Today (8 September) is International Literacy Day!
This is an initiative of the UN to celebrate progress in improving literacy rates, as well as look at areas that still need to be addressed.
This year, the theme is around literacy in a digital age. I think this is an important topic to address, as I alluded to in one of my previous posts on how coding languages will be the common languages of the future.
I did some research on the history of the day, and one of the more fascinating things I discovered is how literacy is defined by the UN.
In 1975 at a UNESCO symposium literacy was described as a, “contribution to the liberation of man, instead of being limited to “the process of learning the skills of reading, writing and arithmetic.”*
I see correlation between this definition and cross-cultural skills. Knowing lots of information about another culture is not an end in itself. It is what you do with that information – what are the opportunities you can create from that knowledge?
That’s why the tagline for my website is “Inspiring Cross-Cultural Possibilities” – you need to think about the end goal; the cross-cultural communication just serves as the means to get there.
But this is about literacy day – so what can you do to support literacy and digital literacy today, and can you see the ways it could contribute to “the liberation of man?” It’s definitely worth thinking about!
Source & further reading: http://www.un.org/en/events/literacyday/history.shtml