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What is a Citizen without Borders?

A “citizen without borders” just like a “global citizen” is a fluffy concept that has multiple meanings for different people in different contexts. In our website and in a workshop, we gathered people’s responses to “why do you want to be a citizen without borders” and “who is a citizen without borders?” The results are portrayed in these two cloud tags:

Citizen without Borders word cloud

Citizen without Borders word cloud from answer to “why do you want to be a citizen without borders?”

 Citizen without Borders word cloud

Citizen without Borders word cloud from workshop “who is a citizen without borders?”

From our own experiences both lived and imbibed, we describe Citizens without Borders as:

People who develop expertise in multiple spheres, speak different languages and find joy in the rich variety of human experience;

People who have the ability to empathise, understand the subtleties of human interaction, find joy in themselves and elicit it in others, and stretch beyond the quotidian in pursuit of purpose and meaning;

People who enrich their understanding by challenging assumptions and bypassing stereotypes;

People who have the ability to detect patterns and opportunities and can create new ideas and innovate because they can take knowledge and experience from a broad and complex repertoire and combine them in unique ways.

These descriptions betray the context in which they were conceived: a paradigm of globalisation, freedoms and democracy. In a later post we will look at the separate parts of the concept: what is a “citizen” and what are “borders”. However, another way to look at “who is a citizen without borders” is to ask the following guiding questions:

How does a citizen without borders…

get motivated?

explore and relate to the world around them?

see, perceive and interpret its surroundings?

nurture relationships?

act and innovate?

Resources: “A whole new mind” by Dan Pink, “Out of our minds” by Ken Robinson, “Constructing the citizen” by Helen Haste in Political Psychology 2004 Vol. 25(3).

Thought provoking? Interesting? What is your take on it? Tell us what do you think:

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