Beyond Facebook, Fake News & Whatever Your Friends Say
If the events of the last two weeks are any indication, America’s role in the world is only going to become more interventionist and American citizens need to brush up on their global smarts — beyond Facebook, fake news, and whatever their friends say — if we are to build positive relationships with the world as well as hold our elected officials and policy makers accountable for their actions. For those of us who travel abroad regularly, especially those who do so for business, we need to stay on top of global issues at a deeper level to remain relevant and ready to engage in discussions on any number of US actions in the world. The world is watching us and they will want to know why we’re doing what we’re doing and even if you don’t have an answer, saying “I don’t know” or that you aren’t for the President and his policies is not enough.
You can’t build and maintain trusted relationships globally unless you have a global mindset, skillset and experience set working with, understanding and appreciating other cultures. I also believe a global mindset is imperative for our personal security when we travel abroad, especially our experiences on the ground with other cultures and a heightened level of situational awareness which I’ve detailed in prior posts. And finally, we need to know about the world so we can raise the next generation of Americans to be not only patriotic citizens but also passionate world citizens who know about the world and are prepared to engage and compete with the world.
Read This, Follow That...My 10 Favorite Global Resources & Thought Leaders to Stay Current and Build Perspective
Following all that is happening around the world can be tedious, time consuming, and even paralyzing for anyone who doesn’t work in a global environment day to day. To stay on top of what’s happening globally I’m sharing some of my favorite sites, resources and thought leaders to support your efforts to stay globally aware and develop deeper perspectives on a number of global issues that affect us currently. This is by no means an exhaustive list as my intent is to save you time and share only those resources that will quickly get you up to speed and provide context so that you can develop or better hone your own points of view. Also, please note that this list was also prepared with American audiences in mind.
The key is to start small, you can’t read everything or absorb every global issue over night. Pick one or two resources you trust and check in with them daily, weekly or whenever your schedule allows and build from there. Then share and discuss what you observe and absorb with those in your circle of influence — particularly your kids, grand kids, nieces and nephews, and any young people that you interact with. If they see you making global issues a priority they too will be encouraged to learn more, explore and develop their own global points of view.
THE GLOBAL 10: Essential Resources for Americans to Stay Globally Current
If You Have 5 Minutes a Day or Week
- The Week — 10 Things You Need to Know Today — free daily email digest of the world’s top issues.
- The Daily Skimm — free daily email digest during the week of all the world’s news with sharp, funny commentary and links to further learning and resources. Essential reading during the election in particular and every day.
- Watching America — free daily translations of global news coverage of the US for when you want to see how the world views us. Essential reading especially before I travel abroad or know that I will be interacting with people from outside the US.
- Global Incident Map — for when you want to know or need to know what’s happening around the world from a security, natural disaster, sh*t hitting the fan point of view.
If You Have 15-30 Minutes a Day or Week
5. The Week Magazine — a UK-based publication that is similar in feel to Time or Newsweek but thinner and easier to absorb on the fly. They have a US version of the publication that I subscribe to and receive in both print and digitally. What I love about this publication is that is is actually fun to read and share. They cover US news as well as global issues and pull out the best quotes from the best media coverage of the issues as well as include segments on politics, art, culture, technology and food. I have given so many gift subscriptions to young people graduating I’ve lost count. I do this in part because this is a great way to stay on top of issues, be relevant in any global environment and expand your own learnings about the world in a very short period of time.
6. The Economist & Foreign Policy Magazine — both do an excellent job of pulling together the complexities of the world with the context and historical point of view on every global issues explored. Though they are subscription based, they both have a number of free newsletter and weekly email digests that is a must read.
If You Want to Go Deeper - Read This, Follow Them...
7. STRATFOR — this Austin-based global think tank and intelligence firm does an exceptional job of breaking down every issue of global import imaginable. They are subscription based and also have daily email digests that you can tailor based on areas of interest. If you want to go deeper on any issue as well they have an incredible resource portal with a reservoir of global insights and cases developed by and curated from the many exceptional global minds that work there. In particular, if you have interest in geopolitical issues, security, counter terrorism and military strategies there are few resources better.
8. Geopolitical Futures (GPF) — one of the founders of STRATFOR, George Friedman, started GPF and while they are also subscription based, they do have a newsletter, a number of free reports you can dig through and if you sign up for their email list you can receive their Understanding Our Geopolitical Model report for free.
9. Najafi Global Mindset Institute at Thunderbird — Dr. Mansour Javidan has pioneered the Global Mindset movement as well as a deep reservoir of research on global leaders and the skillsets required to be successful at a global level. He led the publication of Developing Your Global Mindset Handbook chock full of cases, real world examples and insights for how to be more effectively globally and in cross-cultural environments. Essential reading for anyone working in a global environment.
10. Global Thought Leaders to Follow — there are so many and this is really a personal choice depending on the areas of the world you are interested in and the issues you follow. A great place to start though are with following two of my favorites — Ian Bremmer, founder of geopolitical risk consultancy the Eurasia Group and Anja Manuel, Stanford lecturer and partner with Rice Hadley Gates. Both are noted authors and global thought leaders that I find refreshingly candid and engaging which is a difficult thing for many to do in this space. Their latest books, Superpower and This Brave New World respectively are essential reading for anyone who wants a better understanding of America’s role in the world.
BONUS — 2 NextGen Global Resources — To Get Your Kids Global From the Jump
- Little Passports — this subscription based monthly educational program started by two Moms engages kids (from ages 3+) in the world through a number of interactive exercises, maps, stories and fun games. My three and a half year old loves it and has learned so much from this that she gets excited when her new “passport” arrives in the mailbox and we can explore a part of the world together.
- World Citizens Guide — designed to help prepare American college students due to study abroad the Guide includes timeless information, insights and lessons to support anyone of any age who wants to engage more effectively with the world. The WCG has been used extensively in middle schools and high schools as well as on college campuses and you can access much of the content for free online as well as sign up for updates on the mobile app that is in development.