Saturday, May 7, 2016

What Does It Mean to Go "Glocal"?

The last couple of weeks have been very exciting for me from a standpoint of connections that have just sort of erupted with very serendipitous timing.  Several (I think) years ago, I crossed cyberpaths with Fran Siracusa, co-founder of Calliope Global and global learning revolutionary.  I found her work intriguing, but (as with so many things) her name got shuffled into the Twitterstream, and my projects and priorities continued their constant shift.  Last December, we reconnected, and she was very helpful directing me to resources for my first Mystery Skype session.  She connected me to her Virtual Postcard Project on Padlet, but again, the timing just wasn't quite ripe for collaboration.  Fast forward to this April (yes, it's still April), when I got an invitation from Fran to attend a webinar with an organization called Matone de Chiwit to attend a webinar. I accepted the invitation because after reading about the organization, I was intrigued.  The larger concept is to bring water to regions of the world (Matone means "drops" in Swahili, de means "of" in Spanish, Chiwit means "life" in Thai) where water scarcity is a growing concern.  The webinar was also very conveniently scheduled at a time when I was to be available...that is until a flat tire delayed me, and I missed the first half.  Fortunately, the second half, due to the dedication, passion, and presence of Matone de Chiwit's founder and Executive Director Karishma Bhagani drew me in, and I reached out to Fran and Karishma to try to schedule a webinar with her, to further promote her cause.

April 18 Fran invited me to join Our Blue Earth -- a Google Community she created.

Our Blue Earth is described as follows:

 "This Earth Day 2016, under the focus of WATER, we promote individual investigations, global discussion/collaboration, & a call to action."

Although my priorities are constantly in flux, and I am forever starting new projects, I like to think that the "good stuff" never gets totally lost, it just hides in the depths of my cluttered brain waiting to be drawn out by the right connection.  So it is with the global (and glocal -- yes, I'm getting to that) impact of water.  I tell everyone who will listen that one of my favorite professional development experiences all year (and I do not say that lightly, as I am an admitted PD junkie) is the International Studies Summer Institute put on by the Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies at Cornell University.  The topic of the 2013 ISSI was The Cultural Geography of Water.  It was in preparation for this institute that I first watched the movie También la Lluvia, a dramatization of events of the Water Wars in Bolivia in 1999-2000.

So lightning struck, and I threw together over the weekend numerous resources on the impact of mining on water supply contamination, video campaigns promoting water conservation, and (most importantly) was able to schedule the webinar with Karishma.

Karishma, with Fran's help, has been promoting her organization through a series of webinars with schools, encouraging the students she meets virtually to assist in her marketing campaign, and most recently, an informational webinar with students and faculty at NYU.

On a recent trip to NYC, after our webinar with Karishma, I had the opportunity to meet her in person and chat more in depth about her project. She was even more impressive in person!  I am anxious to see her project develop from the ground up, and very hopeful to be a part of it!

So while we are acting LOCALLY, we are and will be making a global impact:  Going Glocal!

The overarching message for students and educators is that we all can make a difference, perhaps even a major and significant difference, even by acting only in our...Realm Of Control.

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