An Example of Cosmopolitanism: the Social Edge

Topics: Kwame Anthony Appiah, Cosmopolitanism, Jean Piaget Pages: 4 (1374 words) Published: July 22, 2011
The Social Edge
The Social Edge, an online forum sponsored by The Skoll Foundation, functions as an example of Kwame Appiah’s concept of cosmopolitanism because it opens channels of conversation between people of diverse backgrounds through a shared dedication to solving social injustices by utilizing social entrepreneurship. According to the Skoll Foundation a social entrepreneur can be defined a “creator[s] of innovations that disrupt the status quo and transform our world for the better”. The Skoll Foundation strives to accomplish large-scale change by investing in innovators committed to solving the planet’s most pressing problems. In June of 2003 they launched their project, The Social Edge, as an online global community intended to“ foster frank dialogue, mutual respect and a sense of community among all in the [social benefit] sector”. This mission statement and the subsequent formation of it’s intentions are reflective of the proponents of Appiah’s ideal of Cosmopolitanism because amidst of diversity, the forum supports a meaningful exchange of ideas in a polite and engaging manner. In this case, theory and practice can become synonymous because the constituents of the conversation share the same level of education and professionalism necessary to actualize their desire to pursue social justness. Although participants in this forum perceive themselves as social entrepreneurs, or agents of change in society, they are still divided by other boundaries of identity such as gender, geography, religious beliefs and age. This is a crucial component to Appiah’s Cosmopolitanism model because The Social Edge’s forum acts to emphasize what unites the participants, rather than what divides them. Out of the 16 contributors to the conversation, 11 were men and 5 were woman. Furthermore, due to advancements in technology like high-speed Internet and live online chat, people are no longer limited to their physical sphere of residence in the constant exchange and...
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