What is Global Citizenship?

The world is changing faster than most of us can possibly keep up with.  Technology is one of those drivers of change.  These changes can be scary, but they also present new opportunities for governments and other entities.

One of the changes happening is people are becoming more connected to each other around the world in ways that weren’t possible before.  Through the Internet, we are able to meet people from around the world and exchange ideas in ways that haven’t been possible.  We are being exposed to new ideas and ways of thinking.  Economically, with the rise of a global economy we are now more than ever dependent upon people who don’t reside in our local communities.  Trade and business are no longer restricted to one geographic area or group of people.  We leverage resources and people from around the world to bring goods to market.  There is no such thing any more of issues that only impact one nation or group of people.  Your problems are my problems.

Photography courtesy of Kai Hendry

As we begin to realize how interconnected our issues really are, it is important to recognize we are not just citizens of our respective countries, but citizens in a larger global community.  This means we can no longer act in a singular fashion, but must begin to engage not only our government officials, but start understanding where our fellow global citizens are coming from as well.  The impact of issues is no longer restricted to one country, area, or group of people.  Issues are now global in nature and therefore need global solutions not local, regional or national solutions.

Part of these changes is people don’t necessarily have affiliation with one country, one culture, one group of people or one community.  There connections transcend physical national boundaries.  And this begins the rise of the concept of being a global citizen and global citizenship.  We are no longer just citizens of our respective countries, but citizens in a global community.

These changes provide opportunities for greater collaboration and the potential to solve a number of issues that impact us.  But in order to leverage these opportunities, we need to move beyond our traditional organizational stovepipes.  We must find new ways to work and collaborate with each other.  We must form new partnerships with unexpected partners.  We must leverage new tools.  Technology provides the potential solutions on how to do this.  It is an opportunity for people to become direct participates in the global conversation.

If we establish strong relationships and build mutual understanding with each other than we can begin to start tackling some of the complex issues that impact us all.  And perhaps, it is possible that through these efforts we can begin to address how we can establish and live in a world where we are a unified community of global citizens.

If you are inspired by this post, would like to work with us or would like to hear more about how technology can be leveraged to tackle global problems than I encourage you to vote for my SXSW panel session “New Technology, Global Citizenship and World Peace” Better yet, vote for us and come participate in the panel  – March 11-15, 2010 Austin, TX.

Inspirations for my work on global citizenship is accredited to:

  • Stephen Hale (@hmshale) formally of the United Kingdom’s Foreign Commonwealth Office
  • Martha McLean (@mjmclean) of the Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada
  • Julie Germany (@julieg) of DCI Group
  • Alan W. Silberberg (@ideagov) of Silberberg Innovations
  • Noel Dickover (@noeldickover) Founder of Crisis Commons
  • Augusto Valeriani (@barbapreta) Media Researcher at Bologna University, Italy
  • Andrew Kneale (@andrewkneale) of the British Council
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8 Responses to What is Global Citizenship?

  1. Lovisa,

    Another wonderful post.

    I was particularly taken by this line: “We must form new partnerships with unexpected partners. We must leverage new tools. Technology provides the potential solutions on how to do this.”

    I would have to say it is the nature of the ‘unexpected partners’ that holds so much value and promise. If we know the people with whom we should connect or work, why are we not already doing so? And if we are, is it enough? The internet is allowing a deeper and wider penetration into the global community and, because of this, your global citizenship movement is one bound to gather momentum.

    Yours is a panel discussion more should take part in. Clearly, my vote has been cast 😉

    My thanks for your ongoing insight and leadership. I’m very happy to be considered by you and mentioned among our other friends in this work!


  2. Thanks for your vote Martha and for all of your wonderful ideas. You are one of my favorite collaborators and I appreciate your wisdom and work on the idea of global citizenship.

  3. Stephan says:

    It’s “Foreign & Commonwealth Office” and the “Department of Foreign Affairs & International Trade”

    Great topic proposal!!!

  4. Pingback: Global Citizenship Building Momentum | Athena's Lightning – A blog by Lovisa A. Williams

  5. Pingback: Global Citizenship Building Momentum | Government in Action

  6. Alan W. Silberberg says:

    Thanks Lovisa, You have highlighted a critical area of forward looking thinking that is quickly becoming reality. An example of an idea leaving the ivory tower to become actuality. As technology brings us all closer and closer and create an immediate response environment – we all need to be aware of the cultural aspects at stake. It has been my pleasure to be involved with this project and the thinking behind it. I can’t wait to see where it goes.

  7. Pingback: What is Global Citizenship? (via Athena’s Lightning – A blog by Lovisa A. Williams) « Gov 2.0 and Gov 3.0 Thoughts

  8. Pingback: Designing for Community Change | SocialButterfly

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