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UNESCO Chair Newsletter July 2023

ESD-Net 2030 Europe-North America Meeting on 26-27 June 2023. Photo Credit: UNESCO (clipped).
ANGEL Conference on 19-20 June 2023. Photo Credit: Kester Muller/ANGEL Network, CC-BY-2.0 (clipped).

Welcome to the July edition of our UNESCO Chair Newsletter!

First of all, we welcome our US colleagues back into the UNESCO universe as the United States will return to UNESCO as a full member state as early as July. We look forward to working closer together again!

The month of June was packed with fruitful discussions on the way forward in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) to unleash its full potential for the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and beyond.

UNESCO hosted the ESD-Net 2030 Regional Meeting for Europe and North America with a focus on facilitating dialogue and empowering partnerships, collaboration and mutual learning of stakeholder groups towards strengthening ESD visibility, knowledge and implementation.

During the ANGEL Conference in partnership with UNESCO, more than 250 academics and practitioners from the fields of global education and learning, global citizenship education, and ESD came together at UNESCO Headquarters to strengthen impact and define activities to support the Declaration on Global Education.

This month from 10-19 July 2023, the annual United Nations High-Level Political Forum (UN HLPF) under the theme Accelerating the recovery from the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and the full implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development at all levels will support the mid-term review of the SDG implementation for the SDG Summit in September 2023 and 40 countries, including Canada, are set to present their voluntary national reviews on their progress in implementing the SDGs.

A variety of special/side events will highlight higher education contributions, e.g., the HESI 2023 Global Forum and the International Green Gown Award Ceremony both on 17 July 2023 as well as a side event co-hosted by IAU, SDSN and GWP on capacity building in the water sector on 18 July 2023.

What to expect at the UN HLPF? IISD Webinar on 6 July

Each year, during the UN HLPF, countries come together to assess progress made towards the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with the SDGs at the core. On 6 July 2023, this IISD webinar offers an opportunity to learn from experts in government, civil society, and academia who will unpack the main expectations at this year’s UN HLPF. The discussion will address the Global Sustainable Development Report 2023 that is set to inform the SDG Summit in September 2023.

News from York University's Faculty of Education

York´s Faculty of Education introduces this new video series Leaders Supporting Future Leaders in Education, showcasing its bold leadership in education to contribute to sustainable and just communities through quality education as stated in SDG 4. The four videos represent the commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and decolonization in a framework of the SDGs. Students, graduates and alumni are hoped to be empowered to create positive change and to become bold, principled and insightful leaders in the education systems of tomorrow.

The video series follows the launch of the new 2023-2027 Strategic Plan, fostering a view of education for its diverse community of faculty, educators, staff, and students as an engagement of intellectual, ethical, social, and interpersonal relationships.

UNESCO Chairs Seminar on large-scale renewable energy deployment for climate change mitigation to be held on 10 July

Climate change is a global challenge that requires urgent action from all sectors of society, including the energy sector. Large-scale renewable energy deployment has emerged as a key strategy for mitigating climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and increasing energy efficiency. On 10 July 2023, this webinar aims to explore the potential role and fundamental science and geophysics behind these technologies. It will target UNESCO Chairs, and other experts, including scientists, researchers, educators, policymakers, and professionals working in the fields of renewable energy, digitalization, geophysics, and geology.

6th Annual Conference on Education for Sustainable Development in Ethiopia

5th Annual Conference on ESD in 2022

Under the theme Partnership for Environmental Literacy and Sustainable Communities, experts from academia, government, and practice will come together in Bonga (Ethiopia) on 14-16 July 2023.

Participants will report back on the progress of individual colleges in embedding ESD in the last year, to plan for continuous engagement, and to share experiences and best practices to further build capacity to engage with emerging ESD themes.

For more information, please feel to contact us or reach out to our colleague Addise Amado, Head of Development and Communications at the Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST).

UNESCO-UNFCCC webinar on 25 July: how can schools collaborate with communities?

There are three more opportunities to participate in the UNESCO-UNFCCC webinar series on the road to COP28! On 25 July 2023, experts will explore ways in which schools can engage with community members to contextualize and enrich the content of climate change learning as well as serve as innovation hubs for building climate resilient communities. The following webinars will take place on 12 September and 31 October 2023.

2023 Global Education Monitoring Report to be launched on 26 July 

Mark your calendars for one of UNESCO's annual flagship events! The global launch of the 2023 Global Education Monitoring (GEM) Report on technology and education will take place as a hybrid event in Montevideo on 26 July 2023.

This is the first time that the global launch of the report is taking place in Latin America, in Uruguay, a country widely recognized for its pioneering stance on technology in education. The launch event will bring together ministers of education alongside regional organizations, international donors, teachers, civil society, and representatives from the private sector to discuss the key findings and recommendations of the report.

Register for the IAU 2023 International Conference on 25-27 November

Join the IAU 2023 International Conference in Doha, Qatar. Universities provide an excellent environment to foster intercultural learning and competences to embrace diversity, and treasure differences to thrive in a globalized world. Join Charles Hopkins and Katrin Kohl for a dialogue on how inclusive collaboration, glocalised research activities, and reinforced community engagement are required to achieve the SDGs.

Time to read during the semester break? Here are new publications you might like...

Transdisciplinarity and ESD

In a TD Academy article, Charles Hopkins and Katrin Kohl address largely forgotten education history to enhance our look into the future: the transdisciplinary roots of ESD and how it has the power to transform education today for a sustainable tomorrow.

Culture for the SDGs

Culture was once determined the missing pillar of the SDGs by the British Council. This new CCUNESCO toolkit encourages institutions to embrace the SDGs and to participate in the pursuit of a good life for current and future generations in a rapidly shifting world.

Institutional practices of implementing lifelong learning in higher education

This research report provides insights and an analysis of lifelong learning structures and practices at a number of universities in Argentina, Canada, the People’s Republic of China, Ireland, Lebanon and Uganda. Universities are key players in promoting lifelong learning. By offering a variety of educational programs in different modalities, they address the diverse interests of learners.

International trends of lifelong learning in higher education

This publication draws on insights gathered from a survey conducted among 400 universities in over 90 countries. In a context of fast-paced technological developments, the climate crisis, persistent social inequalities, and demographic shifts, there is a need to rethink learning for people of all ages and to transform education systems.

Earth Charter Magazine

Following the celebrations of the 23rd anniversary of the Earth Charter in June 2023, a new Earth Charter Magazine offers diverse perspectives on research and education in ESD with a focus on values and planetary well-being.

Indigenous Perspectives on Higher Education

This CCUNESCO publication summarizes diverse voices that advocate for respecting and including Indigenous knowledge, ways of knowing, and methods of knowledge acquisition in higher education.

Call for proposals: International Review of Education's special issue

The International Review of Education – Journal of Lifelong Learning (IRE) is one of two academic journals published by UNESCO. It is a peer-reviewed journal of education that publishes research articles on lifelong learning policy and practice with special consideration to proposals on adult education, non-formal education and literacy, or on formal education viewed through the lens of lifelong learning.

Submit your full proposal or shorter outline proposal to the IRE Executive Editor, Paul Stanistreet, by 28 August 2023 to be considered by the 2023 session of the Editorial Board.

A special issue will address international and comparative education contexts with one of the thematic areas being ESD within the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development with a particular focus on climate action, Indigenous knowledge systems, environmental education, and the green transition.

In case you missed it: contribute to a special issue on ESD

The Nordic Journal of Comparative and International Education (NJCIE) has announced a Call for Papers for a special issue on Interdisciplinary Approaches to Education for Sustainable Development.

Guest editors: Robert J. Didham (Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences), Hiroki Fujii (Okayama University, Japan), and Gregor Torkar (University of Ljubljana, Slovenia).

The deadline for submission of complete manuscripts is 15 October 2023. Details of the call are available here

This special issue aims to explore the transformative potential that multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary and transdisciplinary approaches to ESD can achieve and how they can be effectively implemented. The goal of the special issue is to collect and share new research and innovations in the emerging field of interdisciplinary approaches to education for sustainable development.

Join the #ImALifelongLearner campaign!

The right to education covers all ages. Lifelong learning is key to overcoming global challenges and to achieving the SDGs.

This week, the Bali Inclusive Lifelong Learning Conference, organized by the Republic of Indonesia and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning, is taking place with more than 300 stakeholders from around the world to define the route towards a more inclusive approach to lifelong learning. Participants aim to turn the vision of education set by the Transforming Education Summit and outlined in the 2022 Marrakech Framework for Action into tangible policies, strategies and programmes.

Show the world that you believe in the transformative power of learning. Join the #ImALifelongLearner campaign!