Where to learn how to address global challenges

You can make a difference in your world

You can make a difference in your world

Many people want to do more to help the world they live in ? they just don?t know where to begin. Addressing global challenges starts with identifying a specific problem or issue and gaining an understanding of the wider context. Here are some tips to help you determine how you can help solve the biggest challenges the world faces today.

Look at all the issues

The world is not without its problems. To prevent getting overwhelmed, break them down into generalizations. For instance, poverty, fresh water or climate change. Use a large sheet of blank paper and list the most pressing issues facing society today. Once you have that list, circle the ones that mean the most to you and cross out the others. Examine your short list and choose two or three that you feel strongly about. Take your short list and read about the issues. Find the one where you feel you can do the best and make a true difference.

Take a class or seminar

Organizations, both profit and non-profit, also choose to educate the public to build support through what is known as outreach events. This is great because it’s information concentrated into a session or two rather than over months or years. Another benefit of this kind of learning is finding out how issues relate to and impact your life, career choices and social network.



Explore your cause. Read everything you can, online and in print. Find out the people who are heading up organizations dedicated to solving the global challenge you are passionate about helping. In many cases, organizations offer literature or have representatives to speak with so the public can learn more about what they do and how they do it. Take advantage of this wealth of information ? it is a great place to start. Then talk to people who are already active in similar efforts. Find out what drives them and how they feel about the difference they are making.

Globalization and the Internet have made the world a seemingly smaller place. Because of this improved communication, many colleges and universities offer courses of study regarding world issues. To help energize the public, some groups have shorter seminars to let people know what they can do to help.

Go further

Begin with volunteering time, money or work to your chosen cause and organization. Almost all of the groups need volunteers, so they can spend their funds to bring about change, rather than pay for staff and administration. Not only will you be able to make friends that have the same passion as you, you will learn about what is being done on the most basic of levels to solve challenges. 

If you find yourself wanting to do more than volunteering, check to see if the organization is hiring. Perhaps your career choice or field of study aligns with the needs of the group. In many cases the rate of pay is lower than other career opportunities. But the financial trade-off is something many people find acceptable.

Go out on your own

If you don?t find the organization that?s the right fit for you ? or maybe there isn?t a local chapter ? start your own. This way, you can decide how to best help and alleviate societal problems. Speak with your friends and colleagues who feel the same way you do. The more minds you have working together, the more likely you are to come up with potential solutions. From there, you can approach similar organizations and work together on projects. Who knows? You might even be able to get public and corporate support. It all begins with a desire to make a difference in the world and the willingness to take action.