The seed of What Expats Can Do was planted in March 2016, during Christopher O’Shaughnessy’s opening keynote address at the Families In Global Transition (FIGT) conference in Amsterdam.
Claudia and Cristina were in attendance: both serial expats, with an extensive experience of relocating all over the world. They had known each other for years, and together created Expatclic.com, a multicultural platform that provides support for expat women of many nationalities all over the world.
Chris’s speech, Bringing Hope to the World: The Critical Mission of the Expat, Transient, and Cross-Cultural Community, affected them both deeply. The idea took root in their minds and pushed them to write about it and discuss what it means to bring hope to the world, both between themselves and within the Expatclic family.
They soon realized they wanted more than simply to share thoughts and feelings.
In the course of their experiences around the globe, in constant contact with diversity, expats develop skills that our society desperately needs nowadays. Expats have the essential experiences and mindset to contribute to build a better world.
What Expat Can Do has been created to engage as many expats as possible to actively and concretely bring hope to the world. This community hopes to achieve this by involving expats in reinforcing positive values in their respective communities, practicing empathy and spreading hope for the future.
After having lived in several different countries, crossed an uncountable number of borders, survived transitioning in and out of various cultures, navigating linguistic and political shocks, there comes a moment when we ask ourselves, “Who we have become? Where do we really belong? Last but not least, what heritage will we, as expats, will leave to the world?”
As expats, wherever we are and whatever the reason for being abroad, we naturally learn how to deal with diversity and develop exceptional skills of empathy. We believe these skills are needed today more than ever, because our planet is worryingly running short of this resource.
We invite you to get together to find renewed and effective ways to bring hope to the world.
We believe that acting to increase empathy and hope across borders is the expats’ responsibility in this historical moment. It is also something that touches the core of the meaning of our living abroad: it defines our place in society, and it means a lot for many of us.
1. build a community of expats and non expats who want to give their contribution to global society
2. push expats into actions in their everyday lives, wherever they are, to increase awareness of their role and to bring hope to the world;
3. explore the concept of Empathy, launching challenges to develop it in our everyday life and then discuss the results;
4. stir a discussion on these topics within and outside the expat community;
5. explore and connect with other similar initiatives around the world;
6. create a pool of resources for those who want to explore the possibility to foster progress in society with this kind of actions.