The idea of a “global citizen” is often invoked but seldom defined, usually suggesting some fuzzy notion of a peaceful international community. In the opening panel of Worldwide Week at Harvard, a team of faculty members considered what the term really means.

Tom Ashbrook, host of NPR’s “On Point,” moderated the discussion, titled “Are You a Global Citizen? Is That a Good Thing? The Meaning of Global Citizenship,” Monday at the Science Center. To open the conversation, he shared a memory of his mother.

“We grew up on a farm in rural Illinois; the neighborhood was half immigrant Swedish and half old American,” Ashbrook said. “She spent time abroad in a U.S. program for farm youth, and from then on she drilled the idea into us. Our house was full of farm kids from India, from Europe, and from Africa — and we grew up thinking that was normal. It…

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