Need for Consensus

In 1999 we recognized the need for consensus research on a relatively new term called “global competence.” We discovered at that time that about 12 groups in education, business, and government in different parts of the world had either attempted to define global competence or had established checklists of tasks that they perceived a person needed to complete in order to develop global competence.

The challenge with the past notions about “global competence” was that no one agreed.

How can we work to build global competence in others when no one agrees what the outcome should be? All of these different theories and seemingly shifting positions are causing confusion, not clarity.

The other issue was that each group had attempted to create their framework for global competence in isolation, either within the confines of their institution, organization, sector, or locale.

Another issue was that past theories were not inclusive of other stakeholders.

Most critically—and ironically—past ideas of “global competence” were NOT conceived through a global lens!

How can we prepare people for the global workforce when stakeholders across sectors and around the world were not consulted?

We decided to conduct worldwide consensus research so that everyone could agree what “global competence” is, and with that insight, effort could be focused on global competence development.

We started a research study by assembling all previously proposed definitions and frameworks for global competence and presented them to a Delphi Panel.

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