In just seven days, the AquaAlliance Online Forum will kick off with teens representing more than 20 countries around the world. They will widen their worldviews like never before because each one of them will work on a multi-national team, investigate the economic/geopolitical issues faced by each other's country, and jointly create solutions for an international client.
During the application process, every student had to answer this question: "Do you think there is a need to increase international mindedness among teens?" Here are some of their responses:
"...I think it is more important than ever that people from all around the world cooperate and collaborate to do what we can to solve the problems that we are facing and to stop the issues that will arise if we don’t."
"...the international knowledge (the teens currently) have is not enough to achieve the goal of having a more inclusive and globally aware generation."
"...This isolation (caused by social media and covid-19) cuts off conversations of international mindedness and creates echo chambers in which people only listen to what those around them say and blindly trust what is said to form a group."
"...change is very important, it is what has led us to today´s civilization, changing our mindset is a key factor to learning respect and other useful and necessary values."
"...cultural ideas and practices from countries around the world are being introduced to other countries at a rapid pace, through forms such as social media. As teens are still developing, they often don't think before they speak, meaning that they can say things that are seen as racist, or insensitive."
"...it is when we realize the value of all kinds of humans that we learn to respect them. To me, respect is the key to peace. If everyone respects each other and is willing to accept different opinions, we will definitely communicate and cooperate better, that way, we can avoid many conflicts and wars."
"...if teens from around the world were able to interact with each other in a safe environment, they would realize that they aren’t as different from each other as society makes them out to be. We all want simple things – equality, peace and joy. Adopting International Mindedness can help us teens understand each other better and even share and use each others’ ideas to create a better place."
At Global Education Destinations, nationalism and globalism are not competing ideas and should not be mutually exclusive. We should be proud of our nationality but also behave as global citizens. We should be responsible for improving our own backyards, but we should also extend a helping hand whenever we can.
Join us in making such a world a reality. We will report the Forum's progress via our Facebook page. You are invited to follow us and share your ideas and reflections.