Journal from Oslo III: Young Leader’s views on Global Citizenship and a Session Chair’s Reflection

We will make the full content of the talks of our four panelist very soon available. As session chair I took some notes of points that were especially interesting to me.

1) Hilde Ekeberg mentioned quite in the beginning of her talk, that we all are Global Citizens, whether we know it or not. This point was reflected in two ways by the other pannelists. Nassima Dzairstated that we rely on people from all over the world anyway and that we rely on those “others”.She further reminded us, that the idea of Global Citizenship is an old one, quoting Plutarch quoting Socrates, who lived more than 2400 ago: “I am not an Athenian or a Greek, but a citizen of the world.” Sara Ben Ammar drew from her personal experience coming from a mixed background and being closely connected to as many as five nationalities, expressing that she cannot think of herself as anything else then “global”.

Global economy brought us an enourmous amount of wealth that is built on a global networks and relationships. These networks might be dysfunctional, but are still global. Through our world economy, global technology and in many more ways we have influence “We cannot not communicate” is more true then ever.

2) For me the idea of Global Citizenship goes one or two steps beyond that. One step is to actually realise this inter-connections, my role in it and my responsibility. I think this is a milestone.

“You are a citizen of the world, and a part of it; not a subservient but a principal part. You are capable of comprehending the divine order, and of considering the connections of things. What then does the character of a citizen promise?” 
Epictetus, Discourses 2.10

Is it my responsibility to reach out to those people I affect? I think so. Irene Incerti shared about the work her organisation is doing, which is centered around the concept and the practice of dialogue. Starting from the practice of active listening dialogue can lift us like an air baloon high up, so that we can see things we usually can’t can see connection and boarders, rivers, mountains and sees and allow us to build bridges when we touch the ground again.

Can I find myself in “the other”? More interesting content from Hilde, Nassima, Sara and Irene will be available soon!

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