The world is young. Almost 45 Percent of he worlds population is younger than 25 – almost 3 billion people. An increasingly globalized economy and society is therefore putting pressure on education to „globalise“ and to prepare the young generation for the challenges of the fast changing, globalised world. Education needs to help people understand the wider world around them and make the global connections between issues such as poverty or climate change and their own lives. It should prepare them to live and work in a global society and economy and engage them to make the world a better place. In an increasingly interconnected world it has become a necessity to become globally aware. Therefore it is not enough anymore for education to produce individuals who can read, write or count.
“Global awareness is an attitude – not a geographic term, a way of seeing ourselves as an important part of every aspect of humanity and the world.
Today’s learners have to find new attitudes, methods of conflict resolution and ways of decision making based on the understanding that we are interconnected and depend on each other. “How does it feel to grow up in a different culture?” they have to ask themselves to develop empathy and to be able navigate differences in a peaceful way.
To facilitate the necessary dialogue between learners from different cultures and religions the Tony Blair Faith Foundation has launched “Generation Global”. The project connects schools across the world online and through videoconferences. A teacher from Egypt describes the experience for his students: “They felt awesome at the end of the videoconference, when they found out they could be persuasive and change for a moment the opinion of their counterparts in the US towards Egyptians. There were some very challenging questions from their counterparts which allowed my students to discover themselves more than ever.”
A student from India, who participated in the programme, says: „It gave me hope for a more peaceful world – a world filled with peaceful discussion, be it with my peers or between governments.“
In the mid 20th century Shridath S. Ramphal, the former Commonwealth Secretary General, made the following prediction:
“Another generation is understanding better than we did that the world is more than a totality of sovereign states and separate people; that there is a human society; one global people.”
Chances are, that he was talking about the global generation.