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UNESCO Chair Newsletter November 2023

Welcome to the November edition of our UNESCO Chair Newsletter!

Greetings from Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia) where the 13th Global Regional Centres of Expertise (RCE) Conference (31 October - 2 November 2023) with more than 150 participants from 39 countries in-person and online is currently underway. With a focus on the whole-community approach in embedding Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the hosting university International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) with the RCE Greater Gombak focuses on the well-being of the surrounding communities as an overarching priority in transforming how students learn and how faculty and students conduct research. If you wish to watch panel discussions and presentation of case studies, feel free to join online on 1-2 November 2023.

With the 42nd Session of the UNESCO General Conference approaching in November 2023, including the next report on ESD for 2030, and the ESD-Net Global Meeting in December 2023 in sight, it is motivating to see that many partners are scaling up efforts in promoting and implementing ESD. Please check out the variety of events and opportunities for the next month and feel free to share this newsletter with your colleagues. We appreciate the support.

Last but not least, you can now watch the valuable recordings of the SDSN Global Conference on Sustainable Development that took place with Ban Ki-Moon, Jeffrey Sachs, and other speakers in Hong Kong in October 2023.


Charles Hopkins & Katrin Kohl

UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability, York University

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IAU 2023 International Conference in Doha (Qatar) on 25-27 November

On 25-27 November 2023, the 2023 International Conference hosted by the International Association of Universities (IAU) will explore how universities around the world promote and support intercultural learning and dialogue. Join us for a session on discussing the 17 SDGs from an intercultural perspective to find new ways in accelerating progress towards sustainability.

2023 Annual Report by York University President reinforces commitment to driving positive change for a better future

York University's President Rhonda Lenton just published the President's Annual Report, looking back on the accomplishments of the university over the past year in responding to all 17 SDGs, establishing a Sustainability Framework and announcing new goals for meeting net-zero sooner.

Some of the many achievements are captured in the 2023 President’s Annual Report: pedagogical innovation and expanded program offerings, including experiential education, micro-credentials; globally networked learning, and new initiatives that break down barriers to academic and professional success.

UNESCO Chairs seminar on fostering cultural heritage on 2 November

Join the next edition of the UNESCO Chairs Seminar Series on fostering cultural heritage. The multidimensional challenges affecting the preservation of Africa’s rich and diverse cultural and natural heritage, both tangible and intangible, call for a coordinated response and immediate actions to ensure its safeguarding. On 2 November 2023, the conversation will bring together researchers, scholars, experts, cultural actors, and government representatives to discuss the challenges and opportunities related to the preservation and promotion of cultural heritage in Africa.

UNESCO International Institute of Educational Planning 60th Anniversary Symposium on 8-9 November

The UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) will mark its 60th anniversary with a symposium on 8-9 November 2023. Hosted in Paris, France and online, it will be an opportunity to reflect on the IIEP’s key milestones, but also to chart a path forward for the future of educational planning, considering new trends and perspectives.

IAU webinar focuses on the global mental health crisis on 16 November

The IAU webinar series on the futures of education is back! The global pandemic left the world with many challenges that countries are now dealing with, one of them being the increase of mental health issues. Current health systems are having trouble matching the increase in demand related to mental health. Addressing mental health issues as they arise, and preventive measures are key to improving mental health at university and in society, and to avoiding more severe cases. On 16 November 2023, experts from the IAU HESD Cluster on SDG 3: Good Health and Well-being will discuss lessons learned and analyze the role of e-health in reducing the burden on health care systems.

York U faculty of education public lecture on mobilizing research to impact on homelessness policy on 21 November

Social innovation involves designing and testing new ways of addressing old problems. Dr. Stephen Gaetz is a professor in the Faculty of Education at York University, in Toronto Canada. In 2021, he was named York Research Chair in Homelessness and Research Impact. In this public lecture on 21 November 2023, he will explore the role of social innovation in inspiring change in how we respond to youth homelessness in Canada. For those interested in research impact, this is a compelling example of how to achieve it.

New webinar on implementing climate change education in Canadian faculties of education on 22 November

After a summer of wildfires, heatwaves and floods, introducing Climate Change Education (CCE) as a part of pre-service teacher education has never been more critical. Join ESE-TE experts Dr. Paul Berger and Dr. Ellen Field on 22 November 2023 as they share their experiences and research (forthcoming, 2024) into implementing CCE courses in Lakehead University’s pre-service teacher education program. They will introduce how to engage students in the grim prognosis, political chaos, available solutions, climate activism, and emotional processing practices, all components of CCE, as well as invite participants to share their thoughts on climate emergency teaching in their programs.

2023 International Conference on Educational Leadership in Uncertain Times on 23-25 November

This second international conference on education studies is hosted by the Society for Strategic Education Studies and Tarlac Agricultural University on 23-25 November 2023. The hybrid conference under the theme Educational Leadership in Uncertain Times creates a platform to generate multi-stranded, personal narratives that will enrich the explorations of context-sensitive educational leadership. UNESCO Chair Charles Hopkins will be the keynote speaker for the event and address the vision of transformational and sustainability-oriented leadership for the future.

Dates for new ANGEL webinar series 2023/2024 now available

The popular webinar series is back! The ANGEL Webinar Series is aimed at Global Education professionals, as well as anyone with an interest in research in the fields of Development Education, Global Citizenship Education, Human Rights Education, Education for Sustainable Development, Education for Peace, and Intercultural Education. Check out the dates and book your free webinars ahead.

Join free online courses: Learning for a Sustainable Future & Live at COP28

How should we take positive action towards a sustainable future? The RCE Scotland, in partnership with the University of Edinburgh and the British Council, has created two free, short, facilitated online courses; ideal for anyone interested in sustainability and of particular interest to educators.

Participants can sign up at any time, however those enrolling before 26 November for the 'Learning for a Sustainable Future' and 14 December for 'Live at COP28' course, will be entitled to a free certificate.

Course 1: Learning for a Sustainable Future (started on 23 October 2023). Sign up!

Course 2: Learning for a Sustainable Future: Live at COP28 (starting 30 November 2023). Sign up!

Credit: University of Edinburgh

2023 Planetary Health Film Lab: Belize edition to be shown at COP28

This year, York University's Dahdaleh Institute for Global Health Research Planetary Health Film Lab team under the leadership of UNESCO Chair Associate Mark Terry worked with Indigenous youth from the Maya communities in Belize. The following six films were made in the native Maya languages of Q’eqchi’ and/or Mopan with English subtitles. The films have been added to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change's Youth Climate Report GIS database and will officially premiere at COP28 in Dubai in December 2023. You are invited to watch all movies now!

  1. Promoting Maya Food Sovereignty by Christy Cho (04:06)
  2. Climate Change and Action in Na Luum Ca, Belize by Ernesto Pau (05:01)
  3. The Forest, Land, and Water are Hurting by Florenio Xuc (05:21)
  4. To Be Maya, To Be Well by Nazario Peck (04:45)
  5. The Importance of Securing Land Tenure by Sebastian Cho (03:20)
  6. Cacao Farming by Viola Cus (04:32)

New edited book on sustainable regional policies: call for chapters

The UNESCO Chair for Social Sustainability at the University of Szczecin (Poland) will lead the composition of a new edited and peer-reviewed volume on sustainable regional policies. Regional policies play a key role in addressing various socio-economic and environmental challenges while fostering inclusive growth and equitable development. The UNESCO Chair invites scholars, researchers, policymakers, and practitioners to contribute to an edited volume that explores the multifaceted issue of making sustainable regional (and local) policies a reality. The volume aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the challenges, strategies, and innovations involved in formulating and implementing sustainable regional policies. It seeks to generate insights that can guide the design and execution of effective regional policies across the globe. Submit your abstract by 20 November 2023.

UNESCO Chair Conference on Reimagining Teachers and Teacher Education for our Futures to be held in Helsinki on 18-20 June 2024

Credit: University of Helsinki

On 18-20 June. 2024. the Reimagining Teachers and Teacher Education for Our Futures conference will explore the future of the teaching profession and teachers’ work, and the crucial role that teachers have in shaping the critical, transversal skills that are necessary for our futures as outlined in the UNESCO Report on the Futures of Education. The conference is organized and hosted by the University of Helsinki and its UNESCO Chair with the UNITWIN Network on Teacher Education for Social Justice and Diversity. A call for abstracts is now open!

In case you missed it: interview with University World News

"Sustainability is a purpose of education."

If you have met Charles Hopkins before, you might know this line. We invite you to read this in-depth interview with Karen McGregor from University World News.

This article is part of a series on Education for Sustainable Development published by University World News in partnership with ABET. University World News is solely responsible for the editorial content.

In case you missed it: watch our recent talks and interviews

UNESCO Chairholder Charles Hopkins recently gave an interview for the Global Citizenship Education Series. The series is hosted by Emiliano Bosio.

UNESCO Chair Associate and Youth Climate Report Director Mark Terry spoke during the 8th International Youth Conference following the 2023 UN SDG Summit in New York.

Hosted by the UNITWIN Network on ESD and Societal Transformation, UNESCO Chair Coordinator Katrin Kohl participated in a conversation on linking sustainability and quality education.

Watch an 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).

Empower, engage, evolve: a collective pledge to sustainability: SDG conference held in Lahore on 11-12 October

The UNESCO Chair INTEI partner Kinnaird College For Women and Superior University Pakistan collaboratively organized a conference on the SDGs 2023 themed Empower, Engage, Evolve: A Collective Pledge to Sustainability in Lahore (Pakistan) on 11-12 October 2023. The visibility of the event was high beyond the region of Lahore as the Kinnaird's Department of Education conducted a panel on Unlocking the Future: Advancing Education for Sustainable Development Goal 4. The discussion on practical strategies with respect to ESD within the Pakistani context included experts from schools, higher education, information technology, NGOs as well as politics.

Credit: Kinnaird College for Women

Save the date: SDG Action & Awareness Week on 4-8 March 2024

Mark your calendars for the next SDG Awareness Week 2024! The University Global Coalition will hold the SDG Action & Awareness Week on 4-8 March 2024. The event invites university students, staff, faculty, and partners around the world to plan and host both virtual, SDG-focused events to be shared with a global calendar and to plan events on your campus during this time showcasing work and encouraging action on the SDGs.