The Latitude Local is a student, a listener, a learner, and a creative thinker. And specific latitude focus is a platform for connecting the Latitude Local with a specific global community- a Latitude Circle- of people and places all sharing the same latitude line.
Students, professionals and people from all walks of life who wish to explore the world yet are a bit overwhelmed by the scope of global possibility can start with a specific latitude line. The logic is that latitude has a real impact on the daily and seasonal rhythms of a place because of the particular relationship each latitude has with sunlight, and so the local places around the world along a latitude line have something special in common that is an enduring platform for connection.
One minute of latitude is about a one mile stripe of the earth that goes directly east and west around the world. That one mile latitude path courses through specific parts of the largest cities, hearts of small towns, edges of villages, farms and farmland near towns, across rivers, oceans, wilderness areas, islands, ports, cultural centers, cafes, gathering places, desolate highways, crowded community hubs, forests, deserts, dumps and intersections. Each minute of latitude is its own universe, but a more focused one, and the Latitude Local gains focus and connection with others on the same latitude that can deepen perspective and understanding of our own place and work.
The possibility is not limited to one latitude. For instance, those living on 43’2 N could connect with their opposite latitude 43’2 S in the Southern Hemisphere. The beauty is that any specific latitude is parallel to any other latitude, and so there’s actually a common and consistent relationship that any latitude has with any other. The implications and possibilities are potentially profound, but let’s come back to a simple and creative exploration of a line east and west around the world as a way to get started. What’s on your latitude right now, where you are standing today? Every latitude has a special connection and narrative to share.
A latitude local is someone who want to “zoom out” (see the world) and “zoom in” (focus on the smaller places, the local culture) at the same time, in a lasting way with others who are doing the same thing. So students in Dorset, VT do not just connect with students in Bilbao, Spain, in a traditional ‘sister city’ type partnership, but students in Bilbao also connect with students in Sapporo, Japan who reach out to students in Dorset, VT and also Oggunquit, Maine. The students in Maine connect with students in Thiensville, Wisconsin, who have just connected with students in Sapporo, Bilbao, and Varna, Bulgaria. And students are not limited to connecting with other students. The Latitude Movement consists of branching out, across categories, countries and genres. What do an artist, a lawyer, a student, a beekeeper and an engineer have in common? Latitude of course.
A specific latitude line, going completely around the world, is in fact a circle. The connection is already there, and it is not something we have to create, nor something that anyone really owns or controls. Like sculpture, it is something we reveal and build on, the reality that Dorset, Bilbao, Sapporo and Varna all share the same day length, each and every day of the year, and that this is an exciting starting place for global exploration and conversation.