Students consider the responsibilities arising from globalization. They decide who would be the most appropriate group to respond to an identified challenge or opportunity and how that group should respond.
A. Assess the level of responsibility of various groups to act in response to particular situations arising from globalization.
Review challenges and opportunities of globalization
Remind students of globalization's many challenges, e.g., exploited workers in shoe factories, increased pressure on natural resources, depletion of the ozone layer, the rights of Indigenous peoples, and opportunities; e.g. increased access to information through the Internet, wider access to a variety of foods, learning a second language, sharing of cultures. You may want to review challenges and opportunities explored in previous lessons.
List groups that might respond to globalization effects
Invite students to discuss who has a responsibility to ensure that the opportunities are realized and the challenges are minimized. Make a list of the groups; e.g., individual consumers, employers, government, world bodies, and next to each group list examples of the ways in which they might respond to globalization. To provide a range of views and experiences, you may want to invite representatives from the community to speak on the topics; e.g., a business person with ties to other countries, an environmental representative, an Aboriginal speaker.
Research challenges and opportunities
Ask student to form pairs or groups to research in depth one of the challenges and one of the opportunities. Students will use their research to determine how various groups, e.g., individual consumer, employer, global player, world body, an Indigenous group, might have a responsibility to respond to globalization. Students will also decide on possible strategies for minimizing challenges and maximizing opportunities.
Introduction to responses to globalization
Introduce students to ways in which groups might respond to globalization, including these options:
- awareness building
- consumer activism
- corporate responsibility.
To locate a useful resource for discussion and research, go to the Web site of the International Forum on Globalization and download the chapter "Global to Local: What You Can Do" from the book Alternatives to Economic Globalization: A Better World Is Possible (see References). The chapter outlines how individuals can make a difference in their roles as consumers, workers, depositors, investors, local citizens, national citizens and global citizens.
B. Propose the most appropriate response of various groups to the situation posed by globalization.
Rate the responsibility of a group to respond to globalization
Invite students to rate each group's responsibility for change on a scale from "great deal of responsibility" to "no responsibility."
Ask students to provide reasons to support their ratings. To assign ratings, students might use these criteria:
- Does the group contribute even indirectly to the situation?
- Does the group benefit from the situation?
- Is the group uniquely positioned to make a difference?
You may wish to adapt the charts and strategies in Rating Options (Support Material) to structure and assess this activity.
Identify possible beneficial actions by groups
Encourage students to use the Internet to research possible actions the groups might take. Help students locate Web sites with useful links such as the site for Free the Children organization, founded by international child rights activist Craig Kielburger, and the International Forum on Globalization Web site (see References).
Ask students to consider which of the possible actions could be most easily undertaken by each of the groups. For example, which action(s) could individual consumers most easily undertake? Discuss the criteria for a beneficial action:
- fair to all
Ask students to provide reasons for their selections.