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Where in the world are you?

The world is in our heads. And mostly the world in our heads is wrong. That’s partly because our references are wrong. See the Gall-Peters Projection to see a map of what the world really looks like, in terms of country and continent size. The world maps on our walls are nearly all based on the Mercator Projection, which began a navigation aid for sailors and unintentionally shrinks some countries and enlarges others.

But, how you see the world also comes down to power and where you are when you look at it. This was brought home to me over the past week: I regularly trawl through new members of The Leadership Hub to see what parts of the world people are joining from.

While noting a lot of new sign-ups from India, and that most of Action Aid’s workers in Ethiopia seem to have joined over the last couple of weeks, I also noticed these two answers to the sign-up question “Where in the world are you?”

1. The North-East*
2. DC

*North-East USA, it turned out to be, of course.

What was that question again? Oh yeah, “Where in the world are you?” The world is in our heads. Since the second answer – DC – came from someone working for the International Monetary Fund, ‘the world ends at our borders’ perspective is particularly telling.

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