Finding Your Global Citizen Practice

What Kind Of Global Citizen Are You? - The Heritage Hero

written by Ash Shah

Generally speaking, there are six areas in which the individual can contribute, no matter where they are in the world. You might resonate with one or more of these areas at a time, there’s no pressure to only pick one! In this article, we will talk more about global citizenship in the area of culture and heritage and how you can make a difference.

Wondering what kind of Global Citizen you are?

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What makes one place different from another place, besides their craft beer and idea of what qualifies as a scary animal? Lots of things. A big one is buildings, or more widely - heritage and culture. That is the story of how a place and its people interacted with their surroundings over the course of history, the narratives they created to make sense of the world and the values and morals that underpinned their way of life. So whether you’re the type of person whose response to a snake in your toilet is “she’ll be right” or you’re the type that’d run in the opposite direction with your pants around your ankles, you’re both having a culturally unique response to a situation. And culture - whether we engage with it through art degrees, Tiktok or the Chinese takeaway next door - is worth preserving.

The lessons of the past are hugely important in paving the way for cities of the future. Historical events ripple into contemporary politics and society more than we realise and being mindful of how colonialism, war, trade and religion have affected a place helps us understand its relationship to different communities, cities, countries and cultures. As a citizen, knowing where you come from is essential to understanding where you must go. Engaging with this practice of global citizenship is about learning, researching and becoming more aware in order to cultivate a more empathetic and fact-based perspective of the world around you. Here are some ways in which you can do it:

Walking tours

Most cities have walking tours that shed light on the unique history of the region. Even if you are a local somewhere, you will be surprised at how much there is to learn about your own home.

Independent film screenings

Independent cinema is a powerful tool in unpacking the history and culture of a place in order to relate to its present. Film festivals, interactions with directors or even doing your own research on the film helps you in making most of the content provided.

Art galleries and museums

Art holds a mirror to society consistently and examines its trajectory. Art festivals, exhibitions, museums, galleries all offer a way to engage with culture in a more enticing way.

National heritage organisations

Contributing to organisations that preserve old architectural marvels, tend to historical sites, restore old buildings and so on is helpful to the larger cause.

Food culture

Every time you eat at a restaurant that serves foreign cuisine, make it a point to talk to the owners/staff and learn something more about the history of that place and how it relates to where you are now.

Talks, workshops, literature

Attending participatory events gives you a chance to engage directly with the discussions, which means that rather than consuming information, you are also given a chance to combine it with your personal values and beliefs. Book clubs, seminars, panel discussions, talks, workshops etc.

Professional participation

Building your career around the preservation of old monuments, joining the back end team of cultural projects and festivals, becoming a history teacher and making it your life’s work to preserve culture and heritage.

UN Sustainable Development Goals

that the Heritage Hero supports


Gender Equality

Learning from stories of the past to create fluid gender roles.


Reduced Inequalities

Remembering history’s lessons in inclusivity and equality.


Sustainable Cities And Communities

Strengthening cities by instilling pride amongst all the communities that call it home.

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