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Your Guide to being a Global Citizen!

Have you ever wished to explore the world, beyond your neighborhood, beyond your city, or even beyond your country? Have you ever felt that you belong to the world, and want to work towards solving urgent issues like climate change, discrimination, and global warming to create a better planet for all? Do you condemn exclusionary practices, and feel that an inclusive, vibrant society is our way to a brighter future?

If you have said yes to one or more of the above questions, global citizenship beckons you! Through our fellowship and collaborative programs, we promote and enable global citizenship as a way for individuals and organizations to work together across boundaries of place and identity to solve challenges in an interconnected world. Today’s greatest challenges, from climate change to poverty, inequality to displacement, natural resource depletion to overpopulation, are global in nature, and interconnected. At the Melton Foundation, we believe that the problems currently facing humanity can only be solved by working together across industries, sectors, cultures, and geographical boundaries to find solutions that benefit everyone. Aside from our three-fold approach to global citizenship, through awareness, responsibility, and action, to help fine-tune your identity as a global citizen, here are some go-to points:

  • Weed out stereotypical mindsets: While the identity of an individual remains in flux, the values imbibed from childhood tend to persist across adult life. This is because these early values form the core of our identity. Escaping a bias involves entering a blind spot and this isn’t a simple exercise. But the recognition and subsequent escapement from stereotypes which are born from conditioning, media biases, etc. forms arguably the most important facet of global citizenship.
  • Acknowledge that your identity is not singular, but layered: Global citizenship in no way means or endorses a homogeneity of opinion or consensus. In fact, it’s the opposite. It indicates that there is a spectrum within which a range of opinions and values can co-exist even if they are conflicting with each other. With a little reflection, you’ll realize that there are various layers to your identity, which may overlap or even contradict each other.

Melton Fellow Pedro Poblette Lasserre at a Design Thinking Workshop at a Melton Foundation conference on Sustainability, Technology and Social Innovation

  • Abandon the parochial paradigm, adopt a global one: The rise of globalization has implied that the ripples of an action committed at one corner of the world be felt at another corner of the world. This has implored the human community to accept that we cannot live in manmade silos anymore. Instead, there is a need to connect with our larger identity and tap into a collective human experience if we want the future to be one with peace, prosperity, and stability for all.
  • Realize that there is no single silver bullet to solve all global problems: Contextualization is a major impediment in establishing a global community. The needs of a poor farmer earning less than a dollar per day differ substantially from the requirements of an employee working in a metropolitan city. When we try to solve the problem of inequity brought about by rampant globalization by formulating a one-size-fits-all solution, we worsen the situation by ignoring local contexts.

The above 4 mantras are the hallmark traits of a global citizen. If you are able to vanquish any prejudicial notions, identify yourself with your local community as well as a global one, break the barriers of regionalism and reconcile local aspirations with global goals, then you are already oriented and ready to proclaim yourself as a global citizen!

Melton Fellows in Bangalore, India; Year: 2016

The above article is an excerpt from our WhitePaper on The State of Global Citizenship. Global citizenship is not just a mere term in social vogue today; it is a real phenomenon, playing out in different areas of the world stage today. To know more about Global Citizenship and the Melton Foundation, do read the full version of our WhitePaper, available here!