In social change impact, there’s often a sense that one must choose whether to contribute to the local community or to the global community. But that’s not always the case.
There are countless ways you can contribute to your local and global community at the same time. One doesn’t exclude the other.
Difference Between the Local and Global Community
Local communities are groups of people who live physically close to each other, share a common interest, and meet regularly for that purpose. An example of a local community is a group of people in your neighborhood who meet to discuss and solve certain local problems together.
A ‘global community’ is a term used to describe any community that interacts across the globe and cultures. It’s not tied to a specific city or country, but spans the globe and seeks to bring people from different backgrounds together for a specific cause.
Global Community Needs Local Communities
If you want to understand what’s going on in the world, you cannot take your eyes off local events.
Not only because of its historical significance and current relevance but also because it’s the place where we all live and work.
The way we understand the world today is more complex than ever, as new technologies have raised “global” problems and questions that require answers on a global scale. But there’s no way to find global solutions without understanding local problems and taking local action because everything happens locally first.
We can’t be everywhere, and we can’t know everything: That’s why we need local community development as the most important source for global sustainable development, discussion, and reflection on what’s happening around us.
Local communities are the laboratories where human being evolution, economic activity, politics, and administration are developed; they’re the places where the cultural heritage of the world is created.
Globalization has created a need for local knowledge that can be shared internationally; shared knowledge that can be used to formulate effective responses to global challenges – from climate change to migration, from the global economy to public health, or from humanitarian emergencies to demographic changes.
In this context, local communities have a key role to play.
Local Communities Can Increase or Decrease the Impact on the Global Community
As an individual interested in geopolitics and the state of the world today, it’s important to recognize how our personal choices relate to national and international issues. There are many ways in which local communities impact the global community – both positively and negatively.
When people think of the local community, they automatically think only of its direct impact.
For example, if a community wants to increase its positive impact on the environment, it’ll do something that impacts the local community, such as planting more trees or making products locally. However, there are also indirect impacts of this action on the global community.
For example, when a community plants more trees, it not only benefits itself (through fresh air and a better environment), but also helps reduce global warming.
Local communities can also cause problems for the global community if they care more about their own community’s concerns than those of the whole world.
For example, a local community may oppose immigration because they fear it’ll affect their economic development or culture.
This leads to nationalism, which can lead to hatred and violence against other races and religions not only for the affected communities but also on a global scale. In extreme cases, this hatred can lead to war or genocide.
5 Things You Can Do at the Local Level to Prevent Local and Global Fighting
Truly educated people may be the only ones who can stop global struggle. Education is the key. Take a class, read a book, learn something new!
Education is the most important factor that stands in the way of people’s ignorance. Ignorance creates hatred, fear, and struggle. Education leads to understanding, tolerance, and acceptance of other people’s local culture.
We must be willing to learn if we want to make real progress in this world. We must be willing to learn about things that are outside our immediate experience or comfort zone.
We must be willing to see things from other people’s perspectives, not just our own if we’re ever to accomplish anything positive for the development of our community.
For example, if you’re from the United States, the United Kingdom, New Zealand, or another Western country, understanding local community development in South Africa, Latin America, or developing countries will automatically facilitate engagement, learning, and collaboration on both sides.
By learning about other regions, cultural heritage, natural resources, local economies, etc., you’ll learn more about how affected communities are coping with climate change or how they’re dealing with forest land issues. This can enable more effective local action and lead to better global impact.
Education isn’t perfect, but it’s the best tool we’ve to make this world a better place. If we want peace in our lifetimes, we’re all responsible for educating ourselves and others about important issues such as local and global struggles.
Although greater technological solutions are needed, we can all help prevent environmental disasters by working for the good of the environment. Our impact will be local, but also global.
For example, trees are our partners in the fight against pollution and deforestation. Planting trees is something we can do locally while preventing global problems. Trees absorb carbon dioxide, which prevents global warming, and they produce oxygen, which makes our planet healthy for all life forms.
We can also reduce our personal footprint and energy consumption by reducing unnecessary electricity use.
This reduces the need for power plants and prevents the release of toxic gasses into the air we breathe. We can also pay attention to our water consumption and try to use it as sparingly as possible. Water is vital and shouldn’t be wasted or taken for granted.
We’re all also at risk of natural disasters such as floods, fires, and earthquakes.
The world is getting smaller every day thanks to social media.
We can now reach people from all over the world and have the opportunity to learn from each other and even collaborate.
There are many communities in the world that are isolated from others. However, these communities can share each other’s cultures and values by networking and learning from each other.
It’s not about creating a perfect community, but about using what we’ve to help each other locally and globally.
4. Local Representative
As a local representative at global events, you can’t only meet new people and make new connections, but also make a difference in your community.
Sharing your story at global events around the world will have a positive impact on the local and global community.
For example, some community leaders may present their sustainability report when representing their affected communities at a United Nations climate change conference.
Others may attend a social justice event and use the opportunity to speak about a particular human right that’s being violated by their local government.
Local representatives can share their success stories and failures with other local leaders and representatives from around the world, which inspires them to start initiatives that have a positive impact on their local community.
These initiatives inspire other local leaders, create new relationships, and are shared on social media/websites, which then reach a global audience.
This also helps to promote community engagement with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and encourage more people to engage in global citizenship.
The Internet is one of the most important ways to connect local and global communities.
The global connectivity enabled by the Internet is one of the most important developments of our time and has profound implications for individuals and communities alike.
The benefits of networking are obvious, it gives access to information sharing wealth creation, global communication and engagement, access to higher education, opportunities, and so on.
It also helps local small businesses market themselves, giving the local economy a better chance, and for those that end up reaching global scale, a potentially global impact on the global economy.
The Internet can bring local and global community members and community leaders closer together and can also be used to attract philanthropists or investors from other parts of the world who may want to support your local community or rural area.
Also, anyone can educate themselves immediately, for example, someone from North America could learn about the public health situation in South Africa during the COVID 19 crisis.
Humanity is a local community of local communities.
Think of the following:
- we’re all born on this “pale blue dot” earth. We’re all just temporary visitors here.
- almost everything that humanity has achieved of lasting value has been achieved by local communities working together as part of a larger whole.
- the global community is a local community, so let’s start with where we’re and who we’re, and then expand our thinking to others.
It’s a mistake to limit ourselves to seeing the local-only as “regions” and “cultures.”
If we look at the big picture, we’re just one local community in the universe. Think of human history: we didn’t even think of “continent” or even “country” or “departments”… The local used to be defined by small villages, and only when the villages started to work together, did they become departments and then countries.
The local community influences the global community in every way.