Navigating Global Citizenship Government leaders and immigration experts from Canada, the Caribbean, US and Europe gathered in Toronto for the second annual Global Citizenship Forum By Zachary Fillingham
rom the moment the curtain raised on the Global Citizen Forum, it was clear this was going to be a different type of conference. It wasn’t the delegates that stood out: politicians, immigration professionals, policy experts and the high net worth individuals driving the industry were all present. Nor was it a matter of venue. The opulent Four Seasons hotel in Toronto ensured the forum’s proceedings unfolded against a backdrop of immaculate service, style and comfort. Rather, it was the forum’s scope that set it apart, which was immediately evident in the opening remarks of Tariq Qureishy and Armand Arton, Arton Capital’s founder and curator of the forum. Their speeches amounted to a collective challenge to the audience: in a world of increasing inequality, urbanisation and interconnectedness, global citizenship is set to become a megatrend in our lifetimes. How we define the concept is up to all of us.
NOV / DEC 2014
But what exactly makes a global citizen? Petar Stoyanov, the former president of Bulgaria, at one point declared to conference delegates that “global citizenship is a state of mind”. The director general of Unesco, Irena Bokova, reminded the room of the responsibilities global citizens have today and in the future of the movement. Global citizenship had to be given a more concrete definition, with particular regard to the duties and responsibilities of the individual investor, their adoptive country and the immigration industry as a whole. The individual advantages of a second passport are obvious, whether it is greater ease of travel, safety and security, or providing better education opportunities for your children. Less well-defined, however, are the responsibilities that come with the status. What should be expected of a global citizen? This was a question world-renowned leadership expert Robin Sharma weighed in on, in a rousing performance to conference