Global Citizen

As part of an international strategy development project I’ve been looking at what might get retained in our processes and practices post-Covid. Personally I can’t see that I will ever return to the level of international business travel that characterised my pre-pandemic years. But a note I made in early 2020 about a sense of Global Citizenship revealed by those experiences has resonated in the current research, and in a clear emergent construct of the Global Citizen within an international policy environment.

In attempting a definition Ideas Forum reflects the idea that a shared personal responsibility exists which extends beyond our immediate location. Global Citizenship “recognises our world is an increasingly complex web of connections and interdependencies. One in which our choices and actions may have repercussions for people and communities locally, nationally or internationally.”

Oxfam is also (perhaps obviously) a proponent of the principle of an interconnected global society, and describes a Global Citizen as “someone who:

  • is aware of the wider world and has a sense of their own role as a world citizen
  • respects and values diversity
  • has an understanding of how the world works
  • is outraged by social injustice
  • participates in the community at a range of levels, from the local to the global
  • is willing to act to make the world a more equitable and sustainable place
  • takes responsibility for their actions.

To be effective Global Citizens, young people need to be flexible, creative and proactive.”

As a personal manifesto this is a fairly compelling proposition.

There is a read across here to another interesting recent shift – the identification of the creative and cultural sector as an agent of change, an instrumental tool in seeking societal impacts beyond simple economic growth (c.f. my earlier work on the Cultural Compact).

For example, 2021 is the UNCTAD International Year of the Creative Economy for Sustainable Development, recognising the Creative Economy as “an important tool for building a sustainable, inclusive and equitable future…. at a time when we need creative solutions for the world’s challenges.”

But looping back to the beginning these cultural exchanges are now more likely to be hybrid in nature – combined digital / physical initiatives – seeking to balance the digital benefits of efficiency and accessibility / inclusivity with the challenges of building complex relationships of trust and shared values at a distance.

With Watershed I’ve been exploring how a hybrid digital / physical production methodology could enable a distributed creative production team (spread across four continents) to explore global challenges simultaneously within multiple linked local contexts. More to come on this.

Other current projects include:

  • Inward investment / business development lead on the £50M MyWorld creative technology R&D programme, managed by University of Bristol
  • Model definition and delivery on the Creative Sector Growth Programme for WECA (via Watershed)
  • Inward investment strategy and campaign focused on Virtual Production for the Department of International Trade

Plus input to the Western Gateway concept and judging on the Createch 100 Ones to Watch.

The image at the top is from the current Ryoji Ikeda exhibition in London, his work starts from digital and data but always links back in concept to the physical.

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