Friday, 11 October 2013

Creating Positive Change in a Non-Violent Way, 2: Nelson Mandela

Another famous role model for creating positive change is Nelson Mandela. Please read the following speech he gave in 1964 (available at: - with a particular focus on the last 3 pages - and describe Mandela's main message and argumentation in this speech.

Please compare Mandela's values and ideas to Gandhi's - and then compare both to your own.



Creating Positive Change in a Non-Violent Way, 1: Mahatma Gandhi

Mahatma Gandhi has been revered world-wide as a role model of creating positive change in a non-violent way. I think it is therefore worthwhile if we try to learn from him.

Please watch the movie Gandhi (available at: and think about it. Then answer the following questions:

1. Please describe at least 5 of the non-violent strategies that Gandhi uses in his attempt to gain equal rights and independence & illustrate each with a concrete example (from the movie or other sources you are familiar with).

2. Think about 5 contexts in your own life in which you could use these - or similar non-violent - strategies to create more equality, freedom, happiness, love, or other, similarly positive outcomes. Use examples that are reasonably "safe," i.e. make sure you find contexts in which it is highly unlikely that you might get killed or that you might get insured or hurt or imprisoned etc if you act that way. Stick to simple things that you can actually do in the real world - but be very specific and concrete. Try out at least ONE of these examples in reality.

3. Identify one of the main global problems we face in the 21st century. Imagine you are Gandhi. Describe how you would go about solving this problem. Since answering this question, unlike question #2, is a purely mental/fictional exercise, you can imagine to be as courageous as Gandhi was and you can take personal risks. However, please do NOT act this out in reality - at least not as long as you are a student at FDU Emoji

Please post your answers as comments - and feel free to read and comment on your friends' comments....

Thank you!


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Be the Change - Circle at FDU & Student Leadership Initiative

Hi All,

As those of you know who have attended "The Dreamer Awakes - Be the Change" Symposium at FDU last Saturday (21 Sept 2013), we will be hosting a "Circle" at FDU that has grown out of the event.

The Circle has been designed to help us manifest our dreams or ideas of change in reality - which, I think, is something ALL Global Scholars may want to start doing :)

Meeting times: about 5 times per term.
First Meeting: Friday, October 4th, 4:00 pm, Room 135, FDU.

The Circle is open to the general public. So if you have friends outside of FDU who are interested, please invite them.

Be the Change is an organization that focuses on creating more sustainability through student leadership and community initiatives. Here a link to their mission:

Participation in Be the Change is particularly useful for Global Scholars, since you will get the opportunity to practice leadership skills in addition to creating lasting positive change.


Selected Political, Social, and Economic Theories about the Interconnectedness of Our World

Hi All,

Please watch the following videos and discuss them briefly:

a) Crashcourse: Capitalism & Socialism

b) The Story of Stuff

c) Global Ethics vs. National Interest

d) Tools for a Better World

Think about any of the issues raised in any of these videos - or in books, articles, or other videos about similar topics - and comment on them here.

Imagine you have absolute power - and the responsibility to restructure the social, economical, and political system of a country. Please describe in details what kind of system you would create and why you think it would work well. Feel free to be fictional and come up with a utopian world.

I hope you enjoy in particular coming up with answers to question 3  :)


Saturday, 9 February 2013

Topic 4 - Our New Global Scholars Program

Dear All,

After our previous discussions as well as our session with our Campus Provost, Dr. Cecil Abrahams, I wonder if we can all agree on something like the following as guidelines for our GSP:

1. The Global Scholars Program at FDU Vancouver Has the Following Goals and Objectives and Includes the Following Privileges:

  1. to help program participants learn about global issues through specifically designed GS classes (POLS 1111, 2112, 3113) and through discussions of relevant topics in regular meetings with other global scholars (GS Discussion Circle)
  2. to give all GS the chance to present topics of global importance to their fellow students as well as to the FDU community at large
  3. to increase and deepen the participants' understanding of global issues through the opportunity of attending a number of special guest lectures given by experts in areas of global relevance (such as business, politics, philosophy, art, etc)
  4. to provide the opportunity for all GS to attend special cultural - as well as multicultural and/or international - events 
  5. to invite GS to participate in visits and/or trips to relevant institutions and places of global interest
  6. to give GS the chance to develop their leadership skills by encouraging them to provide guidance, help, and advice to other FDU students in various academic and other matters
  7. to provide the opportunity for all program participants to represent FDU at special events as "FDU Student Ambassadors"

2. All Global Scholars at FDU Vancouver are Expected to Participate in the Global Scholars Program in the Following Ways:

  1. by putting the time, work, energy, and enthusiasm into the GSP that is necessary to make the program as meaningful, unique, effective, enjoyable, and successful as they envision it - after all, a participatory program, such as the GSP, is always exactly as good as its participants make it
  2. by engaging actively in the discussion of various global topics in the GS Discussion Circle meetings and/or smaller project groups as well as via our electronic communication tools (in particular facebook, email, and GS blog) - and by doing some additional reading and research about specific topics as well as other assignments if they come up
  3. by taking their role as FDU Ambassadors seriously and therefore also participating in all - or at least most - FDU events
  4. by consciously and consistently trying to function as 'role models' for other FDU students - both in their academic work and in their sense of responsibility and overall behaviour 
  5. by creating more awareness for existing global as well as local problems among their fellow students as well as by trying to help find solutions to overcome these problems 
  6. by taking responsibility for the future - and thus help create a better, healthier,  happier, and more sustainable world - through specific projects, volunteering, and other forms of relevant, peaceful action
  7. by using their leadership opportunities at FDU to inspire other students to encourage them to get involved in these projects, responsibilities, and actions as well
This is only a draft and needs to be discussed and modified further. Please let's talk about what you think of this little list - and in what way(s) you would like change or modify it. Of course, please let's also discuss in particular all the points that you would like to add.

Thank you,


Sunday, 3 February 2013

GS Discussion - Week 4

Dear All,

Our Campus Provost, Dr. Cecil Abrahams, will join us tomorrow for our Discussion Circle and talk with you about the Global Scholars Program.

See you at 4:00 pm,


Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Topic 3: Leadership

Dear All,

If you are interested in the topic Leadership - and/or if you would like to develop your Leadership Skills further - please have a look at (some of) the books and links below. Please feel also free to add other reading and listening suggestions.

Thank you,

Here the books:

1) Deepak Chopra. The Soul of Leadership: Unlocking Your Potential for Greatness. 

-> free sample chapter:

-> see also the following clips that introduce the book and explain some of the main concepts:

2) Wayne Dyer. The Power of Intention.

Talk [youtube]:

3) Lisa Petrilli. The Introvert's Guide to Success in Business and Leadership. 

Short Talk [youtube]:

GS Discussion - Week 3: Peer Leadership Workshop

Dear Global Scholars,

Our new FDU Counsellor, Ms. Yoko Ito, will join us this week for a special workshop: an Introduction to Peer Leadership and Advising. Time as usual: 4:00 to 4:50 pm.

Thank you!


Friday, 25 January 2013

Topic 2: Volunteering for Positive Change

Dear All,

We have discussed possibilities for bringing about positive change and agreed on the following 3 projects:

1) Helping Kids

    Team Leaders: Sanem, Tino, Rumbie, Cami

2) Helping Seniors

    Team Leaders: Daniel, Rodrigo, Royce, Mac

3) Helping Animals

    Team Leaders: Andrea, Andrea, Alejandra, Jennifer, Huy

Please feel free to get in touch with the team leaders to join these projects - or add your own project to our list.

We will have a session in which the team leaders share their research, concrete ideas and plans, as well as other details about these projects in mid-February.

Thank you,


Friday, 18 January 2013

Topic 1: Re-Creating Institutions

Many of our existing institutions - in business, politics, education, entertainment, communications - are power-driven and therefore biased and stuck in certain patterns that reproduce themselves.

Can we step outside of these institutions and re-create them so that they will become able to bring about positive change?

If we all want positive change and take action we might succeed. Please watch Annie Leonard's video The Story of Change to see what we can do:

President Obama's wife Michelle is speaking in favor of taking action as well: do you think the new Organization for Action can correct the flaws of the political system in the US - and maybe not only in the US but in political systems worldwide? Here a short clip in which Michelle Obama introduces Organization for Action:

If you have any thoughts on this topic, please post :o)

Thank you,


Thursday, 17 January 2013

GS Discussion - Weeks 1 & 2: Our Global Scholars Program at FDU

Dear Global Scholars,

Welcome to Term 2 of the Global Scholars Discussion Circle.

Our Meeting Days and Times this Term: Mondays, 4:00 to 5:00 pm

This Week's Topic:
Integrating Your Visions of the Global Scholars Program into the Current Curriculum

Please let the rest of us know how you would like to see this special program unfold this term. You can do this either here, by adding a comment to this blog, or you can post your ideas at the Global Scholars facebook page. If you are not yet a member of the GS facebook page, please ask Cami or Ana to add you.

This is your chance to help (re-)design the Global Scholars Program. Please make use of it during the next couple of weeks!

Thanks - and I am looking forward to a detailed description of your ideas and initiatives!

We will decide on our concrete term projects and topics next Monday (Jan 21st).