The Local has partnered with Nova SBE in Lisbon, a leading European business school, where 60 percent of those studying are international students, to explore five ways you can be a better world citizen in 2022.
1. Be rigorous in your thinking
In an age where misinformation travels like wildfire (and often sets things alight), be rigorous in your thinking. Whether in your professional duties, your approach to studying, or simply your conversations with friends, it pays to question and test your own beliefs as well as other people’s.
Don’t settle for easy assumptions not backed up by hard evidence. Don’t always take a quick Google result that appears to confirm your belief as definitive proof that you’re right! (you’re smart, so you know all about confirmation bias, right?)
Taking a rigorous approach to your thinking at all times will help you cultivate excellence in your life. Are you ready and willing to take responsibility for your contribution to the sum of world knowledge and beliefs? That’s a pretty good start for being a good global citizen!
2. Focus on your impact
Sometimes you may feel frustrated by how difficult it can seem to have a positive impact on the world. Don’t be. A new year is a great time to re-examine what lies within your power.
Once you zone in on exactly what you can influence, you’ll be surprised by the potential ripple effects your actions can have. What’s more, there are many European institutions, from charities to NGOs to universities, empowering individuals like you to help change the world for the better.
For Julian Harzheim, from Germany, it was elective courses relating to social impact at Nova SBE that opened his eyes to a new way of seeing the world. “When I studied in Germany, I didn’t have any courses on social impact,” he recalls. “For me, social impact meant NGOs and the opposite of business. But at Nova SBE, they teach you that if you combine business logic with social impact, it becomes a self-reinforcing cycle, where profits drive impact and impact drives profits.”
3. Be connected and collaborative
To be a good world citizen, a good dose of worldliness will obviously help. But it’s not all about your experience and know-how. To be a real force for good, you need both connections and collaborations.
If you live an international life and regularly speak to people with diverse perspectives, you’re already in a great position. The turn of the year is also a great time to review your personal networks – who have you been meaning to reconnect with? Who could help you understand an important topic you wish you knew more about?
Julian, who studied the Master’s in Finance and the CEMS Master’s in International Management at Nova SBE, says the faculty are hugely supportive of students looking for collaborations or introductions to private companies, governments or other stakeholders.
“Today, I’m working with some of the largest organisations in the world,” he says of his job as an Associate Innovation Strategist at NAX Group in Frankfurt. “Every day, I get to sit with executives and suggest new business ideas – and I always try to put forward the social impact lens or the environmental lens.”