Measuring Marco Polo Project Impact: the 4 C's
Marco Polo Project’s activities are designed so that culturally and linguistically diverse environments will trigger happiness instead of fear, both in participants and among other people sharing those environments. For this, all our activities nurture what we call ‘the 4 C’s’: Curiosity, Competence, Confidence, and Community.
Culturally and linguistically diverse environments offer endless new situations, and a great source of joy for the curious. However, differences in language or culture often limit our capacity to make sense of unexpected statements or behaviors – and leave curious people either overwhelmed or frustrated. Our activities therefore train curiosity both as a skill and a mindset: we stimulate appetite for new experiences, and we nurture the capacity to observe, interpret and derive knowledge from new situations.
Thriving in diverse environments largely depends on our ability to speak and behave adequately in ambiguous and unfamiliar contexts – which is what we understand by competence. Our activities are designed to help participants develop self-awareness – therefore reducing perceived and actual risk of social blunder or offence – and to develop lateral strategies to better apply all their linguistic and cultural skills in chaotic real-world settings.
When interacting across cultures or languages, it is often difficult to know whether a statement or behaviour is OK or not. At best, the result is excessive caution and wasted opportunities. At worst, it is a breakdown of relationships, where both parties believe that the other is out to get them. Our activities therefore aim to develop greater confidence both in participants’ own capacity to deal with the unknown, and their capacity to gain trust and support from others.
Isolation is a danger for migrants, and more generally for those who live across languages and cultures. The people with whom, by birth, they share language, values, narratives and a sense of emotional connection, are typically far away. However, developing a new community with people of different background can open endless creative possibilities. To support this, our activities aim to create a sense of intimacy among participants, offering them a positive experience of shared belonging in an unfamiliar setting, and helping them acquire the skills that will help them become the champions and hosts of new communities around them.