How Taking a Simple Quiz Reaffirmed My Love For Global Learning

This category and the quiz’s name are inspired by the Blue Marble image of the Earth taken by the Apollo 17 crew in 1972. It was the first photo to capture the world in its entirety and forever changed the way we see it. The astronauts described a profound shift in their perspectives as borders and divisions vanished and one fully connected entity came into view.

Similarly, when we take a step back from our own country—either literally or figuratively—we start to see our home, our work, our challenges and potential solutions with new eyes.

I enjoyed reading about the other categories I could have fallen into as well—from Buy Local to I’ll Cross That Bridge. Each one celebrates the different places our ideas can come from, recognizing that all perspectives hold immense value on the journey toward health equity.

While not a scientific survey, the questions in the quiz are informed by resources and research that speak to the benefits of looking abroad for inspiration, ideas, and solutions. The quiz makes all of these materials available at the end—they range from articles to podcasts to a spinning globe of radio stations you can tune into. I enjoyed this TED talk by Angela Oguntala, who encourages us to consider visions of the future by looking abroad, with examples from Kenya, Bangladesh, and the Caribbean. I also learned that, according to an MIT study, having close interpersonal relationships with people from different cultures can actually spur creativity, innovation and entrepreneurship.

“Creativity is about connecting dots,” I read in an MIT Sloan interview with the lead author of the study, Jackson Lu. “When someone enters a close relationship with a person from a different culture, they collect more dots to connect to the ones they already have.”

How could these connections benefit us in workplace settings? How might they prove useful as we seek solutions to social challenges? I thought back to my ties to India and wondered how my own interpersonal relationships there might continue to fuel outside-the-box thinking, personally and professionally.

A Journey for All

Suddenly, I noticed the sound of mouse clicking had petered out and my colleagues were starting to look up from their laptops. A robust discussion ensued. Some pointed out how the quiz helps people see they have more exposure to global ideas than they realize, others reflected on the resources that stuck out to them—demonstrating that this simple tool could spark provocative conversations about how we learn from the rest of the world and the value those insights hold for advancing health equity.

Since the quiz was launched, we’ve heard from people whose curiosity has been similarly sparked, like the co-chair of a sorority committee who used the tool to lead a teen youth group discussion about how to be a global citizen and peers who have been inspired to add more international news stories to their daily reading.

Global learning can often be seen as exclusive and distant, but the quiz opens up pathways for it to be inclusive and accessible for all.

What if the key to advancing birth equity could be found within Rwanda or the bold approaches needed to address the climate crisis were taking root in New Zealand? Twelve simple questions might kick-start a learning journey that could surface the solutions you’ve been looking for.

Take the quiz and explore the intriguing resources to see where in the world your ideas come from.



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