Before starting ACBE100, my knowledge of global and current affairs was limited – I did not observe what was happening in the world. If you had asked me at the start of the semester to argue the importance of being an informed global citizen, I would not have been able to provide the answer as I did not even consider myself an “informed” global citizen. It was only until being introduced to the principles of academic and professional communication that has allowed me to develop my ability to investigate, research and become an informed global citizen.
There have been various tasks that have facilitated my learning and skills which include staying up-to-date with world news, examining and reflecting on the TED Talks, undertaking an investigation into a social inclusion issue and listening to the guest speaker. Although being an informed global citizen is important now as a student, it will undeniably benefit my future occupation and my role as a stakeholder in global commerce and communication. There is a significant difference between being a “citizen” and being an “informed global citizen”.
I did not actively pay attention to the news, particularly on television. By watching the TED Talk “What does it mean to be a citizen of the world? ” by Hugh Evans, I extracted a definition of a global citizen- a global citizen is a member of the human race who is aware of global issues outside their immediate world and makes an active effort to spread awareness and cause change. Not being conscious of global issues prior, the TED Talk challenged me to start paying attention and to expand my awareness of today’s issues.
Consequently, I started watching the news as I drank my coffee in the morning. It also encouraged me to scroll through news sites like the Sydney Morning Herald on my daily commute to university and read up about various current topics. This knowledge has developed me as a student as I’m able to contribute my views, opinions, and beliefs. For example, I found that these world topics in the news also came up in conversation with other friends and students. It was topics that we could talk about, debate with one another or even challenge.
They ranged in diversity from politics, human rights, gender inequality or the overall economy. I was relieved that I could start to meaningfully contribute to an important discussion and is a trait that can definitely prepare me for success in my career and in adulthood. I’m being shaped by these investigations as I can actively express my views and thoughts and participate in discussions with other global citizens. On a macro level, these skills enable me to have a voice and potentially make a change in society.
This belief is drawn from the “Make Poverty History” campaign by Hugh Evans which generated a huge response in trying to raise awareness to help end poverty. Like the TED Talk mentions, “if we had more global citizens in the world, all the problems that we face such as poverty, climate change, human rights, gender inequality…would become solvable”. The process of learning about global citizenship has been very empowering, despite only achieving the first step of awareness and not petitioning
Prepares me for my future career and life where I can know what is happening in the world, petition for change and make an active difference. becoming an informed global citizen. Develop me as a student and prepare me for my future career even though I have only achieved the first step of being a global citizen and becoming aware of these issues. A reflection on the TED Talk “Can homelessness be solved? ” by John Maceri enabled me to broaden my knowledge of real-world issues, namely homelessness, which has been prevalent in the last 30 years.
Maceri explored the various causes of homelessness such as job loss, declining wages, domestic violence, mental illness, the widening income gap, use of cheap street drugs, lack of support for war veterans and foster care systems that discharged people into homelessness. His knowledge on this topic gave me the skills to recognise and accept that homelessness is not as straightforward as I once thought and that there are various causes of homelessness that require a long-term solution rather than temporary aid.
This global issue concerns me as an individual as it has both social and economic ramifications for the future of our society. Helping people who are homelessness requires the use of economic resources drawn from citizen’s tax dollars. In my journey as an apprentice accountant, it has made me understand the significance of saving money whilst helping individuals in the long haul. Rather than a “temporary fix”, adequate funding should be provided by the government to establish more clinical services that focus on long-term psychological support.
This brief investigation into the social and economic impacts of homelessness led me to think about our resources, such as money and health services, and how we can best utilize them for the benefit of society in the future. The last TED Talk that has facilitated my knowledge and development as a student is “How economic inequality harms societies” by Richard Wilkinson. The overall message was that bigger income gaps led to deterioration in social relations (e. g. homicide, imprisonment, social trust), health (e. g. drug abuse, infant mortality, life expectancy, mental illness), and human capital (e. . child wellbeing, high school dropout rates and math and literacy scores) [Wilkinson, 2011].
More unequal countries were observed to have more of these issues**. The only way we can minimise the income gap is by making bosses more accountable to workers, increase company collaboration and promote employee rights and stop tax avoidance. These skills of research and knowledge of the social and economic impacts of inequality can prepare me for success in my career as it made me aware of the existence of an income gap within society and its implications.
These investigations into these issues influenced my understanding of sustainability and income equality. My chosen social inclusion issue ‘water, sanitation, and hygiene’ propelled me into an investigation that developed and optimised my knowledge of world issues. A significant statistic that altered my perception of world health were that over one billion people still lacked access to adequate sanitation. This spurred me into questioning why the numbers were so high. Health illnesses such as diarrhea and cholera resulted from a lack of adequate access to sanitation.
These diseases were caused by several factors, including a lack of household level toilet facilities inadequate treatment of human excreta, poor hygiene practices and lack of access to safe drinking water. This knowledge led me to realise that individuals cannot just solve one of these risks factors. For example, ensuring the provision of safe drinking water will be improved but can be compromised through the various other pathogen transmissions such as toilet facilities, treatment of human waste and poor hygiene practices that may limit overall health outcomes.
Through a critical evaluation of my chosen article, there is a need for an integrated approach that utilizes technology and addresses the various factors of disease transmission. Using this data and information that I’ve gathered, I can argue the importance of becoming an informed global citizen as I am aware and up-to-date with what’s happening in the world and simultaneously becoming an active stakeholder in global issues with wide-reaching impacts.