A New Global Philadelphian Discovers an International City

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Ritu Dixit, for GPA – My recent relocation from Vancouver to Philadelphia hasn’t been as smooth as I’d initially thought. Breaking out of a well-established network of friends, family and resources, and transitioning into a totally different city in a new country with almost no social network posed challenges. However, there were certain aspects of Philly, which weren’t all that different. Like Vancouver, Philadelphia has a very diverse population with a strong array of international resources, rich history and cultural heritage. The city was indeed a revelation to me; the modern life style working in tandem with a unique old city charm.

One question I've pondered is this: why does Philadelphia not get its due credit when we talk about big international cities on the East Coast? This is also a question that a lot of my Canadian friends posed, who only knew about it due to their fondness for either Tom Hanks or Rocky Balboa.

Philadelphia’s charm admittedly does get eclipsed by its bigger kiths and kins – NYC and DC. Not too long after my move, I met a group of enthusiastic volunteers from Global Philadelphia Association (GPA); a nonprofit organization aimed at putting Philadelphia on the map of international cities by facilitating interactions among businesses, government organizations, and individuals; a classic brand management initiative which required all the moving parts to work together. This was it; a unique opportunity for me to collaborate with like-minded people and establish an operating rhythm across cross-functional entities, and create awareness in the region about how international Philadelphia is.

I work closely with the Association's Communications Director and we have been working hard, teeing up our resources for a 47-day exposition--GlobalPhilly™ 2013 that starts on September 15. This is the first time Global Philadelphia Association has presented the expostion. I am really excited to be a part of an initiative, which will clearly have a tangible impact in enhancing Philadelphia’s footprint as an international community. We have a packed schedule for the event; there are seven components to the exposition (in alphabetical order: Advocacy, Arts, Commerce, Cuisine, Education, Heritage & Sports).

Being new to the States and with a strong proclivity for Liberal Arts and International Politics, I am looking forward to the ‘Heritage’ component of the exposition to enhance my understanding of American history. Another interesting segment on my radar is an Open House at Villanova University on globalization. And, of course, no international event becomes a success without tickling the taste buds of the attendees; GlobalPhilly™ 2013's ‘Cuisine’ component addresses just that. It brings together some of the best known restaurants in Philadelphia.

Evidently, the GlobalPhilly™ 2013 exposition will be a lot of fun as it promises something for everyone. The components have been curated to make sure we are able to bring out the very global essence of one of the best cities on the east coast; a city which has so much to offer. The Global Philadelphia Association team is working hard to ensure that all the moving pieces work together, making the ‘whole’ greater than the sum of parts.