What We’ve Been Up To At UNESCO MGIEP
International Society for Technology in Education
26-29 June, Denver, USA
UNESCO MGIEP was represented at ISTE, one of the largest and most prestigious education technology conferences in the world. Ms. Aditi Pathak of the Innovations Programme at UNESCO MGIEP presented at the conference on the design of the “Transformative Learning Labs” programme. She also shared some of the key findings from the preliminary analysis of primary data collected by UNESCO MGIEP. The pilot study was conducted in New Delhi from July 2015 to April 2016. The conference helped raising the profile of the institute and networking with educators and practitioners globally.
International Workshop on Embedding
28-30 June, Bangalore
UNESCO MGIEP organized an international workshop on embedding concepts of peace, sustainable development and global citizenship in textbooks of core subjects. Subject and embedding experts in the domains of maths, science, languages and geography got together to discuss the development of an International Guidebook on Embedding for textbook authors and curriculum developers. Academics, policy makers, publishers and development professionals from around the world including the universities of Arizona, Toronto, Tsukuba, James Cook, New York, Delhi, South Wales and organizations such as SEAMEO RECSAM and the Georg Eckhardt Institute, prepared preliminary drafts of the guidebook. The workshop also saw conversations and discussions transformed into cartoons.
YESPeaceNetwork, Campus Ambassadors
UNESCO MGIEP, together with the university partner Symbiosis School of International Studies, Pune, India, selected the first cohort of six Campus Ambassadors as a part of a higher education initiative on intercultural dialogue of the same name. The students will spearhead on-campus activities to foster intercultural understanding and design and implement activities with other students across the globe. Focus of the activities will be the promotion of spaces for inter-cultural dialogue within Institutes of Higher Education. The Campus Ambassadors participated in the UNESCO International Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism through Education and also the YESPeace International Workshop in September. They also participated in the “Imbizo Workshop: Creating innovative spaces for Dialogue” facilitated by Ms. Lezerine Mashaba from ACTIVATE! Change Drivers, South Africa, on 22 September 2016. The workshop provided them with the opportunity to learn the “how” of creating innovative spaces for dialogue as well as the concept of traditional dialogue which has been combined with digital media to foster greater impact and acceptance in the community.
Youth-led Monitoring of the SDGs
In September, UNESCO MGIEP, within the framework of the MGIEP Youth-led Monitoring (YLM) Project, signed a partnership agreement with Rhodes University, South Africa, for the T-Learning (Transformative, Transgressive Leaning in Times of Climate Change) Project. The goal of T-learning is to research the emergence and qualities of T-learning processes, and their role and contribution to sustainability transformations at the food-water-energy-climate-social justice nexus in diverse niche level settings. The project makes use of generative research that produces practical, theoretical and methodological outcomes. UNESCO MGIEP’s youth-led monitoring project is MGIEP’s contribution to the T-learning project.
Through the YLM Project, MGIEP aims to:
1. Develop digital tools for building a “taxonomy of global indicators” for Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 4.7 through a bottoms-up crowd-sourced approach and to foster youth capacities to be agents of a data revolution for the SDGs.
2. Empower local communities to monitor the issues they face, and how the actions trigger those changes.
UNESCO International Conference on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education: Taking Action
19-20 September, New Delhi
UNESCO MGIEP co-hosted the first international conference violent extremism, “International Conference on Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education: Taking Action” together with UNESCO Headquarters on 19-20 September 2016 in New Delhi, India. Over 200 senior education policy-makers, experts, as well as youth advocates in the field, from close to 70 countries came together for the 2-day conference. The aim of the conference was to build a common understanding and vision of the required educational interventions and approaches needed to ensure that education systems contribute appropriately and effectively to the prevention of violent extremism.
19 September, New Delhi
As a follow up to TAG (Talking Across Generations) New Delhi, MGIEP hosted the first TAGe on 19 September 2016 in New Delhi as part of the larger International Conference on the Prevention of Violent Extremism through Education (19-20 September 2016). It provided a global platform for 45 bright youth leaders to interact directly with over 200 decision-makers and policy-makers from ministries of education on how to transform education systems to foster a culture of peace and sustainability. The TAGe Delhi called for the formation of the Global Youth Collective on Education to produce the completely youth-led Youth Guide to Preventing Violent Extremism through Education by 2017. The TAGe discussion was live-streamed, and received a very enthusiastic response on social media with the #PVEConf hashtag trending on Twitter in India generating over 23 million impressions during the TAGe session.
Critical Inquiry, Mindfulness and Moral Courage-
Key Competencies to Prevent Violent Extremism
19-20 September, New Delhi
As part of UNESCO’s International Conference on Preventing Violent Extremism (PVE), MGIEP’S Libre team organized a concurrent session on “Building key competencies for Prevention of Violent Extremism” on day 2 of the conference.
The session was aimed at putting learners at the centre of educational interventions for PVE, and explored the skills, competencies and attitudes that are necessary to build the defences of peace in the minds of students. It was moderated by renowned reformist Islamic writer and speaker Ms Irshad Manji from the University of Southern California, founder of the Moral Courage project. Linguist and educator Professor K. P. Mohanan spoke about the nature and need for Inquiry Oriented Education in order to build the learners’ capacity to desist any form of indoctrination and propaganda. Professor Marilee Bresciani from San Diego State University focused on the role of Integrative Inquiry or mindfulness which allows learners to recognize and come to terms with their own thought process while encouraging self-reflective practices.
In addition, the session explored how these competencies could be useful to deal with the complex challenges of violent extremism in this age of globalization and hi-tech connectivity. The deliberations of the session will inform the Institute’s Libre Programme.
21 September, New Delhi
The YESPeace International Workshop held on 21 September 2016 brought together 34 youth leaders from 30 countries and various backgrounds. They were invited to convene and forge ideas to create a more peaceful and sustainable world.
The workshop was initiated in August 2016 with extensive discussions held on social media and the MGIEP’s Knowledge Commons Online Platform. Together the young people worked on streamlining their ideas and designed five action projects to engage, equip and empower youth through education.
UNESCO MGIEP conducted the first Partners Meeting at UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to initiate the development of a curriculum for its executive youth leadership project, SCOPExL (Sustainable Development, Global Citizenship and Peace for Excellence in Leadership). The three learning domains of the curriculum are Online, Academic (classroom) and Experiential learning and organized around inquiry-orientated learning (critical thinking), socio-emotional and moral courage to change. UNESCO MGIEP will establish partnerships with the University of California Los Angeles, the Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena, Écolenormalesupérieure de Lyon and Pravah for designing and implementing this leadership project. SCOPExL will reach out to young professionals between 28 to 35 years from diverse fields of civil society, media, corporates, civil services and military training academies. The first cohort is targeted for 2017.
On 6 October 2016, UNESCO MGIEP, in partnership with the Permanent Delegation of India to UNESCO and UNESCO Headquarters, organized the Inaugural Ahinsa Lecture at UNESCO Headquarters, Paris. As part of the Distinguished Lecture series, MGIEP launched the Ahinsa lecture series to commemorate Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary, also observed as the International Day of Non-Violence, with the aim to emphasize on the relevance of Gandhian principles of ahinsa or non-violence in the 21st century. The distinguished speaker for the first Ahinsa Lecture was Dr. Scilla Elworthy, three-time Nobel Peace Prize nominee and recipient of the Niwano Peace Prize. Dr. Elworthy highlighted conflicts and wars as part of human experiences and presented a Business Plan for Peace based on assumptions concerning power and cost effectiveness for the prevention of armed conflict; and profitability of peace from a business point of view. The audience at the lecture comprised of High Commission Officials, members of delegations to UNESCO, entrepreneurs, NGOs, academicians, and researchers.
UNESCO MGIEP’s Innovations in Education at the UN Day Celebrations in India
To commemorate 71 years of United Nations, this year’s celebrations in India called for showcasing innovative approaches to achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). UNESCO MGIEP’s games for education and Knowledge Commons were nominated as the innovations in the field of education, representing SDG 4. The exhibit invited delegations from various countries, ministries, private organizations, media and other UN organizations to play-test our work and interact with UNESCO MGIEP’s on the vision and mission behind the approach.
TAGe Quebec: Internet and the Radicalization of Youth
30 Oct to 1 Nov
Post TAGe New Delhi, UNESCO MGIEP and the Centre for the Prevention of Radicalization Leading to Violence hosted the 3rd Talking Across Generations on Education (TAGe Québec) in Québec City, Canada. Held within the UNESCO International Conference on “Internet and the Radicalization of Youth: Preventing, Acting and Living Together” from 30 October to 1 November 2016, the TAGe Québec brought together 30 carefully chosen youth and 15 policy-makers from around the world in an informal, open setting. Most participants agreed that the Internet was not the reason but only a vector for radicalization. Closing the conference, the Prime Minister of Quebec, Philippe Couillard, emphasized a multisector approach and expertise sharing to address this challenge.
Distinguished Lecture Series, Professor K. P. Mohanan “Education, Blind Faith, and Societal Violence”
UNESCO MGIEP hosted a talk by linguist and educator Professor K. P. Mohanan as part of its Distinguished Lecture series on 2 December 2016. Aimed to spark transformative ideas for our shared future, the talk was co-organized by the University of Chicago Centre in New Delhi at its venue.
In his talk, Professor Mohanan highlighted the nexus between schooling, blind faith and collective violence. He established how mainstream education typically produced pliant and “schooled” individuals with degrees and certificates, who could be easily manipulated and indoctrinated by governments, corporations, and religious fanatics–again because of blind faith in authority. One of the results of such manipulation was the obscuring of the nature of collective violence. He argued that if we could go beyond mere schooling to develop systems of real education that would build critical abilities in the learners to resist the indoctrination by politicians, corporations, and religious leaders, there would be a reasonable chance of significantly reducing these forms of violence.