Global learning

Our world is fast changing and interconnected. People may disagree on the rate and impact of change, but most would agree that the world faces significant changes, challenges and opportunities, which reach into all our lives.

For example:

  • A ‘multi-polar world’. The culture and values of the ‘East’ are becoming at least as powerful as those of the ‘West’, for the first time since the industrial revolution.
  • Global markets. The scope and speed of markets, and the global competition for industries and jobs, leaves many feeling disorientated and insecure.
  • Global problems needing global solutions. In an ever-more interconnected world, the biggest challenges we face are global. Unequal distribution of wealth and poverty, racial and religious intolerance, hunger and environmental degradation, food, water and energy insecurity, migration, and the effects of climate change, affect their daily lives. They require global solutions.

Global learning, critical and creative learning about the wider world, enables people to develop knowledge about the challenges we face and and skills to make decisions for themselves. Equipped with these global capabilities, people can help to make a more just and sustainable world.

What are global capabilities?

We believe that there are three capabilities which people can develop through global learning.

  • Global understanding: acquiring knowledge about the world
  • Global open-mindedness: developing understanding about global relationships
  • Global resourcefulness: the ability to think critically and to imagine alternative futures

‘Capabilities’ give people the freedom to lead full and enriched lives. Through acquiring these capabilities people then have the choice to decide whether and how to act. They are empowered to play their part in tackling global injustice and unsustainable practices. Of course, as free agents the choice remains theirs. However without these capabilities, they won’t have the choice. Our belief in the power of capabilities is inspired by the great thinker, Amartya Sen. You can read more about him here.

See more about our Theory of Change and see our recommended reading for useful information about globalisation, development, capabilities, and global capabilities in particular.