What is The Digital Global Citizen?
The first and best answer to this is; the digital global citizen is YOU! Just by virtue of having been born on this planet, you belong. You are a citizen.
Why "digital?" In the last few years, it has become so much easier to learn about the world, experience the world, and interact with people of other countries - digitally! Without getting on a plane or a train! Various apps and websites have made it possible to connect internationally, mostly from your smart phone.
But there are so many tools. New ones are coming out all the time and all of them change constantly. That's where this site comes in.
So, that's the second answer. The Digital Global Citizen is a site devoted to help you find these tools and learn best how to use them. In addition to the digital tools, you'll also learn how to engage the world in-person, locally. (More about this on the Home page and in my blog posts)
The third answer is; It's a movement, an idea. To make the world a better place by helping people learn about each other. To connect people to the world they live in and experience the art, music, humor, spirituality, and wisdom of other cultures.
This is my mission.
Who Am I?
I grew up in a small town in Kentucky during the 70s and 80s where opportunities to experience anything foreign were quite limited. In spite of that, for as long as I can remember, I was obsessed with anything international.
When I was around years old, I discovered Japanese writing on the bottom of a toy. I learned that these written characters were used by people on the other side of the earth. Wow! I decided that some day I would learn to read them. Years later I did!
At age 6, my sister began taking French in school. I constantly pestered her asking how to say this or that in French. Later that same year I met two Italians that were hosted by a neighbor as part of the Friendship Force. The experience of trying to communicate with them made a huge impact on me.
I've dabbled in about 60 languages, often just learning the writing system, pronunciation, a few vocabulary words and basic grammar. I've achieved beginner to intermediate level in about a dozen. I'd only claim advanced status in two languages, other than English.
I've been to 10 countries outside of my native USA. All were fairly short business trips, save for Japan where I lived for 3 years.
I've helped plan and execute international festivals. I've helped worked as a translator and interpreter. I've worked at several large companies with very diverse environments.
But I've always wanted to do more! Much More! Through the years I've been frustrated with the obstacles to travel. Materials for language and cultural learning have been hard to find, expensive, or simply non-existent.
Today, things are so different. There has been an explosion of tools created to learn other languages, listen to music from abroad and directly connect with people from all over the globe. I have observed that most are unaware of the full potential of these tools and just how readily available they are.
I am excited beyond expression to help others find these tools, utilize them, and unlock the life-changing potential that comes with deeply engaging other cultures.