Who Do You Want To Be? A Global School Experience inviting young people to discover a path toward the fullness of life.Participate here

Recently, I had an opportunity to spend parts of two days with an inspirational group of Jesuit school leaders from the North American conference.  Our objective was simple…participate as a group in the Virtual Congress of JESEDU-RIO 2017 and engage in conversation that focused on the incredible opportunities that are within our grasp as a network of Jesuit schools…if we work together.companionship BCHIGH global citizen

We considered our conversation to be a beginning, and using the JESEDU-RIO videos as our guide, took stock of the strong tradition of our Jesuit schools, and began to reimagine our future.  Never once during our gathering did we ask ourselves how to become or create the “ultimate global citizen.”  In fact, I don’t think we ever even mentioned the words “global citizenship” at all.  The beauty was that we did not need to.  Preparing our students to be citizens of the world, for me, was written all over our gathering…

 

Creating a global curiosity in our students…

Education as a transformational experience of the heart…

Intentionality to global learning…

The Spiritual Exercises as a structured personal journey towards’ one’s relationship with God..

Empowerment…

Relationships as fundamental components of learning…

Creating school cultures that thrive on experimentation and risk…

Seeing Magis as a fearlessness…

Compassion…

Do these key points and themes from our gathering describe how to become the ultimate global citizen?  Perhaps not, but by engaging in this important conversation, I believe something more special happened – we began to reimagine our Jesuit schools as a collective body. We began to dream of possibilities built upon networking and collaboration, and we began to envision our schools as a gateways to the world.Global Citizenship Project

The Global Red Chair Project, active in so many of our schools around the world in recent months, begins to touch on what we can accomplish as a network of schools committed to placing an intentional focus on creating citizens of the world: citizens who face injustices head-on, rather than looking the other way; citizens who care for the “other,” whomever that other may be; citizens who see problems, and seek solutions. The inspirational efforts of the Global Red Chair Project only begins to scratch the surface of what we can accomplish in our schools!  So much of what we do as educators is simply to plant seeds, and then allow our students to flourish.

So, as Jesuit educators, what more can we help students become the ultimate global citizen?  I might suggest we continue to do what we have always done, but with a new intentionality toward developing global learners.  Our foundations are built upon compassion; built upon a desire to serve and to love; built upon a curiosity of the world and a desire to go to the frontiers; and built upon an awareness that we are all a part of something much bigger than ourselves.  These traits and characteristics of Jesuit education, when applied to how we hope our students graduate into the world, perhaps help us best to imagine what the ultimate global citizen might look like.

While Ignatius perhaps never used these words, you could say the Society of Jesus always intended to develop “the ultimate global citizen.”