Touron Goes Glocal: Announcing The Go Glocal Project

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The Go Glocal Project

What happens in our community happens to the rest of the world. And what happens to the rest of the world happens to us. The global is local. The local is global. In tough times we must be global citizens as well as local citizens, neighbors and volunteers as well as donors. We need to Go Glocal.

If you agree with this just go ahead and join the Glocal Project now. We’ve got a lot of work to do.

Ways to Join:

  1. Sign up for the Go Glocal Project’s monthly newsletter – more ways to go glocal and sneak peeks about what’s to come.
  2. Join The Go Glocal Project’s Facebook Page
  3. If you’re a blogger and would like to host participate in the Glocal Project go here

Let’s do this! Why…

We live in tough times

In 2010 the number of unemployed worldwide grew by 34 million people. Sixty-four million people fell into extreme poverty. Families face foreclosures and states and countries near bankruptcy. As we near the 50th anniversary of President Johnson’s “War on Poverty,” the proposed 2012 national budget will likely include cuts that literally leave the poorest Americans out in the cold. Seven out of ten students in my hometown of Muncie, Indiana, receive subsidized lunches. In tough times it’s only natural to look inward. The closer to home the problems, the harder it is to see a world beyond them. I know this all too well. I’ve been going through a bit of worldview crisis myself.

We can’t focus on global poverty without focusing on poverty in our own community. But so often we focus on one or the other. Only 3% of all giving in the United States goes to international aid – far too little. And there is rising sentiment to give only locally to face our own problems. Recently-elected Congressman Rand Paul is calling for an end to all U.S. foreign aid. In turn, Philosopher Peter Singer says we should find the most cost-effective method in which our financial gifts save a life and give 1-5% of our income, but this method ignores giving locally.

If we think only globally we ignore the problems that surround us because our “first world problems” pale in comparison to the developing world. If we think only locally we ignore the life and death reality of extreme poverty. If we think glocally, we strike a balance, and acknowledge that what happens in the bubble we live in effects others and what happens outside that bubble effects us.

Why care?

Our local goes global.

Donations to the largest American charities declined 11% in 2009 while food prices around the globe soared 43% causing 82 million more people to go hungry. Americans bought less clothes and unemployed garment workers in Cambodia turned to prostitution.

The global becomes local.

We spend hundreds of billions of dollars each year fighting poverty around the world. We’ve spent more than a trillion dollars fighting the War on Terror.

Because it’s our responsibility.

We are more educated than 95% of the rest of the world. One-sixth of the world lives on less than $1.25 per day. Herbert Simon, a Nobel Prize-winning economist and social scientist, estimated that “social capital” (a functioning government, access to technology, abundant natural resources) is responsible for at least 90% of what people earn in wealthy societies like the United States. Warren Buffett said, “If you stick me down in the middle of Bangladesh or Peru, you’ll find out how much this talent is going to produce in the wrong kind of soil.” We were born in the right kind of soil.

Where we give our time and money says more about us as people than where we earn our paycheck. How we define our world and our place in it will define our future.

Are you ready to Go Glocal?

Do I have to drink Kool-Aid?

Nope, sure don’t.

The Glocal Project will be our journey to answer questions like :

  • What are our responsibilities as a local and global citizens?
  • How much money should I give to what kind of causes?
  • How much of myself should I give?
  • How can I be a better neighbor to the dude living next door with the dog that craps in my yard and to the single mother in Uganda who is HIV+ and feeds her kids by making hooch for the nearby bar.

The project will explore subjects such as aid,  volunteering, and community and global development. I’ll seek out experts and feature guest bloggers on these subjects. I’ll feature glocals, share my experiences, and put together resources that I hope you’ll find useful, such as (works in progress) how to be a Glocal Volunteer, Glocal Traveler, and a Glocal Consumer.

The heart of the project will be the Glocal Challenges. These will challenge us to see our own community in a new light, while at the same time expanding how we define “our community.” Some of us are more global citizens than local citizens and vice versa. The Glocal Challenges seek to balance our worldview.

This will include challenges, such as:

The Poop in Your Yard, The Pizza in Your Living Room: Remember your neighbor with the pooping dog? What if you invited him over for pizza and learned his last name? In fact, what if you made a point to meet everyone whose home you can see from your front door?

What Does Timbuktu Think of You?: Do you read any newspapers based in developing countries? Me neither. What if we did? How would seeing how the world sees us change the way we see ourselves?

Don’t Eat This, Don’t Eat That: Do you know what it’s like to feel hungry? I’m not talking the late-night-I-could-really-go-for-a-pizza hungry, but actual hunger pangs? Whelp, here’s your chance, let’s go hungry together.

Not in My Backyard – Do you know the poverty statistics in your own community? They might surprise you, and likely not in a good way.

I’ll post a challenge and sum up my experience a week or so later.  Share your experiences in the comments of the Challenge post so we can all learn from them.

I wanna go glocal!

Great. Did you sign up for the newsletter? Did you join the facebook page?


Let’s Go Glocal together!

Share your experiences participating in the Glocal Challenges on your blog, and I’ll link to your post and select my favorite(s) to highlight. Maybe I’ll name you the Glocal of the week, send you a badge for your blog or button for your shirt to wear around, or maybe I’ll just think even more highly of you. Who knows?

I’m hoping all of our experiences combined will encourage more folks to look at the their world, near and far, in a new light. Also, by the end of the project, we’ll have a pretty cool resource for anyone else wanting to try out the challenge.

Write your post, email or tweet me the link, or just leave it in the comments


Want to do your own Go Glocal Project? Awesome! I’d be happy to help you develop class projects, visit your class in person or virtually. Email me at and let’s start brainstorming.

I can’t control the impact forces like globalization have on my life, but I can control the impact my life has on the world.


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Roxie Hurt says:

I really like what you are trying to do. I am so passionate about kids (major is Early Childhood Education) and how what goes on in the world affects them. I agree we ALL can control the impact our life has on the world. We have to let our voice be heard, and as I grow older I want to do just that. I 100% support you and the The Go Glocal Project!!

Kelsey says:

That’s great to hear, Roxie. Don’t lose that passion.

Let your voice be heard!