Global Philadelphia Association IDEAS SUMMIT 2014

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On December 8th, 2014, the Global Philadelphia Association hosted its second “Global Idea Summit” at Drexel University’s Bossone Center. It was a chance for members to connect with one another, to hear from distinguished leaders of the international community and to offer their own unique perspectives on the most critical global initiatives seizing Philadelphia at the moment.

Keynote speaker Joseph Torsella, former U.S. Representative to the United Nations for Management and Reform, shared inside information about the triumphs and shortcomings of the international body as the events keynote speaker.


Afterwards, attendees broke into small groups for lively roundtable discussion, facilitated by GPA volunteers.

Click here to dowload the full report


This report is a summary of those discussions:

1. Global Business and Non-Profit Cooperation
2. Global Citizens
3. A Global Mayor
4. Global Kids
5. Project World Heritage


1. Global Business and Non-Profit Cooperation

The Current Landscape:
Philadelphia is the home to hundreds of non-profits and countless globally-minded businesses. With the atmosphere ripe for collaboration between the two sectors, the international community needs to take charge in playing matchmaker.

· Non-profits should play an intermediary role with business stakeholders.
· The city’s largest business can create opportunities for smaller, less profitable entities.
· Collaboration between global businesses and non-profits encourage people to break cultural language barriers and invest in education and innovation.

Looking to the future: A questionnaire designed to gather data about which businesses are doing work on an international scale, what work they are doing and what non-profits they may be interested in collaborating with would give the international community the opportunity to foster work between big enterprises and fledgling non-profits.

2. Global Citizens

The Current Landscape:
Philadelphia’s global citizens are a vital part of the city’s identity and success. But what makes a resident truly global? And do they remain an untapped resource for the city?

· Global citizens are identified as frequent passport users, who take advantage of opportunities to study abroad and remain sensitive towards other cultures.
· To truly tap into Philadelphia’s well of global citizens, mentorships and dialogues within the international community should become more common.
· Recognizing the immigrant communities’ unique occupations and expanding the offerings of vocational schools and internships to cater to that population will encourage newcomers.

Looking to the future: Celebrations of unique cultural heritages would enhance Philadelphia’s well-known inclusive reputation, increase the population of immigrants and lead to a more robust population of global citizens.


3. A Global Mayor

The Current Landscape:
After two consecutive terms from Mayor Michael Nutter, a batch of fresh candidates will run to take his place in the coming months. Among Philadelphia’s concerns are the issues facing the global community. Whoever Philadelphia’s next mayor may be, they will have to be globally minded.

· As one of the many issues surrounding public education, the next mayor must ensure that children are encouraged to learn foreign languages.
· The mayor should consider improving the city’s demographic characteristics and international business prospects as central to their campaign.

Looking to the future: Key action steps that the next mayor should be expected to take include extensive travel abroad, meetings with international delegations, the promotion of a sister cities program and the retention of international students.


4. Global Kids

The Current Landscape:
Stemming from the city’s growing global population, Philadelphia boasts a booming crop of young international citizens. To meet the needs of this group and encourage their development as international citizens, the city needs to make its global kids a priority.

· Of the utmost importance is the development of globally-oriented programs for kids and opportunities to travel abroad.
· To ensure a future generation of global citizens, all children should be made globally aware, interested in making an international impact and communicating with other children across borders.
· The earlier a child is taught a foreign language, the greater chance it has to become part of their lasting identity.

Looking to the future: Encouraging children to embrace the world’s many cultures will continue to be a central part of what it means to be a global citizen. Through improvement to Philadelphia’s schools and the introduction of supplementary educational programs, the international community will be left in good hands.


5. Project World Heritage

The Current Landscape:
After a year of great strides, GPA is poised to anoint Philadelphia as the United States’ first World Heritage City. With many accomplishments made and much work ahead, it’s time for the city’s global members to start thinking about what it will mean to live in a World Heritage City.

· Philadelphia’s merits as a World Heritage City are clear: a celebrated history of democracy and freedom, a national position on the country’s East Coast and a thriving international community are just a few.
· More residents around the world should be made aware of the importance of World Heritage and the value the designation will bring to local businesses.
· As the process continues, residents should prepare to embrace and share the message of World Heritage across the globe.

Looking to the future: With rapid advancement towards World Heritage City designation, it’s crucial to maintain a concise timeline of progress and an easily accessible database of background materials. As GPA continues to make progress, its members should be updated and following developments closely.




The Global Philadelphia Association would like to recognize the following organizations that were represented at the 2014 Annual Gather of Members and who contributed to the Global Idea Summit:

Al Dia

Al-Bustan Seeds of Culture

Alois Global Trade

American Friends Service Committee

American Paradigm Schools, Inc.

Arcadia University International Peace and Conflict Resolution Program

BDP International

Ben Franklin Technology Partners

Build a Bridge

Chemtech International

Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Chinatown Learning Center

Citizen Diplomacy International

City of Philadelphia

Community College of Philadelphia

Consular Corps of Philadelphia

Delaware Valley Regional Planning Commission

Drexel University

Economy League of Greater Philadelphia

Econsult Solutions

Elevate USA Inc.

Empowered Impact

Free Library of Philadelphia


Geographical Society of Philadelphia

Global Education Motivators

Global Philadelphia Association

Global Water Alliance

H2L2 Architects Planners LLC

Independence National Historical Park

International Montessori Schools

International Opera Theater of Philadelphia

KCX Consulting

Lechter & Sasso, P.C.

Library Company of Philadelphia

M. Night Shyamalan Foundation

Mid-Atlantic Eurasia Business Council

MTM LinguaSoft

PA Department of Community & Economic Development

Para-Plus Translations, Inc.

Penn Museum

Philadelphia Bar Association

Philadelphia Chamber Music Society

Philadelphia International Medicine

PHL Convention Vistors Bureau

Reading Terminal Market

Reed Smith LLP

Richard Erstad Consulting

Rough Cut Productions

Select Greater Philadelphia

Shapiro Communications, LLC

Shofuso Japanese House & Garden

TDW Communications

Team PA Foundation

Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health System

United Nations Association of Greater Philadelphia

University City Science Center

University of Pennsylvania Law School

University of Pennsylvania South Asia Center

Villanova School of Business

Villanova University School of Law

Visit Philadelphia

Welcoming Center for New Pennsylvanians

Williams for Mayor

Wilson Elser LLP

World Affairs Council

World Trade Center of Greater Philadelphia

Young Involved Philly

Your Benefit Programs


Save the Date!

Next Global Ideas Summit will be on Monday December 14, 2015 12-2pm