In an episode of the popular sitcom "Parks and Recreation," the citizens of Pawnee, Indiana, entertain officials from their sister city of Boraqua, Venezuela. The Pawnee officials prepare their staff for poverty stricken Latin Americans; the oil rich Venezuelans assume that their greeters are their servants. Hilarity ensues with multiple misunderstandings and missed opportunities. No knowledge-sharing occurs, no investment for Pawnee’s parks is proffered. Pawnee decides that it can go it alone without international engagement.
I thought of this episode when I attended Diplomatic Courier’s conference "Global Cities + Social Good" in early July. As Marek Gootman, Director of The Global Cities Initiative at The Brookings Institution, stated, "Becoming a global city is a goal accessible to any city. Every city can and should be one". A city of any size can align itself with and learn from others around the nation and the world with similar issues. No real city can go it alone without at least considering international engagementRead More »