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

RGLP Recap: Developing a Global Consciousness, with Dr. Gama Perucci

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Read a student's account of our most recent session in our Global Leadership Program. For more information, about RGLP, click here.

This week’s session marked the kick-off for the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program.  We were fortunate to have Dr. Gama Perruci, Dean of the McDonough Leadership Center at Marietta College, to speak to us about the steps towards developing a global consciousness.

Dr. Gama Perruci first gave us a brief history lesson about the roots of global consciousness. Who knew that there was a traceable history to the concept of global understanding? Well actually, according to Dr. Gama Perruci, global consciousness originated with the Peace of Westphalia (1648) and the political idea of a nation-state.  This global consciousness then grew with changing technologies and political ideologies (such as the industrial revolution, nationalism, and the Internet).

After considering if we have moved beyond the “Post-Westphalian Model” of nation-state sovereignty, Dr. Perruci asked us to characterize our own current self-understanding througheither global awareness, attentiveness, consciousness, or citizenship.  It was no surprise that the participants in the session all had different levels of global self-understanding. Dr. Perruci also had us consider whether one could be a local leader with a global consciousness.

Finally, Dr. Perruci had us perform a cross-cultural experience simulation.  Half of the group pretended to visit an exotic island inhabited by the other half of the group. The “visitors” had to interpret and give their thoughts about a greeting ceremony by the “local residents”. It was interesting to see how varying cultural experiences and perceptions led to different interpretations of the same event. It turned out that the actual cultural significance of the greeting ceremony differed from many of the RGLP participant’s initial perceptions of the culture. 

- Written by Courtney Wong '15, S13 RGLP Participant

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