A couple days ago I got back from Eastern Europe: Romania, Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary.
Part of traveling, or even more so living abroad, is a direct experience with globalization. You’re heading out from your origins & creating an effect in another place; you’re letting that place effect you. Ideally you’re creating value & producing something of substance while you’re at it, enriching both yourself and those around you.
Eastern Europe has seen an explosion of globalization within the past few years, and I suspect it’ll only increase in the next few.
There seems to be two bipolar camps around the question of globalization.
The first is a fundamentalist approach that tends to be nationalistic, and calls globalization “bad”. It calls for the regulation of borders, of the preservation of traditional entities like churches, parties, and cultures, and tariffs on unorthodox thought. Continue reading True Globalization: Rejecting Cultural Hegemony
In late September, I got back from a 40-day trip around the world. I saw quite the range: from the Arctic Circle to the Sahara, from the world’s northernmost capital to the world’s southernmost capital, from glaciers to jungles, from icebergs to beaches.
The concept of easy travel is a brand new thing.
You might enjoy this video, the first of a series of travel videos produced during the trip.
I’m convinced of one thing: provincialism is dead.
Continue reading Erasing Borders
Diogenes, the famous Greek philosopher, was once asked where he was from. He replied “I am a citizen of the world”. The Greek word for this is kosmopolitês.
Later on, the Stoic crowd further developed Diogenes’ thought into an entire framework called cosmopolitanism. Essentially, the circle model of identity puts yourself in the middle of expanding concentric circles of importance: immediate family, extended family, friends, neighbors, humanity. This was underscored by an emphasis of the importance of a shared affinity for humanity.
I like cosmopolitanism. It seems like a healthy way to view the world.
Continue reading Kosmopolitês
For the past few months I’ve been working on a book oriented towards people in nonprofit marketing. There’s a huge potential for those in the nonprofit industry to learn more about the nuts and bolts of marketing: common business principles aren’t often put to enough use in the world of nonprofits, and it would be a smart move for a lot of entities to consider integrating more sustainable practices in their operations. Continue reading Organizational Marketing: Telling Stories With Faces
The largest slum in South Africa, Khayelitsha, is a township just outside Cape Town. It’s composed of around 400,000 residents, most of which are Xhosa.
It’s so much different from the expected mental image of an African slum, as it’s both on the beach and cold and windy. Residents walk around in parkas rather than t-shirts, at least in the winter, and the ground is white sand rather than clay or mud. Continue reading Khayelitsha, South Africa
It’s always been amazing to me that a slum in Central America looks exactly the same as a slum in Uganda which looks exactly the same as a slum in India. The omnipresence of corrugated tin is staggering. But the residents of the slum don’t notice that. They’re a part of it. You’ve got to step outside of it to fully understand it. Continue reading Barter & Trade In Developing Markets
In late September to early October 2014, I traveled to Liberia to document the ebola outbreak for a few nonprofits (through Silent Images for SIM and Samaritan’s Purse). I covered most of the ebola stuff in my previous post.
There wasn’t a lot of free time in this trip. I’m normally able to cram in a few free days on a trip, to wander around and see the country. And, after all, there’s not a whole lot of quality sightseeing to do in ebola-afflicted Liberia. The furthest I went solo from the SIM/Doctors Without Borders ELWA compound was taking Dr Fankhauser’s Mitsubishi Pajero out for a quick joyride to get b-roll shots of Monrovia, and that almost ended in jail due to a few eager Liberian cops who saw a big white dollar sign driving down the road. Continue reading Looking at Slums From The Hotel Ducor