking Global Citizenship with personal and local aspirations and fostering intercultural understanding and collaboration.
Relive the event below!
Key Highlights from the Townhall!
Moderated by Steffen Bethmann, Executive Director of the Melton Foundation, ‘Putting Global Citizenship into Practice’ TownHall touched upon crucial aspects of Global Citizenship as it stands today and explored new ideas and ways to engage the youth, overcome superficial boundaries and develop a global mindset!
The major issues and topics that were discussed by each panelist during the course of the TownHall are follows :
- Shehzia Lilani (Country Director – India, Amani Institute) – the methods used by Amani Institute to foster a global mindset, including by uncovering hidden connections between people, ideas and systems – using global mindset as a value to catalyse impact across both perceived and real boundaries.
“It’s in hearing contrarian views that we actually learn. It is in meeting someone who challenges your worldview that we open our minds to hearing and understanding the context in which the other person speaks.”
- Ms. Ediola Pashollari (Secretary – General, World Assembly of Youth) – How Global Citizenship Education can go beyond formal pedagogies and take place in non-formal/informal settings – Young people have been and will continue to be at the heart of Global Citizenship by challenging the norms and staying ahead through tech-savviness.
“Whatever you are doing, never give up because change is challenging but never wrong.”
- Patricija Virtič (Head of Global Education at SLOGA and a Bridge 47 Representative) –
The work of an individual can never be understated as when many individuals form a collective front to combat global concerns together, the actions can snowball into a transformation – Value based education with a holistic approach can empower people around the world.
“The coronavirus and issues like Climate Change don’t recognise national boundaries – if we do not tackle these problems together we are not going to solve them. ”
- Sartaj Anand (Founder, egomonk) – The ethic of care for the world is often trampled by contrarian forces which can be defeated using compelling narratives created by technology and media – Providing the youth with the layer which will help them become impact catalysts by giving each one a voice on a platform.
“Global Citizenship is a muscle, it is a conditioning exercise. It is important to keep working on it.”
Some of the other topics broached during the TownHall were :
- Accommodating polarising views within the same environment to boost learning experiences
- Bridging intergenerational gaps which are already being made narrower owing to the advent of the digital era
- Realigning Global Citizenship Education to allow students to foray into informal categories and learn from communities based in different parts of the world
- Bringing industries on the sidelines and private sector organizations into the conversation of Global Citizenship and sustainability
To end the TownHall, Dr. Bethmann asked each panelist to submit a statement on Global Citizenship to provide a succinct summary of the different paths they highlighted to reach the goals advocated by Global Citizenship. Following a round up of the views of the panelists, the TownHall came to a close, leaving behind a rich collection of newly gathered experience and information which will help propel Global Citizenship into the realm of practice!
Meet our inspiring panelists!
Joining us as the moderator for the Panel Discussion is Dr. Steffen Bethmann, Executive Director of the Melton Foundation. In his own words, “Most of today’s grand challenges have consequences that are global in nature and hence require joint approaches and collaboration to deal with them. At the Melton Foundation, we want to translate the ethic of care for the world into tangible actions. We support young people in developing global competencies and impacting their communities. Normally, part of our operations would be to convene in-person encounters, but given the restriction imposed by COVID-19, we strive to adapt to the virtual world, and incentivize collaboration across boundaries and intercultural interactions!”
Our first speaker for the session is Sartaj Anand, Founder of EgoMonk. Deeply committed to improving the state of the world through proximate partnerships, EgoMonk helps make sense of change. It is a global intelligence platform delivering asymmetric outcomes by bringing organizations closer to the communities they want to serve and the leaders they wish to influence. Sartaj’s EgoMonk and the Melton Foundation jointly convened a roundtable in 2019 in Bangalore which also led to the publication of our maiden whitepaper on the State of Global Citizenship. Read the paper here!
An Albanian by nationality, Ms. Ediola Pashollari holds a Master’s Degree in Business Administration (UK); a Master’s Degree of Arts in Political Science (UK), a Master’s Degree in Entreprenology (USA), and also a Degree in LLB (UK). Presently, she is the Secretary-General of the World Assembly of Youth (WAY) which is headquartered in Melaka, Malaysia. Through her capacity as the Secretary-General of WAY and the Director of the World Youth Institute (WYI), she has been instrumental in assisting and supporting various youth initiatives, events, and activities at local, regional, and international levels. She has also consulted and contributed to the drafting of numerous youth policies and strategies related to youth issues, at the regional and international levels. Her heart’s desire is to see that the youth around the world are prepared to face the many changing challenges that are occurring globally, and educate them on achieving a sustainable future!
Patricija Virtič is the Head of Global Education at SLOGA and a Bridge 47 Representative. Bridge 47 was created to bring people together to share and learn from each other. It mobilizes civil society from all around the world to contribute to a transformation towards global justice and eradication of poverty through Global Citizenship Education.SLOGA Platform is the Slovene national NGOs platform for development, global education, and humanitarian aid – Slovene Global Action. Patricija developed and managed several projects funded by the EU, Slovene government, and private funds, focusing on Global Citizenship Education, Awareness Raising, Development Cooperation, Gender Equality, Youth, Social and Solidarity Economy, Migration, Democracy, Cultural Diversity and Sustainable Development Goals. She is also a co-author of publications and manuals and has developed, implemented, and was a speaker at several national and international events, workshops, seminars, and training on Global Citizenship Education and other topics. She believes anyone can change the world!
Also joining us is Shehzia Lilani, the Country Director (India) of Amani Institute! Responding to the widely recognized shortage of leaders in the social sector, Amani Institute’s mission is to develop professionals who create social impact through a new approach to education and talent development. As one of the founding team members and currently Country Director of Amani Institute in India, Shehzia is responsible for leading Amani’s work in India, their base for supporting change-makers across Asia. She manages their flagship Certificate in Social Innovation Management program, has been an integral member of Amani’s custom-design programs team, and has led pieces of training with The Rockefeller Foundation, The U.S. Consulate General Chennai, the National Health Authority, University of Chicago, CRY, Upaya Social Ventures, Melton Foundation, and Nilekani Philanthropies, to name a few.
What’s more, this Panel Discussion also doubled as the kick-off session for our Virtual Ideation Marathon 2021! The Global Citizenship Virtual Ideathon 2021 was a 72-hour Ideation marathon in which participants from around the world worked together in interdisciplinary teams to develop creative and practical initiatives that contribute to solving pressing issues while applying a global mindset. Guided by moderators and mentors, participants created teams based on the ideas they propose. At the end of the 72 hours, the teams presented their solution ideas in a showcase. The theme of this year’s Global Citizenship Virtual Ideathon is ‘Putting Global Citizenship into Practice’. Learn more about the Ideathon, our takeaways, and important resources here.