Five ways to engage internationally in 2017

January 17, 2017

  • Widen your horizons – The divisions between national and global have blurred. One result of this is that it is even easier to find information that can be helpful in your work from around the globe.  Looking for some new ideas?  Someone dealing with challenges similar to your own? Widen your horizons. Here are two examples of sites with a lot of interesting organizations and stories View Change and Idealist
  • Have multi-generational conversations – Some cultures silo generations more than others. Make it a practice to learn from cultures that respect the perspectives of both elders and youth.  Here are some useful guidelines from the World Café community for having these conversations.
  • Collaborate outside your usual networks – Focus on new or enhanced collaborations or relationships with other organizations outside of your usual networks. Collaboration and partnerships (especially cross-cultural and multinational ones) take time but will enrich your approaches through a diversity of ideas and perspectives.  Some good examples of organizations who have placed a focus on relationship building with diverse partners: GlobeMed  and the Sustainable Food Lab.
  • Become a listening and learning organization – Expand or nurture the ability of your organization to receive feedback, perhaps make some mistakes and learn from them.  There are some useful efforts that are sharing internationally around these concepts.  They include Adaptive Learning and Feedback Labs.
  • Connect the virtual with the in-person (on and offline) – We are getting better at this, but some of us may still prefer in-person conversations and resources while others (especially younger generations) may spend more time pursuing virtual conversations and resources. As an organization make sure you are building bridges between and taking advantage of both resources.  Don’t neglect one for the other but try to maintain a balance.  The virtual world can help you engage with others that time, budget (and a concern about your carbon footprint) may prevent you from doing (Learning From Wherever It May Come). You will then be able to target your in-person interactions to enhancing what you may have started virtually.