January 6, 2014
As 2014 gets started, I thought I’d give a preview for the first part of my year ahead. For those not familiar with Global Next and its work, click HERE. The short version is this: I go places either for the purpose of training leaders in a global setting or I go places to conduct research and interviews to gain a better understanding of geopolitical trends. The overall purpose is to understand the world in context (with all of its nuances and complexities) and to better understand God’s purpose for you in that world. I’m lucky to be able to do this kind of work – it is endlessly frustrating, constantly fascinating and ultimately satisfying.
What’s coming up? I depart the US on January 28 and will return home on April 29th. During that time, I will be working in not fewer than 10 different countries. Here are some highlights:
- Greece: (January 28 – February 5) “Connecting the Dots” Worldview Conference/Tour – truly the world, leadership and thinking from a very specific viewpoint – in a spectacular location.
- Egypt: (February 5 – February 22) “Wired for Brilliance” Master Conference – plus a few other conference events. I’ll be looking for new interns for our Middle East internship program, and chronicling the continuing transition of Egypt on the cusp of yet more elections – this time, with the Muslim Brotherhood labeled a terrorist organization and banned from politics. There are bound to be snags, strong opinions and protests.
- Paris: (February 22 – March 2) “Communication Puzzle” Conference/Tour – in the “city of lights” we will study the art of communication – from the Louvre to the Eiffel Tower.
- Pakistan: (March 2- 8) Research Trip. Visa is still pending, but if approved, this will be a chance to once again look at the very tenuous relationship between Pakistan and the US. Anti-American sentiment is at an all-time high – and yet we continue to remain in an uncomfortable marriage of necessity. What if I don’t get my visa? I’ll be heading to Beirut to cover the Syrian war from the Lebanon side. Heck, I might just do that anyway.
- Germany and Prague: (March 9-16) “You 2.0: The Upgrade” Conference/Tour – The German Alps, Neuschwanstein Castle and the Old City of Prague – can’t think of a better place to teach a group of young leaders practical strategies for upgrading their lives and their leadership influence.
- Afghanistan: (March 17-22) Research Trip/Leadership Conference. For our first official “humanitarian leadership project,” we will provide three days of free training for the team at Integrity Watch Afghanistan. I will also conduct some research on Afghanistan’s impending transition – once the US forces leave. (Come on – we all know that not ALL the US troops will leave, but will the Taliban have a place at the government table in the near future?)
- India: (March 22-27) Research Trip/Leadership Conference. In our second “humanitarian leadership project,” we will provide training for a non-profit educational organization in New Delhi.
- Israel: (March 28 – April 5) “The Middle East Effect” Conference/Tour – we will tackle some tough issues here in Jerusalem. From Israel’s right to exist, UN resolutions and the Palestinian refugee issue to human rights, terrorism and biblical prophecy – what WON’T we cover? It will be epic and unsettling. In the end, our focus will go back to God’s love for people and the importance of all people.
- China: (April 5-12) Research trip. It’s off to the world’s most populated country. With more than 1.3 billion people and a booming economy, China’s influence is important to watch. The one-child policy means that most people born since 1979 have no idea what it’s like to have a brother or sister (though there have always been exceptions to this policy). This policy is now being relaxed, which could mean 9.5 million babies born per year. With this many people, it’s important to understand the future global influence and impact of China.
- Greece (April 13-19) Back to Greece with another group and another “Connecting the Dots” conference. Why not?
- Egypt (April 20-28) Finally, back to Egypt for another set of conferences and interviews with potential interns for our summer program.
I will do my best to periodically blog on what’s going on in the world, how our leadership groups are doing and any interesting insights I might stumble upon in the corners of the world. For more details, check out our calendar out HERE.
- If you’re reading this blog and you’re from New Delhi, India or Beijing, China and are interested in leadership training while I’m in either of those two countries, feel free to contact our organization to see if it’s possible to set something up. You can email us here: firstname.lastname@example.org and learn more about the program HERE.
- The next couple of weeks will be extremely busy as many final preparations are made for the numerous upcoming programs. I want to thank those of you who pray for me and for Global Next – and for what I do. It means a lot.
- My advice for 2014 – always travel light. Wherever you go in life, leave the heavy stuff behind. Always know where you’re going, who you’re going with, what you’re doing and why you’re doing it. Psalm 121:8 “The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.”