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The Growth of the Globally Hip


by Kate Berardo


Global has been the rage for years around the world. Americans are slowly catching on as US pop culture becomes modern, edgy, and global.  Do you fit the profile of a globally hip person?

Take this quick test. Check those statements you agree with (and be honest):


I have a grasp of the global issues we currently face as a planet.


I have studied other languages


I have traveled abroad


I have strong opinions on many topics


I vote


I interact with people from different cultures often


I watch independent and foreign films


I question media information


I value personal growth and development


I follow music, movies, or sports in another part of the world

Highly hip and globally aware
5-7: You’ve got a good grasp on global affairs.
3-5: Globally getting there… Keep it up
0-2: Ahem…

Profiles of Globally Hip People:

*       They are people who have interesting stories to tell at parties and get togethers.

*       They have sought adventures and experiences in every nook and cranny of life.

*       They have opinions and can back them with well-founded thought.

*       They question general media and think things through.  

*       They are the ones that dare to care about the world.

*       They aren’t deterred by labels of idealism or wooed by the ease of apathy.

*       They think.

*       They act.

*       They vote.

*       They see people for who they are.

*       They know they’ve got stereotypes, and they work to undo their assumptions.

*       They realize they make mistakes communicating and working with other people, and they learn from these mistakes.

*       They grow.

*       They are making a difference.

*       They are awake. They are aware.  

*       They’re busy.

*       They’ve got the world to explore. People to meet. Adventures to undertake. Things to understand. And they’ve got experiences to bring back and share with the rest of the U.S.

These days, being globally hip is about a whole lot more than listening to Britney Spear’s latest single, watching last week’s episode of the Sopranos, and driving around in a SUV.

It means getting into careers that make a difference. It means having a purpose in life besides looking good, feeling good, and being liked.

It means living life to the fullest. It’s a mindset and a lifestyle—the Culturious Lifestyle.

The Growth of Globally Aware People

This group has been around for a long time. Their outlook and output on life has always been impressive. What’s new is that this group’s power will soon explode as American mainstream culture finally realizes the need for culturally aware people and brings more of these figures to the limelight. A few are already there. Think Bono. Maya Angelou. Think Keith Haring. The Dixie Chicks.

These are the big name folks, who have become famous for their ideas, their talents, and their thinking. You don’t have to agree with them to respect their ability to expand other people’s thinking and perspectives and their own openness to new ideas.

Global is here to stay

Technology and communications will only make the world a smaller place. Travel will become easier, borders will become increasingly transparent, and countries will soon find themselves completely intertwined in business, environmental and global issues.

The hip people of today are the ones who have recognized this reality. They already ride the wave of change.

What does it take?

A global lifestyle means learning from a variety of sources: institutions, the streets, life experiences.  You need a good head on your shoulders (and we aren’t talking looks), and you need an open mind.

To go global, you need a commitment to broadening your experiences and your opportunities. And you need a dedication to learning.

This means getting beyond your comfort zone, trying new things, turning up your curiosity dial, and turning on your mind and turning off the TV.

Global is a lifestyle. It’s a mindset. And it’s a powerful one. Start to build your awareness today.

Wise Words of the Globally Aware


 “Minds are like parachutes: they only function when open.” - THOMAS R. DEWAR


“Creativity is inventing, experimenting, growing, taking risks, breaking rules, making mistakes, and having fun.” - MARY LOU COOK


“All experience is an arch to build upon.” - HENRY BROOKS ADAMS


“A nation’s culture lies in the hearts and in the souls of its people.” - MAHATMA GANDHI


“Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” - SUN TZU in The Art of War


“It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.´ - ALAN COHEN is committed to helping individuals find the resources, experiences, and opportunities that will open their minds, broaden their perspectives, and provide better understanding of global realities. 

Kate Berardo is a Northwestern educated intercultural specialist who helps people from different cultures, backgrounds, and schools of thought understand each other and work effectively together. She is the co-author of Putting Diversity to Work with colleagues George Simons and Simma Lieberman, the Executive Planet Guide to Doing Business with the US, and the founder of, the culture destination portal dedicated to building intercultural awareness in daily life.

This article may be reprinted with the author’s permission. Please contact us with reprinting requests and to receive a text version of this article.

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Last modified: 02-Nov-2007 - Sitemap