In the 13th century, the travels of an Italian merchant to China became the first best-seller in Europe – so fantastic did it seem that we could even describe a world so remote. Today, millions of new Marco Polos are interacting daily with unfamiliar places and people.
As globalisation brings more of us together across cultures and languages, we must invent new forms of education for the Marco Polos of today and tomorrow. Founded in 2011 and inspired by the multicultural fabric of Melbourne, Marco Polo Project exists in order to create new forms of cross-cultural education for schools, universities, businesses and communities, with a focus on connection, culture and communication.
The Marco Polo Project started a digital organisation promoting China literacy through peer-learning. Our first initiative was a website offering a selection of online writing from China formatted for non-Mandarin natives, with bilingual titles, tags, and author biographies – and inviting learners to practice their translation skills. Building on the knowledge and community assembled through this initial platform, we started developing offline events, including collaborative translation events, a Festival of digital literature, and cross-cultural engagement programs for schools and universities
This blog documents the progress of our organisation since its inception. On those pages, you can read what we did and who we did it with under our community, and you read how we operate and why we do what we do under our model.
You can also read through summaries of selected texts from the Chinese blogosphere to discover and understand China from inside – or look for more focused insights on aspects of China by exploring our Reading Threads.