After the Great Lockdown comes the next Great Migration. People are already on the move in new directions and patterns of relocation. Before the pandemic, only two nations had “digital nomad” visas; today more than 75 countries do—and counting. Health certifications, a solid bank balance, and skills are becoming more important than citizenship—as it should be. But is our influence as portable as we are?
I hope so. One of the psychological underpinnings of today’s new mobility vectors is that young people identify less with their nationality and more with their generation. They want to be among young changemakers, and seek out the places where youth culture thrives. We can judge the success and failure of entire societies in the 21st century by whether or not they are attracting young migrants and leveraging their skills to “build back better” in the post-pandemic world.
Mobile youth therefore have more leverage than ever in history over the trajectory of policies, both as citizens and consumers. They should deploy their influence constructively wherever they call home, no matter how long they are there.
A “citizen of everywhere”, in my view, is someone who actively seeks to contribute to all places they live and work in.— Parag Khanna