Earth Charter International Education Conference 2019
LEADING THE WAY TO SUSTAINABILITY 2030:
EDUCATION, THE EARTH CHARTER, AND THE SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT GOALS
29 – 31 January 2019
The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development at University for Peace, with the support of World of Walas and Soka Gakkai International, hosted the Earth Charter International Education Conference: Leading the Way to Sustainability 2030. The conference took place on the University for Peace campus from 29 to 31 January.
More than 100 people participated from 18 countries, such as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, Brazil, the United States, Canada, Guatemala, France, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain, Germany, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Japan, among others. A wide variety of sectors were represented, including universities, school educators, local government officials, non-governmental organizations, the private sector, as well as UNESCO representatives from both the Headquarters and the Regional Office for Central America and Mexico, and the Ministry of Public Education of Costa Rica.
This conference sought to share experiences and research projects and generate a dialogue on pedagogical approaches, materials and lessons learned in the search for necessary transformations in education processes for sustainable development and global citizenship.
The Conference was held in English and Spanish, with 66 presentations, divided into nine plenary sessions and four categories of parallel sessions, namely: school education, higher education, and non-formal education in English and Spanish. Among the speakers were recognized authors in the field of education, especially education for sustainable development, global citizenship, transformative education, among others. In addition, pedagogical principles that encourage interaction and enjoyment were put into practice. In this sense, at the Conference there were nature walks, music and dancing, as well as moments of reflection, meditation and sharing among the participants.
Many shared their experiences on how they have been working with values in their education practices. It was emphasized that ESD is about transformative action and that any Earth Charter education requires involving the mind, the heart and the hands.
There was so much richness in thought and exchange in all sessions leading to a quite unique experience. In his presentation, Dr. Peter Blaze Corcoran invited participants to look at the future with hope. His keynote address highlighted the importance of Radical Hope, world affirming spirituality and intergeneration action and equity. Dr. Sam Crowell invited participants to reflect on the role of education in helping us to identify “who we are and what kind of a person we want to be?” Dr. Namrata Sharma said, “the behavioral response to solve global issues would be rooted in a non-dualistic belief system which perceives an inextricable link between the self-other-nature-universe.” She also shared some recommendations identified from a study of value-creating global citizenship education and the Earth Charter for the UN 2030 global citizenship agenda. Dr. María Vilches shared the findings of her research on “Ecopedagogy and the Eco-Schools programme in Puerto Rico.”
Mrs. Akpezi Ogbuigwe, a well-known speaker and former Director of the Education Division of the United Nations Environment Programme, gave the Conference closing remarks with an emotional speech. She posed the question: “If so much is being done, why do we still have compounding wicked problems?” She talked about the importance of powering the SDGs with the EC spirit as a crucial step to the future we want. She ended her speech with an emotional poem with an invitation to rise up to the task of social transformation through education.
The feedback received has been very positive. As part of the follow-up to this Conference, the organizers will be creating a report and a publication in book format, which compiles the main ideas shared through articles written by the participants themselves.
Follow the link to see the Conference Agenda: https://earthcharter.org/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/2019-Earth-Charter-Education-Conference-Agenda.pdf
Click here to watch a video of the Conference.
To view pictures of the Conference click here: https://photos.app.goo.gl/gp47i8iupBoSdgQa7
With the support of: