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UNESCO Chair Newsletter October 2023

Welcome to the October edition of our UNESCO Chair Newsletter!

Following the SDG Summit in New York with 193 member states renewing their commitment to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), lots of events are lined up for the months ahead.

Many of our partners have already championed ways of accelerating action towards sustainability, such as the Canadian Clean50 Leaders. The Clean50 honours individuals and institutions across society who create new and measurable solutions to tackle the climate crisis.

Other partners aim at ways to transform education, such as Join EDUC, a French impact-first undertaking focusing on sustainability in the higher education curricula to shape our future leaders towards prioritizing sustainability.

October is also the time to celebrate teachers around the world because 5 October is World Teachers' Day! On 5-6 October 2023, UNESCO will recognize teachers with an event under the theme The teachers we need for the education we want: The global imperative to reverse the teacher shortage.

Overall, there is hope 😊! We can turn the ship around and do things differently. Take a moment to recharge your batteries and read this newsletter with lots of events and updates. Please share with your colleagues and be part of a global education community striving towards sustainability!

Warm wishes,

Charles Hopkins & Katrin Kohl

UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability, York University

P.S. Please save in your contacts to get all editions of this newsletter.

Join us live or online for the Global Conference on Sustainable Development on 4-5 October

The Global Conference on Sustainable Development is the first international conference organized by the Hong Kong Chapter of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN). On 4-5 October 2023, the hybrid event aims to enable exchanges among academia, philanthropy, civil society institutions, the government and the private sector on the challenges and opportunities in achieving the SDGs and promising ways ahead.

Patrick Paul Walsh, Vice President of Education and Director of the SDSN SDG Academy, will moderate a fireside chat with UNESCO Chairholder Charles Hopkins to address the potential of higher education to transform societies.

Celebrate World Teachers' Day on 5-6 October

World Teachers’ Day is an annual event, celebrated on 5 October to recognize all teachers around the globe. On 5-6 October 2023, World Teachers' Day events put the importance of a valued teaching profession at the top of the global agenda. Through various activities, UNESCO with their international partners will advocate for teachers' crucial role. Speakers will analyze challenges, and showcase inspiring practices to attract, retain and motivate teachers and educators. The conversation is set to examine the ways in which education systems, societies, and communities recognize, appreciate, and support teachers.

University of Education in Lahore will celebrate World Teachers' Day on 5 October

Our partner, University of Education Lahore in Pakistan will celebrate World Teachers' Day with a series of activities on campus, social media campaigns and student poster exhibitions on 5 October 2023. UNESCO Chair Charles Hopkins will share an opening message for the cake-cutting ceremony with university leadership.

Join us online for the 3rd International Symposium on Educational Research on 21 October

The 3rd Annual International Symposium on Educational Research promises a unique online experience in the field of Educational Research. The event presents a composition of qualified speakers, paper and poster presentations, and intensive professional development workshops around the theme Sustainable Developments of Education and Research: Educational Innovations and Emerging Technologies. UNESCO Chair Charles Hopkins will hold a keynote on Transdisciplinary educational research for transformative change. The symposium will be hosted by Prince Sultan University on 21 October 2023.

Join us online DCMÉT Symposium 2023 on 25-27 October

On 25-27 October 2023, the Canadian UNESCO Chair in Democracy, Global Citizenship and Transformative Education (DCMÉT) will hold an online symposium under the theme of Peace, Culture & Social Justice. Over 150 presenters from 30+ countries will lead 50+ collaborative and action-oriented sessions. Sessions will be held in Spanish, French, English, and Korean, with many of them being simultaneously interpreted. The event welcomes researchers, educators, activists, artists, and members of civil society from around the world. Keynotes and selected sessions will take place in person at Kyung Hee University in Seoul, Korea, a partnering institution to the DCMÉT Symposium.

Several Canadian UNESCO Chairs will join forces and offer a session on All relations: quality education for greater impacts on societies on 27 October 2023 at 9:30 am EST. Interested? Please register through the conference website or watch live on Facebook.

Join us live or online for 13th Global RCE Conference in Kuala Lumpur on October 31 - November 2

The 13th Global Conference of the Regional Centres of Expertise (RCEs) on ESD will be held in a hybrid format from 31 October to 2 November 2023 in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The meeting will be jointly hosted by RCE Greater Gombak and RCE Greater Kuala Lumpur under the theme Whole Community Approach for ESD.

Achieving sustainable development goes beyond tangible infrastructure changes and entails instilling human values, ethics, and spirituality in the community. Driving change for the success of this agenda relies on a Whole Community Approach. This involves collaborations among all community stakeholders to accomplish the SDGs.

Chairholder Charles Hopkins will speak on transformative learning for sustainability through whole community approaches. Chair Coordinator Katrin Kohl is set to moderate the discussion on how to successfully develop and implement the whole community approach in a local setting. If you wish to attend online, please register before 15 October 2023.

First cohort of students successfully participated in the UNITWIN Politics4Future Pilot Course

In the UNITWIN Network on Education for Sustainable Development and Societal Transformation, six UNESCO Chairs from five countries joined forces in 2021 to promote ESD to transform the way we address education. Financed by the German Environment Foundation, one of the first joint projects was an online course called Politics4Future.

76 students from 12 universities in Canada, Costa Rica, Germany, Greece, and South Africa participated in the pilot course. They aimed to develop a shared understanding of key concepts of global citizenship education (GCED), ESD, and political education. in group conversations, students addressed different worldviews on sustainability and global citizenship and had opportunities to practically implement key concepts. The learning content will be made available in the coming months as an open educational resource for all interested educators. If you are interested in full or partial implementation of the Politics4Future content, stay tuned for more information.

Creative Praxis Podcast on ESD

Listen to a new episode in the 3rd season of Creative Praxis. Hosted by Anna Griffith (University of the Fraser Valley, Canada), the conversation on ESD features perspectives from Charles Hopkins and Katrin Kohl.

Interviews on the history of ESD

Watch this in-depth interview with Charles Hopkins on the potential of ESD, hosted by Beth Christie (Edinburgh University, Scotland) and Alex Kudryavtsev (Cornell University, United States).

UN Academic Impact: 25 best practices in implementing the SDGs

Following a call for submission to all 1,600 members, UN Academic Impact (UNAI) curated 25 best practices to showcase transferable ideas and examples to advance the SDGs in higher education institutions across the globe.

UNESCO-IESALC & UNAI: Guidelines to implement sustainability in HE

During the SDG Summit, the UNESCO International Institute for Higher Education in Latin America and the Caribbean (UNESCO-IESALC) and UNAI launched a new guide for higher education leaders to maximize their institutions’ SDG impact.

17 Rooms hosted by the University Global Coalition on 2-6 October

There is still time to participate in the annual gathering held by the University Global Coalition, an initiative by United Nations Institute for Training and Research (UNITAR). To facilitate plans and actions from universities around the world to support the SDGs, the 17 Rooms process will offer multiple opportunities to engage with like-minded colleagues and students in the global university community.

Webinars on fostering youth-led innovation for the SDGs in October

Have you been following the new webinar series on youth leadership and innovation for sustainable development? There are two more sessions to come on 10 October 2023 at 2 pm EST and on 23 October 2023 at 2 pm EST. Webinars are hosted in partnership by the University of Waterloo, Canada, with the Centre for Sustainable Development at Columbia University, United States. The upcoming conversations will address ways of scaling up and commercializing innovation for climate solutions as well as the roles of community-based and non-governmental organizations for climate action.

8th International Conference on Global Citizenship Education on 18-19 October

The Asia-Pacific Centre on Education for International Understanding (APCEIU) will hold the 8th International Conference on Global Citizenship Education as a hybrid event under the auspices of UNESCO in Seoul (Korea) on 18-19 October 2023. Addressing the theme Unpacking GCED: Transformative Learning for Critical Empowerment, speakers will share diverse perspectives and experiences to discuss GCED in the curriculum, pedagogy and competency development.

UNESCO-UNFCCC webinar series on the road to COP28: getting ready to promote greening schools on 31 October

Two more opportunities left before COP28! The 5th session in this year's webinar series on the road to COP28 will present key messages and strategies to promote the greening of every school. Speakers will position their views within the concept of the whole-school approach and ensure that participants can transfer the takeaways to their local setting. The webinar will take place on 31 October 2023 at 12:30 pm CET / 6:30 am EST.

For our York University Community: the next UN Hack to take place on 27-29 October

UNHack 2023 is York University's community event for all undergraduate students to come together to try and solve some of the world’s grand challenges on 27-29 October 2023. Students take part in an experiential learning opportunity with the Lassonde School of Engineering BEST Program during an unforgettable weekend. Together they aim for interdisciplinary ways to solve some of the most important challenges facing our world. UNHack 2023 hopes to shift perspectives, to explore solutions to global issues, and to challenge existing norms towards a better future for all.

Last but not least: UNESCO publishes first-ever global guidance on generative AI in education

Generative artificial intelligence tools have far-reaching implications for education and research. Yet the education sector today is largely unprepared for the ethical and pedagogical integration of these powerful and rapidly evolving technologies. UNESCO recently launched the first-ever global guidance on generative artificial intelligence in education.