Going home after each face to face period in Madrid becomes harder and harder as I miss the creative environment of the think tank promoted by IE Business School. An MBA is not only a degree in which we learn the beautiful world of finances and accounting. In fact, Business School is truly about connecting like-minded people who aim at advancing economies and societies by firstly developing themselves as human beings.
Between beers and snacks at a nightclub in Madrid, one of my peers challenged me about my description on Instagram as “Global Citizen”. Our conversation kept me further thinking about what being a Global Citizen truly means (to me).
I come from a very small town in the middle of Portugal. When I was 6 years old, my father gave me a gift that I will always cherish: A world map.
The world map is still displayed in front of my desk back home and every country that I visit I still mark it in the map with a pushpin. The first time I took a flight was to Euro-Disney in Paris and since then my family kept on visiting at least a different country every year.
By the age of 9, my grandfather gave me an encyclopaedia in Portuguese and the title could be translated to something as close as “different nations, different traditions” and I’ve lost the count on how many times I went over and over that book. This was also the year in which I started to learn English and French.
When I was born in 1989, Europe had no borders and the Berlin Wall had already been demolished. I belong to one of the first generations who lived up the European project, learning to embrace cultural differences based on a common sense of respect and understanding. Diversity is like a nucleobase, embedded in the DNA of my generation.
I love and nourish my Portuguese roots, but above everything I am European. Europe will always be my safe harbour regardless the country, as I completely identify myself with our values: Peace, Democracy and Human Rights. These are the core values of our european societies and it’s interesting to understand that millennials value most work and love as in opposition to baby boomers who ranked health and peace as the most important values.
Travelling the world as a kid had only prepared me to embrace change, to learn from diversity and be mindful of cultural differences.
As the world evolve to genderless generations, are we also evolving towards global citizenship?
What does being a global citizen truly mean? Is it someone who globetrots the world embracing diversity as a sponge? Could it be a genetic factor or simply explained as someone being exposed to different cultures since a very young age?
Ultimately, if Human beings continue to evolve towards a no gender, no nationality, no affiliation or sense of belonging, who are we going to be in 50 years from now?
Which values will guide our grandchildren’s generation?
There are still many barriers and prejudices to break, however we are all different and diverse and I truly believe this is the beauty of the world. At the end everything is a matter of tolerance.
My world map includes 46 different pushpins… and still counting! 🙂