Think globally, learn locally: Democratising learning for international organisations
In the lead up to the millennium, the rapid development of the World Wide Web, internet and word processing technologies began to change the way we communicate, work, learn, and live. In its most positive light, information and communication technologies have enabled new work and learning opportunities across boundaries and among communities. This paper focuses on how this change applied sensibly has opened up new dimensions for the provision of equitable, accessible and affordable learning opportunities to develop the international workforce professionally. The context of discussion is based on Commonwealth of Learning’s experience in providing transnational workplace training for four UN organizations, one humanitarian oragnisation and an international financial institution. This has witnessed the opening up of effective virtual classes for learners based in over 100 different countries, enabling the medical officer based in Luanda, Angola to pursue the same learning experience as his/her counterpart based in Geneva. We describe the paradigm shift taking place as “Think globally, learn locally” an educational version of the well known dictum of “think globally, act locally” i. The shift was triggered by employing appropriate information and communication technologies (ICTs) in a pedagogically sound manner to enable the widest distribution of cross-boarders learning and to encourage the unrestricted access to learning by women and marginalized learners in troubled, remote and isolated locations in the world.