We are all responsible

The greatest threat to our Planet is the belief that someone else will save it.

~ Robert Swan

#GCC @GCCThinkActTank

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Land of Marvels

You will travel in a land of marvels. ~ Jules Verne

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Global Climate Change Mission

Our mission is to protect and to hand on Planet Earth to the next generation. Make sure to be part of the solution.

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How to Enhance Global Citizenship in (Emerging) Leaders?

The shift is moving us from a culture of mind to a culture of heart where we are connected on a much more profound level with each other (Jay Weidner)

Defining, enhancing, evaluating and understanding global citizenship is no longer a matter of selectivity, but rather a question of understanding that every individual, and every leader, should have the right to familiarize, and educate themselves with. Global citizenship, as defined by the UNESCO, and by the UWS (United World Schools), is the capability of any global citizen to care passionately about and the world we live in.

Furthermore, the UWS sees a Global Citizen, and a global leader, as someone who:

  • Has awareness of the wider world
  • Has a sense of their role as a world citizen
  • Respects and values diversity
  • Wants to tackle social injustice
  • Believes that all children and young people have a right to an education
  • Takes action to make the world more equitable
  • Lives and promotes a sustainable way of life

The UWS, together with UNESCO and with multi-local associations, promotes global citizenship through a number of activities, including partnering with schools and educational institutions from affluent countries with their own community in an are of significant educational poverty. For more information, please visit Global Citizenship and United World Schools

and watch the following video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ajy4KsuRaNQ

Moreover, global citizenship, and global leadership, have become terminologies of the majority, necessary for every leader to comprehend, and to include in their vocabulary if not yet, at the latest by now, and through upcoming activities within all business, leadership, and organizational activities.

Surprisingly enough, the trends of global citizenship and global leadership are spreading faster than imagined. Our world, despite its size, has in the past couple of decades, through technological advancement and other global activities, become a global village, where global citizenship and global leadership both awakens individuals, businesses, and organizations, and also leads to increased actions through and by a number of factors such as ethically and morally correct business and leadership activities.

Philip Kotler, in Marketing 3.0., is one of the examples of progressive global leaders and citizens in his field of expertise to have taken into consideration the millennium, and now, the Sustainable Development Goals set by the UN in order to create a world with justice, no poverty, gender equality, equal human rights for all citizens of the world, along with the other sustainable development goals that we ultimately all wish to see come true, the sooner the better.

As part of my vocational teacher studies, I had the pleasure to participate as an observant, and a negotiator/mediator, at a simulated workshop organized by FinMUN (Finnish Model United Nations) in Tampere on November 23rd. The simulation took place at Tampere University, with a current topic upon the Syrian Refugee Crisis, including participants from 18 different countries in the world discussing at a simulated event arranged by the UNHRC (United Nations Human Rights Council), trying to find solutions to solve the largest humanitarian crisis of this century. Unless yet familiar with the humanitarian crisis in Syria, including significant details, please read the following article, written by Kathy Gilsinan and published by The Atlantic, to gain more insight on the topic:

The Confused Person’s Guide to the Syrian Civil War

The fact is that no individual, no business, and no organization can afford to ignore globalism as a part of their business, personal, or organization activities and life. We are all affected, and involved, either directly or indirectly.

And, it is a matter of every business, every leader, every citizen, and every organization to take into consideration and to plan their (strategic) activities, at all organizational levels, in order to influence global events in a positive manner.

As defined by the UNESCO, a global citizen (and, a global leader) is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XVSgbU6WVSk

From a combined business, and educational point of view, global citizens, and global leaders, must understand and take into consideration, and include following points into both personal, and business-related agendas:

  1. Literally, understanding where “ones ́s breakfast comes from”. This citation is from the book Geographic Economy (Coe, Kelly & Yeung, 2007). Please, if not already, read this book in order to increase your understanding about the global economy and the driving forces behind it. The content of it will definitely not leave you cold – on the opposite, the book will most definitely increase your awareness and serve as an alarm clock for people not yet fully conscious about how the world economy, and international trade, actually functions at the time being. Strongly recommended for any global citizen, and global leader.
  2. Making sure to integrate, and to centralize, CSR (corporate social responsibility) as a major function in all business-related activities. CSR, when fully and correctly integrated into business, and into leadership practices, is a powerful strategic tool enabling your business to create a competitive advantage in today’s rather harsh business world.
  3. Realizing that global citizenship, and global leadership, are synonyms for the capability of your organization to survive, and to thrive. No matter the size of your organization, or its strategic plans (of expansion, and of creating new market space), understanding global markets and knowing how to best operate in these in an ethically and morally correct manner, is a definite competitive advantage as long as you actually make global citizenship and global leadership central terms included in your organization’s values.

Influencing Positive Change In The World Through Global Education

A few weeks ago the UN Association of Finland organized a school visitation education in Turku, the purpose of which is to educate volunteers willing to visit schools in order to share information about the UN, its principles, and its goals as a non-governmental organization.

In Finland, UN school visitors can be requested through the UNA of Finland:

http://www.ykliitto.fi/koulutus-ja-oppimateriaalit?language=fi

School visits are open and available to all kinds of educational institutions and tailored according to the age and interest of the pupils/students. The visit can include general facts about the UN and its activities, or be focused around a specific topic, e.g. the UN Millennium Development Goals 2000.

Founded in 1945 after the Second World War by 51 states to protect the world from new wars, the UN (United Nations) is the world´s most important co-operational organization. Over the course of the years the UN has of course changed and developed, trying to adjust its operations according to the most important needs and most urgent matters of its member states. In 2013, the UN had 193 member states.

The main goals of the UN are:

– To maintain international peace and security through peaceful means in solving disputes and conflicts

– To develop friendly relations between nations (autonomy and equal rights)

– Generate and accomplish co-operation to solve economical, social, cultural and humanitarian problems

– To advance human rights and their universality

– To serve as a co-operational centre for all nations

According to the principles of the UN, all member nations are plenipotentiary and equal, must fulfill the obligations of the UN Charter, resolve all international conflicts with peaceful means, and help the UN in all actions taken by the UN according to its Charter.

The main bodies of the UN are:

– The General Assembly

– The Security Council

– ECOSOC (the Economic and Social Council)

– The Secretariat

– The International Court of Justice

– The Trusteeship Council

(Sources: Leisma, 2009; printed material produced by the UN Association of Finland).

The previously mentioned UN Millennium Development Goals 2000 are:

1. Eradication of extreme hunger and poverty

2. Achievement of Universal Primary Education

3. Promotion of Gender Equality and Empowering Women

4. Reduction of Child Mortality

5. Improvement of Maternal Health

6. Combating HIV/AIDS, Malaria and other Diseases

7. Ensuring Environmental Sustainability

8. Global Partnership for Development

(Source: UNA printed material, UN Millennium Development Goals website, quoted 16.4.2014).

Wide-ranged and large goals, but perfectly achievable with commitment from all UN member nations.

Are we close to achieving these goals, or have we already achieved some of them?

I will discuss each of these goals separately in my upcoming posts, with facts and personal thoughts.

 

What is “The Land of The Lucky Children”?

My journey a couple of years ago to Cambodia, the Land of Peace and Prosperity, was a didactic experience and an eye-opener in many ways. Not only did I learn about the history of the homeland of some of South East Asia ́s most amazing archaeological sites, including the re-known Angkor Wat and Ta Prohm + hundreds of other temples, but also about the contemporary way of life in this amazingly beautiful country, neighborhood by Thailand in the West, Laos in the North, and Vietnam in the East.

Yet, not so many decades ago, the Land of Peace and Prosperity was the centre for a bloody civil war, the Cambodian Genocide. In 1975, orchestrated by Pol Pot, the local communist party the Khmer Rouge, invaded the capital Phnom Penh, driving Cambodian citizens out of their homes. Innocent people were forced to prison camps, where they had to work like slaves with little or almost no food allowed. Every non-communist was under life-threat, especially doctors, teachers, non-communist politicians, and other intellectuals. Many were killed. According to estimations, more than 2 million innocent people lost their lives during the Khmer Rouge regime. Women were commonly raped, and many children, including girls, were forced to become child soldiers. One of these children managed to flee to the United States with her brother, and is today a national spokesperson for the Campaign for a Landmine Free World. Loung Ung has also shared her experiences and her story in two of her books: “First They Killed My Father – A Daughter of Cambodia Remembers”, and “Lucky Child – A Daughter of Cambodia Reunites With The Sister She Left Behind”.

What do wars/civil wars teach us?

Personally I learned at least the following facts:

– Democracy protects human rights

– Bad governance (including a high amount of corruption) can be disastrous in protecting equality and for economic development in a state

– Wars are disastrous for the well-being and general development of a country.

– The aftermath of wars, and genocides, together with a high level of corruption, will influence the economic development of a region for years, even decades.

Cambodia is still today, although developing, one of the poorest countries in the world. Cripples are a common view on the streets – legs or arms or both missing, these people are crawling on the streets trying to find a way to make a living – mainly by begging from tourists. War makes people suffer not only physically, but also mentally. Many parents, unable to work, prefer sending their children to the streets, earning money to the family e.g. through selling souvenirs or books to tourists.

Garment workers are transported on the back ́s of open vans like animals to factories, where they work for long hours with a monthly pay of no more than a maximum of 100-150 USD. Due to the amount of medical workers killed during the civil war, good doctors and hospitals are still missing. Local people who can afford it commonly travel to Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam in order to get professional medical treatment.

I must admit that I feel uncomfortable buying clothes with a label stating “made in Cambodia,” especially after personally seeing the local conditions.

As a tourist in Cambodia I was considering whether my journey really was of benefit for the people, and if it actually is morally and ethically right to buy clothes produced in Cambodia. What do you think?