Nitesh Pant ’22 RGLP Reflection: “Adapting to the Differences Between Us”

Each fall, winter, and spring, the Rockefeller Global Leadership Program (RGLP) brings together student leaders to increase their understanding of global leadership and intercultural competency. Through weekly sessions with speakers and a culminating experience to either Boston or Montreal, the students are able to learn about themselves and cross-cultural leadership. 

Fall 2019 participants were asked to write a blog post, reflecting on the topics and lessons learned throughout the program. Below are reflections from the Fall 2019 cohort who spent a weekend in Montreal as part of their culminating experience.

Globalism is coming to every nook and corner of this planet, whether we like it or not. With globalism comes a range of possibilities and opportunities in terms of collaboration across borders. The opportunities will enable collaboration between teams on the opposite corners of the world. This hyper interconnectivity will fuel new technological advances and bring global development. However, this very interconnectivity will bring a host of challenges with it. 

Most people in power today are well into their 50’s and grew up in the era prior to the widespread use of the internet. Unlike us Millennials, they were not one click away from exploring the “gallis” of Old Delhi in virtual reality while listening to a live Sufi song performance from Turkey and monitoring our favorite Russian meal that's being delivered via Uber eats. This lack of cultural exchange can and has caused a host of problems, from Trump’s insensitive labelling of all immigrants as rapist and criminals, to failed billion-dollar multinational investments because the board members could not appreciate the local culture nor break into it. 

So, as globalism rolls on full speed, with minor hiccups along the way, the lack of intercultural experiences, empathy, appreciation, understanding, and the lack of proper mutual understanding between people with different backgrounds and cultures will be the biggest challenge to the spirit of globalism and collaboration. All of these problems are solvable by simply being open to differences between cultures and opinions and being able to ‘adapt’ to the differences between us. 

-Written by Nitesh Pant ’22, Fall 2019 RGLP Participant 

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the Rockefeller Center or constitute an endorsement by the Center.