Wharton Dean: U.S. needs to go from being parochial to being cosmopolitan
Dialogue with Yang Rui

Cosmopolitanism is an important value in shaping the inclusive progress of globalization, and also a noteworthy concept for education. CGTN’s Yang Rui was invited to visit the prestigious Wharton Business School of University of Pennsylvania and sat down with its dean Geoffrey Garrett to exchange ideas on the importance of a cosmopolitan worldview as well as what kind of leadership has been delivered by American education institutions and how that has affected China-U.S. relations.

Dr. Garrett stated that the U.S. has long been a parochial country because for 150 years the U.S. had been a magnet for talented and ambitious people from all around the world.

“America didn’t need to go to the world because the world came to America,” said Dr. Garrett. “In the last century I think, the period of globalization, that changed. But America’s first view to going to the world was after the Cold War -- we’ve won; now what we need to do is to go to the rest of the world and tell them to be like the United States,” Dr. Garrett told CGTN.

Dr. Garrett thinks this kind of mindset is not acceptable in the 21st century, where different voices should be heard and valued. He thinks the U.S. needs to go from being parochial to being cosmopolitan, which not only requires empathy, but also much more comfort with the notion that the U.S. isn’t always the number one in everything.

He also introduced the notion of the “re-rise” of China – the return of China to the position it historically occupied. However, China’s growing economic preeminence, coupled with the fact that average Americans have not experienced improvement in material standard of living for the past two decades, has given rise to the consensus position of being wary of China in the U.S.

“There’s a broad base to concern about China which is why I think leadership is more important than ever, and two-way dialogue, people-to-people dialogue are more important than ever,” concluded Dr. Garrett.

Regarding the current tensions between China and the U.S., Dr. Garrett said that not only the University of Pennsylvania but also universities all around the U.S. share exactly the same view, which is the most important thing right now is to keep sharing perspectives and create an open, supportive and engaging environment.

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