What Is a Global Citizen? 

The term ‘Global Citizen’ has earned increasing attention in recent years as people worldwide become more aware of our interconnectedness and our actions’ impact on one another.

At its core, being a Global Citizen means recognising that we are all part of a larger global community and that we are responsible for taking actions that promote the well-being of people and the planet, both locally and globally. This includes valuing diversity, respecting human rights, promoting peace and justice, and working to address global challenges such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and other issues that affect people across borders.

Global Citizenship is not limited to nationality, religion, or culture. It’s a mindset and a way of living that emphasises our common humanity and our shared responsibility for the world we live in. It involves actively engaging with others, learning about different perspectives and cultures, and taking action to address social, economic, and environmental issues in our own communities and beyond.

A Global Citizen has the following key traits: 

  1. Awareness: Having a global perspective and understanding of how our actions impact others in different parts of the world.
  2. Empathy: Showing empathy for those who are different from us and being willing to learn from their experiences.
  3. Action: Taking action to address issues that affect people and the planet, such as volunteering, donating to charities, and supporting policies that promote social and environmental justice.
  4. Collaboration: Working with others across different backgrounds, cultures, and sectors to find solutions to complex global challenges.

Being a Global Citizen is about recognising that our actions have consequences that extend past our immediate surroundings. It’s to take responsibility for promoting a more just, equitable, and sustainable world for all people, regardless of where they were born, where they live, and how they identify.

This article delves into these traits shared by Global Citizens worldwide, what they care about today, and examples of what they’ve done with their success. 

A Global Citizen Is Aware

They maintain constant awareness of the interconnected world–that there are expanded ripple effects to our actions. They understand that there are social, economic and environmental issues that affect people in different parts of the world and that it’s essential to be informed about these issues.

For example, a Global Citizen makes a point to learn different cultures and languages and seeks opportunities in line with their passions. They recognise not only the potential to make a difference but to benefit themselves and add to their life while doing so. 

Although renowned late Beatle singer George Harrison passed away two decades ago, he lived ahead of his time and set the definition for a Global Citizen. In 1971, he organised the first benefit concert, The Concert for Bangladesh, which strove to raise awareness and help save the lives of 10 million East Pakistani refugees suffering from disease and starvation. 

Five decades on, this concert remains one of Mr. Harrison’s hallmark achievements and added to the permanent legacy of world-changing music. 

A Global Citizen Is Empathetic

They waste no time in showing empathy for others, especially those who are different from themselves. They recognise that there are many factors that influence a person’s experiences, such as their culture, gender, sexuality, religion, economic status, and race. A Global Citizen seeks to understand these factors and remain open to learning from others.

For example, a Global Citizen might participate in cultural exchange programs, learn a new language, or volunteer to support people in marginalised communities. They are aware that their own experiences are limited and that they can benefit from understanding the life stories of others. 

Wawira Njiru earned the headline’ novice cook to international icon’ for her dedication to transforming Kenyan schoolchildren’s lives through access to food. She launched the group Food for Education which targets explicitly the cycle of poverty and showcases how it can end with a simple, good meal. She has now served over nine million meals

A Global Citizen Understands Action

They don’t hesitate when the time comes to stop planning, and start doing. A Global Citizen is someone who takes action to address global challenges, both locally and globally. They recognise that there are many issues facing our world, such as poverty, inequality, climate change, and other environmental issues, and they’re willing to take action to address these challenges. 

For example, a Global Citizen might volunteer for a local charity, donate to a global relief organisation, or advocate for policies that promote social and environmental justice. They recognise that their own actions can make a difference and that collective action is necessary to create positive change.

Hamdi Ulukaya, founder and CEO of Chobani, champions fully-paid parental leave, local food banks, and trustworthy food programs for local schools. Further, he founded the Tent Partnership for Refugees, which seeks to provide hiring, training, and mentorship for refugees. Most are aware of the world’s crises, but it comes down to extending a helping hand. 

A Global Citizen Collaborates

They don’t live on an island, alone, king of a kingdom-of-one. A Global Citizen is someone who works with others to find solutions to complex global challenges. They recognise that no one person, organisation, or nation can solve these challenges alone, and that collaboration across different backgrounds, cultures, and sectors is necessary.

For example, a Global Citizen might participate in community forums, join a global network of activists, or collaborate with organisations to address issues such as poverty, climate change, or social injustice. They recognise that different perspectives and experiences can enrich the solutions we develop, and that working together is necessary to create meaningful change.

Richard Curtis has worked with numerous organisations and projects, such as Comic Relief, Red Nose Day, Projet Everyone, and Make Poverty History. His collaborations have led to the fundraising of over a billion US dollars for the benefit of children and vulnerable people worldwide. 

Closing Thoughts

Awareness, empathy, action, and collaboration–in that order. Global Citizens understand they’re on Earth to contribute, to do something, and help make something great. They utilise their unique talent or profession, be that music, business management, or cooking, and make it the bedrock of an enterprise far greater than themselves. 

Ironically and because of it, they become much more; memorable individuals we read about in magazines or hear of in podcasts. And it doesn’t take $10,000–not even $1,000. Wawira started with a single Kenyan meal, and later became one of the world’s most remarkable success stories under 30 years old. 

By combining a singular passion with a greater focus, entrepreneurs transition from the realm of ‘good’ to ‘great’. It’s this reason that prompted Deltec to launch the Deltec Initiatives Foundation, empowering young Bahamians, and Deltec Cares, a global disaster relief effort. 

Disclaimer: The author of this text, Jean Chalopin, is a global business leader with a background encompassing banking, biotech, and entertainment. Mr. Chalopin is Chairman of Deltec International Group,

The co-author of this text, Conor Scott, CFA, has been active in the wealth management industry since 2011. Mr. Scott is a Writer for Deltec International Group,

The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in this text are solely the views of the authors, and do not necessarily reflect those of Deltec International Group, its subsidiaries, and/or its employees. This information should not be interpreted as an endorsement of cryptocurrency or any specific provider, service, or offering. It is not a recommendation to trade.