and a person of great experience will talk sound sense.
Ecclesiasticus 34:9, circa 190 B.C.
We were recently asked three questions by a university student about preparation for work in GI. This entry includes the three questions and our answers, with applications mostly in our fields of mental health/member care and mostly in a North American context. We hope this material can be used as a springboard for discussion that could help stimulate and shape GI training in its many emerging forms. To begin...
There are many experiential paths for the foundational and ongoing training needed to do GI well. And since GI and GI related areas are still being developed, there is definitely no definitive word on which path or even paths to take! So think of GI training as involving a great variety or “pathways for preparation” which reflect the great variety of “pathways for practice.” Keep in mind too that GI is a domain, a mentality, a practice, an ethical necessity...
There are a growing number of books for the general public that fit well with the GI domain. For example we recently read the first chapter in A Path Appears (2014) by Nicolas Kristof and Cherl WuDun. The book includes stories of people around the world who in different ways and with different backgrounds are helping to forge paths for doing good. These inspiring, factual stories reflect what GI is about. Another example is the Summer 2014 special issue of the Journal of Psychology and Theology on Psychology in the Global Context.
--If possible do a double major including 'international relations' or something like it. If that is not possible then track with anything global/international happening at your university (and areas of interest like online events).
--In addition, for the long term, as in our case, we have pretty much developed our own ad hoc, ongoing 'international relations' training by what we attend and study.
--Find a mentor involved in global things.
--Do a dissertation that includes something global.
--Find or create a 'caravan of colleagues' who want to go in the GI direction.
c. Similar to the above--"cross sectors." See the previous weblog entries which are based on chapter 2 in our book Global Member Care (volume two): Crossing Sectors for Serving Humanity (Charting Your Course through the Sectors"). So a willingness to expand one’s “experiential and professional boundaries” is important, which may also involve being able to tolerate: uncertainly, ambiguity, not being fully recognized for one’s contributions or potential contributions], etc.
*Photo: Ashling O'Donnell, our youngest of two children, in the midst of colleagues and a professor. She graduated from Connecticut College a few days ago, with a BA in international relations and religious studies, and as part of an increasingly globalized academic community--and world. Ashling was also part of the three-year CISLA program (Center for International Studies and Liberal Arts) at the college which enables a selected cohort of student-scholars to further internationalize their majors through intensive language study, special workshops, and a funded international internship. Most of the students we know recognize the privilege they have to be able to study at a private institution like Connecticut College and their responsibility to be forces for good in the world--do well and do good.