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United Planet Launches Five Pillars of Global Citizenship Model to Promote a Peaceful and Sustainable World

Five Pillars of Global Citizenship

United Planet Logo

United Planet Logo

United Planet launches Five Pillars of Global Citizenship model, a comprehensive learning model promoting global learning, leadership, and understanding.

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS, UNITED STATES, May 17, 2023/ — United Planet, an international nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting global learning, partnership development, and a more peaceful, cohesive, and sustainable world, has launched its Five Pillars of Global Citizenship model. The model was developed in collaboration with leading experts in service-learning, experiential education, and leadership development and draws inspiration from the theory of Relational Diplomacy.

The Five Pillars of Global Citizenship are based on the principle of Relational Diplomacy, a theory pioneered by David Santulli, MA, CPA, following his research on peacebuilders in Cyprus. Relational Diplomacy emphasizes the importance of individual relationships as the foundation for international understanding and unity.

The Five Pillars of Global Citizenship, which serve as the foundation for United Planet’s programs, include Relational Diplomacy, Global Leadership, Global Understanding, Civic Engagement, and Academic and Professional Competence.

1. Relational Diplomacy (“Connect”) emphasizes the importance of building strong relationships and rapport across borders. By fostering deeper connections between individuals from different cultures, United Planet hopes to create a more peaceful and cohesive world.

2. Global Leadership (“Lead”) aims to develop leaders with a global perspective, equipping them with the skills and knowledge they need to address global challenges effectively. United Planet’s programs help youth and professionals gain a deeper understanding of the world and the issues that affect it.

3. Global Understanding (“Understand”) is about fostering awareness and respect for cultural differences. By promoting cultural exchange and dialogue, United Planet hopes to promote mutual understanding and break down barriers between people from different cultures.

4. Civic Engagement (“Engage”) encourages active participation in local and global communities. United Planet’s programs help individuals develop the skills and knowledge they need to make a positive impact on the world around them.

5. Academic and Professional Competence (“Develop”) is about promoting skill development and knowledge acquisition. United Planet’s programs help individuals gain the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in their academic and professional lives, while also equipping them to make a positive impact on the world.

United Planet utilizes a useful mnemonic device to remember the five pillars: Global Citizen Leaders are CLUED in. They connect, lead, understand, engage, and develop within a global or cross-cultural context. Under each pillar, United Planet contains specific learning goals within the three learning domains: knowledge, skills, and values. Mastery of the knowledge, skills, and values are achieved through an intentional blend of teaching and learning methods that include readings, discussions, reflection, workshops, practice, and observation.

United Planet’s programs engage students and professionals in cross-cultural exchanges to address global challenges in education, health, and the environment. The organization works closely with its Academic Advisory Group, comprising academic leaders and researchers in international service learning, experiential learning, and leadership development, to ensure the effectiveness and relevance of its programs.

The launch of the Five Pillars of Global Citizenship represents a significant milestone for United Planet and a new chapter in its mission to make the world a better place. The Five Pillars offer a comprehensive learning model for both academics and practitioners, facilitating global learning and partnership development across various fields and disciplines. By connecting individuals in intentional and reflective ways, United Planet aspires to build a more peaceful, cohesive, and sustainable world.


United Planet is a non-profit organization with a mission to create a global community, one relationship at a time. Established in 2001, United Planet offers personalized, immersive, service-learning, project-based learning, and experiential learning programs, including volunteer abroad, virtual internships, internships abroad, gap year volunteering, and global virtual classroom exchange in more than 30 countries. Volunteers and interns have helped address important global issues—such as health, children and education, and environmental sustainability while developing leadership and other 21st-century skills, building bridges across divides, and forging cohesive and productive cross-border relationships both in-person and online.

Mohammad Hijazi
United Planet
+1 617-874-8041
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