UCL Global Citizenship Programme – #ThinkBetter campaign

9 June 2017 | ResolutionPossible

As part of the Active Citizen strand of UCL’s Global Citizenship Programme, Resolution:Possible is hosting several students for two weeks to learn about what it means to be an ‘active citizen’. Here are some thoughts from the participants about their experiences throughout their time with us.

Milena Petrovic has just finished her BA in Geography at UCL and has an interest in the environment, sustainability and engaging the public to act on these issues.

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Being a Global Citizen involves taking responsibility for yourself, your surroundings and people around you. Working with Resolution:Possible, we have been developing the social media campaign that will accompany our campaign video. Our campaign presents some common, yet problematic, political beliefs people have, with the campaign asking people to #ThinkBetter: challenge thoughts, listen to others, think from different perspectives and take responsibility for forming well-informed, rounded views on politics. So for example:

“Someone else will do it”  but if everyone thought this, would anything get done?

“The news is true and factual” – every person comes from a different perspective and different worldview which may influence the types of media and news outlets they consume. No single view is necessarily right or wrong but reading the news more widely across different political perspectives, understanding different political agendas, and listening to, rather than dismissing, alternative views is crucial in building greater understanding and cooperation.

“Money is the only way to measure success” – does having more money always make you happier? What other achievements are important?

“Things I do won’t make a difference to others” – it may not be easy, but the more you try, the more likely you will be able to make a difference. Furthermore, you may not even realise you are making a difference to others- even the simplest of smiles can often go a long way in making someone’s day a lot better!

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The hashtag #ThinkBetter applies to many more topics beyond politics, including the environment, economics, culture, gender, technology etc. For example, in the initial stages of the campaign planning, we discussed an environmental example: a person in the UK may condemn deforesting and illegal logging in the Amazon rainforest yet if we #ThinkBetter and think about the action from another perspective, we may understand that the logger is simply trying to earn an income to feed their family. This is not fundamentally wrong, and it highlights that we must always think carefully before forming judgements and perspectives that could unfairly demonise people. I’d like to imagine that most people in the world wish to be good and fair; if someone does or says something you don’t agree with, try thinking about it from their perspective.

Think better. Better understanding. Better world.

Author: Milena Petrovic

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