The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Julia Gergely '21 RGLP Reflection: Demanding Dialogue in a Globalized World

RGLP students reflect on the remote spring term. 

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What are the most important tools in building platform for dialogue across difference?

The need to build a platform for dialogue and understanding is paramount, and becomes increasingly necessary every day. This need exists at every level and in every sector of society—education, fashion, economy, literature, media, government. 

In RGLP, we talked about this need and how our economy and interactions are more globalized than ever. Social media and the internet have helped individual communities grow and has helped expose people to communities different from their own. However, because of this, the internet, globalization, and increasing awareness have also exposed deep differences between communities. These new spaces demand the need even more to navigate these differences and promote dialogue. 

The most important tools that we learned in RGLP to build a platform for dialogue were learning how to listen before we talk; seeking to understand before we demand to be understood. RGLP has given us the tools to recognize how our own cultures and identities influence our decisions and outlooks on the world, and what is most important in a dialogue is seeking to understand what cultures and identities influence others' perspectives. RGLP taught me that we often fall into the trap of believing our personal view of the world, our cultures, and our identities are the 'only' view or the 'mainstream' existence. In reality, our cultures and identities sit equally among a billion others. RGLP showed me how to recognize that and how to use that recognition to make decisions and build dialogue.

When we can begin to perceive the world through others' eyes, we will be able to have a productive dialogue and make the best possible decisions for everyone involved. Again, the internet, social media, and a globalized economy have forced the need for this—it is a requirement, not an option, because everyone and everything in the world is connected now, so the best decision for the world will be the best decision for yourself as well. Also, with social media, we are able to seek out others' cultures and perspectives that much more easily—at this point there is no excuse not to, and we should all have a duty to. 

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