Dr Maha Hosain Aziz knows a thing or two about taking risks. After all, the New York University (NYU) MA IR (Master of Arts in International Relations) professor, with several degrees under her belt, is a risk expert; she sits on the Global Future Council on Frontier Risks at the World Economic Forum, and also often serves as the keynote speaker on global risk and future trends at conferences worldwide, including the United Nations and the European Parliament.
“After my PhD at the London School of Economics, I moved to New York City and just fell into a portfolio career,” says Aziz. “I work on different projects that focus on global risk, from teaching my grad students to writing books and creating comics, to giving speeches to diverse audiences and sometimes consulting.”
While all of Aziz’s projects are “focused on helping others make sense of a world with growing global risk so they can make better decisions”, her latest project has a specific focus: helping children to navigate the complicated world of global politics and worldwide crises, through the format of a comic book.
Aziz, who travelled extensively from a young age due to her father’s job as an international banker, grew up as a “global citizen with strong Pakistani Muslim roots” and was spurred by her dream of becoming a cartoonist. Inspired by her nomadic upbringing, childhood passion for comic drawing and her work as an educator, the book educates children on global political issues and encourages them to take action early.
“The Global Kid is the world’s first virtual reality and augmented reality (VR/AR) political comic book,” explains Aziz. “It teaches kids about the global risks and challenges we face in our geopolitics, politics, economies and societies.” Written for children with ages between eight to 12 and above, the comic stars a superhero character that aims to ignite the reader’s activist spirit by taking them through a superhero training journey via virtual reality. Once the reader scans the pages with their smartphone, the AR/VR components embedded within will come to life with an animation on screen.
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