What do you see when you look at a map of the world?

3 May


What do you see when you look at countries on a map of the world? Do you focus on the black lines determining national borders or the blue lines showing rivers? Or are you trying to locate the small dots representing capital cities? And how about all the green/brown space in between those lines and dots? Have you ever thought about what is going on there?

I had yesterday a nice skype chat with my friend from AIESEC Kenya. We were remembering the great time we had at IPM in Tunisia, an international AIESEC conference, couple months ago. There were 250 young people from 107 countries across the world and one afternoon we did a really cool exercise which showed us the map of the world from a different perspective.

Imagine a big rectangular room representing a map of the world. And now imagine people from all those 107 countries sitting within that room according to where their countries are located. I was representing UK so I was sitting in the middle of the room, near to the top. Only the guys from the Nordic counties were sitting behind me, slightly towards the left. Oh, and than there was Teitur from Iceland, he was sitting alone behind me, more on the right. When I looked in front of me towards right, I could see my friends from Latin America sitting in their respective positions. Right in front of me, well behind the guys from Spain and Portugal, the black continent was sitting. When I looked more towards the left, I could see the Europeans and than little bit lower, my friends from the Gulf were sitting in the middle of the room. Further away there were all the delegates from Asia and Australia.

I did not see any black or blue lines, I did not see any dots. All I could see was just people, people just like me. When looking at the map of the world, we often focus only what we see on the paper. But behind that piece of paper, there are nearly 7bn of people living their daily experiences, just like me or you!

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