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A Guide Around the World | World Citizens Guide, EO Dallas

Updated: Apr 7

Americans all over the world can benefit from taking time out to read the WCG

In some corners of the world, American influence and presence is difficult to ignore. In recent years however, the reaction to an American in a foreign country isn’t as genial as it was before, if genial at all. There are stereotypes, biases, and misconceptions that U.S. citizens face when they leave their home country, either as visitors or transplants. In some cases, it means being overcharged for a taxi from the airport. For others, it means people just don’t want to do business with you in a professional setting over a kerfuffle. These sentiments are constantly shaping the international reality of Americans abroad. Several years ago, a group of women got the conversation going about how they as citizens of the United States could change these perceptions by looking inward. With that, Adrienne Palmer, Dr. Patty Alvey, and Cari Guittard got to work on the World Citizen Guide, knowing that they could show the world that Americans are so much more than the stereotype.

The WCG is a project that seeks to provide American citizens with insights, self-awareness, and new approaches to improve their global experiences. This was designed specifically for those who engage globally, particularly with non-American cultures. The Guide itself is to be used as a reminder that Americans can increase their understanding and effective communication across the cultures. The content and messaging of the WCG was developed through research from over 300 sources around the world. All of this was crafted in a way for the guide to engage readers in learning, carefully worded and researched for these purposes. With a website and pamphlet style guide in place, the WCG today looks towards improving their messaging through future iterations, with more content creation. Their website also mentions an app in development, which should give them even greater reach

with mobile capabilities. You can sign up for their mailing list for future announcements.

What the World Citizens Guide looks to do with their research and insights to build a more open world. If they can affect change through a shift in hearts and minds their efforts, WCG has done their job. The team looks to use their work to assist large corporations that need their employees to have these world skills, especially in a professional setting. Where they have helped many businesses is by increasing their clients’ cross-cultural engagement proficiency, with groups like the American Heart Association benefiting from these workshops. Discussion sessions are also offered in the form of classroom training, webinars, or interactive workshops depending on how large an organization is.

Adrienne Palmer at the United Nations in July 2019

So what exactly does the Guide help U.S. citizens with? The website version of the guide covers eight chapters, taking a look at the big and small questions that matter when you’re abroad. Where it is eye-opening is in the way that self-awareness is tackled, and how things Americans may take for granted can be detrimental to their travels. It puts general perceptions of foreigners into focus, making it clear just how Americans are viewed around the world. What gives the WCG depth isn’t so much in telling you outright what to do and not do, but rather gives insight into what usually works, regardless of where you are in the world. Reading through the website may take less than an hour, but understanding what is at the heart of it can take much more time when put into practice.

Though the world does find itself talking about America, and American issues fairly often, it isn’t the be all and end all of things. An analogy that is used to put things into perspective is the hypothetical scenario wherein the earth’s population is shrunk down to a “global village” of 100. This idea was explored in David Smith’s If the World Were a Village, where there would only be 5 U.S. citizens against 95 of the rest of the world, making Americans a distinct minority. Through it all however, there is a need to understand the impact that just one of those citizens can have. The World Citizen's Guide can change not only American perspectives, but anyone who is a stranger in a strange land. In this day and age, whichever corner of the world we're headed to, the insights you can gain from the Guide are incredibly valuable. Time to pick up this guide, take a look at yourself, and see how we can all make our interactions so much better. Hopefully, the world is a better place for it.

WCG has resources you can access right now for free through their website, with speaking arrangements just one message away Like their Facebook page for more updates on how to engage with them to be better world citizens.


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