TU’s World Perspectives, authored by the International Leadership Council, present global issues in the context of themes in order to spur discussion and debate within and outside of the classroom. The intention of the perspectives is to create a framework for faculty and staff to utilize in planning curricular and co-curricular activities. World Perspectives may be utilized in many different ways from topics and/or readings for a course, themes for visiting scholars and/or speakers, programming for student activities and faculty-led study abroad programming.
Though the International Leadership Council has divided the World Perspectives into the following eight categories, it is important to emphasize from the outset how these perspectives operate in conjunction with one another, and how they play out across cultures. In order to adopt a university-wide framework that better quantifies and qualifies the impacts of these perspectives, we must recognize how comparative analyses of international commonalities and culturally specific perspectives enrich TU’s mission both within and beyond the classroom, with the ultimate aim of presenting students with the theoretical foundations to implement practical solutions to challenges proposed by these perspectives in a global context.
Energy, Environment and Sustainability
As the human mark on the environment becomes ever more noticeable around the globe, we must strive to develop sustainable solutions to provide the necessary means for the mutual well-being of humanity and the environment. This means advocating for practices and science-based decision-making that protect sources of potable water, promote efficient energy consumption, address food security, and reduce international environmental impacts in an ethical and environmentally conscious manner.
Health and Society
A healthy world begins with healthy societies; a healthy society begins with healthy individuals. By promoting a culture of health on scales large and small, the university should participate in the global exchange of health knowledge, in order to combat disease and its contributing factors, and to advance healthy lives and lifestyles at home and abroad.
Economics and Policy
The internationalization and globalization of economic markets has led to an increased demand for understanding how norms and attitudes are intertwined with governance which in turn affect the allocation of goods, the distribution of wealth, and the political economy. The ability to negotiate the intersection of nations’ and cultures’ respective interests is a key characteristic of international economics, diplomacy and policy-making, and will no doubt become even more important in the future.
Human Rights and Social Justice
The ability to address the complexities of human rights and social justice in an international context, where the histories, norms and laws of cultures, philosophies and religions may be remarkably divergent, will help humanity continue to interrogate and to challenge established ideas in order to ensure dignity, equity and justice for all, and particularly for members of traditionally marginalized populations.
Ethics and Professionalism
Notions of ethics and professionalism should extend beyond the classroom and beyond the realm of books, such that they may be applied effectively to real-world dilemmas. In a global context, this means understanding how and where these concepts translate easily, and how and where an ethical professional may encounter potentially challenging scenarios. The university community should foster among its members a heightened sense of what ethics and professionalism mean at home and abroad, wherever that may be.
Culture across Societies
Understanding how different cultures perceive concepts such as time, space and power, and where these concepts do and do not cross cultural borders, will help us grasp where notions of culture overlap with those of nationality and society, and where they do not. In order to do so, the university should nourish an interest in cultural immersion, the study of foreign languages and translation, the mutual exchange of intercultural perspectives, indigenous cultures and populations, cultural preservation, and the historical context of culture and society. Moreover, in the context of increasing globalization on the part of businesses and NGOs, we should take note of the ability of organizational cultures to transcend societies and nations.
Good leadership in a dynamic, international context often means constantly re-defining what it means to be a leader. Certain abilities, however, seem to transcend time and national borders: jump-starting international collaborations, communicating across languages and cultures, knowing when and how to take and give cultural cues, being proactive rather than reactive, serving the wider international community, and comprehending different cultures’ concepts of leadership. Fostering these abilities on campus, and in university activities that reach out to communities and institutions around the world, will contribute to the university’s continued spirit of leadership and innovation.
Women, Gender and Under-represented Populations
This perspective serves as a pragmatic appendix to the perspectives listed above in order to ensure that historically marginalized populations receive equal consideration as the university continues to shape its internationalization policies. Historical and contemporary understandings of marginalization, and how marginalization changes across cultures and borders, is necessary to obtain equal access to environmental and health resources, opportunities for economic development, human rights and social justice for all.
A global citizen is aware of one’s place in the wider world and respects the notion that we are all one human race. Global citizenship results in individuals who challenge themselves to be responsible, principled decision makers in order to contribute to a just and peaceful world. Global citizens respect the fact that their actions cross boundaries and affect local, national, and global communities and systems. Responsible citizenship is a choice and way of thinking that embraces empathy, challenges inequality and injustice, and requires life-long learning In order to build the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes to make a difference in the world.
Approved by the International Leadership Council, December 2017