TCK Sumit 2015 Overview


Our inaugural Third Culture Kid (TCK) Summit launched in March 2015 to reignite global conversations around all things TCK/CCK. 

The central question we aimed to address was: 
How can we as TCKs use our experiences, characteristics and worldviews to drive change for social good?

Here are some key takeaways from our 2015 TCK talks:

  • The majority of existing research on TCKs has come from the Western world, as missionary/military families, international business and globalisation saw high-mobility families becoming more and more common
  • Despite the growing number of TCKs across the globe, the term 'TCK' is still not widely known or understood. While the term is largely embraced in Western societies, the term is far less familiar in the non-Western world among TCKs/non-TCKs alike
  • Being a 'Global Citizen' is not always considered to be synonymous with 'being TCK'; whereas TCK is understood as describing an identity, Global Citizen is perceived to imply a sense of active responsibility
  • TCKs do tend to share some common values - such as openness, empathy and adaptability. They also tend to identify with multiple nationalities/cultures
  • The high-mobility and constantly-changing nature of TCK life can make it difficult to build trust, emotional security and vulnerability when it comes to personal relationships
  • To ride the wave of the Values Revolution, we need to learn how to be intentional TCKs and intentional Global Citizens - embracing and immersing ourselves in new experiences
  • As more nations push towards a Knowledge Economy, there is much opportunity and work to be done in the field of education to adapt traditional approaches and cultivate lifelong learners
  • TCKs often feel misunderstood or a sense of not belonging anywhere, which can lead to longer-term mental health issues. Embracing our uniqueness, practicing self care, and having a support system are paramount for TCKs 
  • Particularly in an Asian context, it is important to consider contradictions in the way we understand/talk about Global Citizens. International school students may have more capacity and opportunity to be recognised and acknowledged as Global Citizens, but they may also create a bigger carbon footprint as a result of their abundant lifestyles and priveleged education
  • As we continue to derive meaning and connection from the third culture, diversity and inclusivity of TCK perspectives from different parts of the world will be critical for building a 'Glocal' (locally relevant and globally visible) outlook
  • Cultivating a Global Citizen mindset begins with self-awarenss, and the ability to navigate today's fast-changing world with clarity, courage, resilience and cultural intelligence