Global Citizenship Is A Legitimate Ideal Society Should Strive For

Illustration by Alexandra Decespedes

I recently participated in a program called the Global Citizenship Program (GCP) hosted by the Salzburg Global Seminar in Salzburg, Austria. During the seminar, I was exposed and challenged to consider the cultural, economic, and political aspects to global citizenship, which is defined as, but not limited to, adopting an identity that extends to a global level and involves confronting transnational issues, such as the environment and international trade.

A defining characteristic of modern society is its ability to easily connect with other people from around the world. As a result, there has been a greater emphasis on increasing interactions among countries and other world players, such as non-governmental organizations and multinational corporations. The fact that I participated in a program dedicated to discussing global citizenship and globalism is exemplary of the growing importance of these concepts.

According to the Oxford dictionary, globalism is “the operation or planning of economic and foreign policy on a global basis.” Some argue that globalism brings more harm than good for reasons like the economic exploitation of third world countries, but there is also a positive, humanitarian perspective to globalism, such as providing relief aid to Japan when its nuclear power plant had a meltdown.

If technology is going to advance and bring people together, then humans should reciprocate by advancing themselves as well and embracing this notion of global citizenship.

The way people around the world have reacted to the civil conflict in Venezuela by posting videos and articles expressing their support is indicative of a global response to an independent state’s matters. People no longer live in a world where they can shut out their surroundings and calmly live within their own bubble. Every day, whether it’s on the news or a social media outlet, society is exposed to international matters.

One of the phrases that was commonly spoken during the GCP was “think globally, act locally.” Global citizenship does not solely entail directly traveling to other countries. There are many ways people can address global issues within their local areas. The environment, for example, is an international matter that can be addressed by simply picking up trash in the community and reducing the use of plastic.

Being a global citizen also involves teaching other people about it. One of the student groups at the GCP proposed creating a global citizenship course in Miami Dade College to spread awareness on the topic.

Working together is not simply a fanciful idea, it is a practical one. There are numerous issues that need to be confronted internationally in order to solve them. Everyone has something to gain if the world and its people are in good condition.