Edge Dwellers Cafe Podcast: Travel-based learning and cross-cultural disorienting dilemmas with Ben Walta

In this episode Ben Habib is joined in conversation by Ben Walta, program coordinator at the Taungurung Land & Waters Council, social entrepreneur, and global adventurer, who for nearly ten years managed CERES Global, providing short education travel programs in sustainability and international development. In this conversation, the two Bens reflect on their collaboration co-leading environment and sustainability-themed study tours to China, South Korea and India with CERES Global. They also explore the educational value of international travel, cross-cultural interaction and people-to-people engagement, and global citizenship vs localisation in an era of COVID and climate change.

00:00:00  Introduction.

00:02:53  The COVID travel pause.

00:04:10  Origins of CERES Global.

00:06:51  Mission and modus operandi of CERES Global.

00:09:12  Environment and Sustainability in East Asia study tours 2015-2017.

00:15:53  Localisation vs cross-cultural connection.

00:18:06  People-to-people engagement across CERES Global programs.

00:26:28  Overcoming insularity in the world in retreat.

00:29:45  Global citizenship.

00:31:45  Travel enabling reflections about home, the world and oneself.

00:34:52  Overseas travel as a rite of passage.

00:38:01  Overseas travel as pilgrimage.

00:40:36  Analogy of overseas travel as a ‘shamanic journey’.

00:42:44  Travel creating Mesirow’s ‘disorienting dilemma’ for learning.

00:44:06  Navigating unequal power dynamics between visitors and hosts.

00:45:58  Integrating the travel experience and reverse culture shock.

00:48:14  The CERES Global alumni community.

00:50:39  What does it mean to be an edge-dweller in 2021?

Show links

About Ben Walta

Ben Walta is currently program coordinator at the Taungurung Land & Waters Council, social entrepreneur and global adventurer with an interest in cross-cultural engagement and environmental sustainability. Ben also managed CERES Global for nine years where he facilitated international travel-based education programs based around environment, community development and social equity.

Contact Ben Walta on Twitter and LinkedIn

About Ben Habib, host of Edge Dwellers Cafe

Ben@Earth  |  LTU staff profile  |  Twitter  |  Facebook  |   YouTube  |  ORCiD 

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This podcast is broadcast from the unceded lands of the Wurundjeri people in Naarm/Melbourne. Edge Dwellers Cafe pays respect to their elders past, present and emerging.