Transforming a new humanistic vision of global education into reality (webinar video now available)

On May 20, 2024, a virtual webinar on “Transforming a new humanistic vision of global education into reality” was co-hosted by the Global Campaign for Peace Education and NISSEM.

The webinar addressed the groundbreaking 2023 Recommendation on Education for Peace, Human Rights and Sustainable Development was adopted by all UNESCO Member States in November of last year. This visionary document updates, expands, and now supersedes the 1974 ​​Recommendation concerning Education for International Understanding, Co-operation and Peace and Education relating to Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, which sought to unite countries under a broad humanistic banner in which education becomes a driving force for global peace, international understanding, and human rights. The newly adopted 2023 Recommendation acknowledges education in all its forms (formal, non-formal, and informal) and throughout the course of life as a powerful force that shapes how we see the world and treat others. The text of the newly adopted Recommendation advances a detailed framework for transforming education in pursuit of lasting peace, human dignity, and social and climate justice. 

This special webinar brought together a group of international experts who explored the potentialities and challenges in converting the vision of the 2023 Recommendation into local, national and international realities. The presentations and discussions highlighted the different roles political leaders, civil society groups and international organizations can play in implementing key principles and priorities in the Recommendation.

Webinar Video


*Click on a speaker’s name to view their bio.

Jean Bernard, Co-Convenor, NISSEM (Chair / Moderator)

My experience in designing and implementing on-the-job training programs began in 1982 with my employment as a language instructor at a medical facility in Saudi Arabia, where the assignment was to deliver hands-on training to operating room nurses assisting English-speaking surgeons. Since then, I have worked with content providers in various fields to support language development alongside technical skills development.. Of the numerous projects I had the opportunity to manage at UNESCO, a competency based curriculum development training program for African educators stands out as particularly relevant to the aims of this assignment. This project produced a toolkit for developing the capacity of national curriculum development teams in 14 sub-Saharan African countries to focus on preparing secondary students for life and work as an alternative to pursuing the academic stream. I was also in a position at UNESCO to establish apply quality standards to project development processes and outcomes, thereby placing into motion constructive cycles of feedback, monitoring and evaluation. I have facilitated writers’ workshops for curriculum developers as well as for creators of nonformal community education materials (Uganda and South Sudan) Over the years, I have become well acquainted with best practices in competency based curriculum development and assessment methods. Finally, my work as a curriculum and learning materials consultant over the past nine years has allowed me to gain significant experience in mentoring and facilitation of ToT workshops and ongoing workplace support in a wide variety of cultural and educational contexts. I consider myself a lifelong learner, a team player, and a resilient, action oriented person who enjoys new challenges and adventures.

Lydia Ruprecht, Section of Global Citizenship and Peace Education, Division for Peace and Sustainable Development, UNESCO, Paris, France

Lydia Ruprecht has over 25 years experience promoting international understanding and cooperation in the area of Gender Equality and Education. Currently coordinating the revision of UNESCO’s Recommendation concerning Education for international understanding, cooperation and peace and education relating to human rights and fundamental freedoms. Areas of work include: Global Citizenship Education (or XXIst century skills) – ie. education that helps learners of all ages become proactive contributors to a more just, peaceful and sustainable world -, the prevention of violent extremism through education, cultural approaches to education. Fully bilingual, Ms Ruprecht is a Canadian national. She holds a D.E.A. in political sociology and a Maîtrise de sciences politiques from the Université Panthéon Sorbonne (Paris I) and a Bsc in Political Science from the Université de Montréal (Canada).

Heila Lotz-Sisitka, Distinguished Professor, Education Department, Rhodes University, South Africa

Heila Lotz-Sisitka is a Distinguished Professor of Education and holds a Tier 1 South African National Research Foundation/Department of Science and Technology Chair in Global Change and Social Learning Systems at Rhodes University, South Africa, and is Director of the Environmental Learning Research Centre. Her research focuses on transformative social learning, education system change and green skills learning pathways in areas of biodiversity, the water-food nexus, climate change, social and environmental justice, and just sustainability transitions. She has supervised 56 PhDs and 67 Masters scholars to completion. The author of over 175 peer reviewed publications, Prof Lotz-Sisitka has 28 years of experience in leading co-engaged research and teaching in the fields of environmental and sustainability education. She has presented 105 invited international keynote papers in 35 countries around the world, and has led numerous national and international research partnership programmes. She has served on numerous national and international scientific and policy forums to advance Education for Sustainable Development policy and practice globally, most recently as member of the expert group convened to revise the UNESCO 1974 Recommendation on Education for Peace and Human Rights. She has won numerous awards and is a Member of the South African Academy of Sciences.

Jordan Naidoo, Former Acting Director, UNESCO International Institute of Educational Planning, Paris, France

Jordan Naidoo was most recently the Director a.i. at UNESCO International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) in Paris. Prior to that he was the UNESCO Director Kabul Office, and Country Representative to Afghanistan. From 2015 to 2019 as the Director of the Division of Education 2030 Support and Coordination (based in Paris, HQ) he led UNESCO’s global coordination of the SDG4-Education 2030 Agenda. Previously he was a Senior Education Advisor at UNICEF in New York responsible for strategy and research on equity and innovation in education. He was also the Director for Basic Education for Save the Children USA from 2004 to 2009. His early career included being a teacher and researcher in South Africa and a School Reform Design Associate in the US at the Center for Collaborative Education in Boston. Having worked directly on programmmes in Indonesia, Nepal, Ethiopia, Bangladesh, Bolivia and Haití, South Africa, and the US among others, he has extensive experience and expertise in policy analysis, monitoring and evaluation, teaching and learning, decentralization, governance and democratization, education reform, peacebuilding and education in fragile contexts. Dr. Naidoo received his M. Ed. from the University of Natal, South Africa, and Doctor of Education (D. Ed.) from Harvard University. Among other publications, he was the editor of the Springer publication, Community Schools in Africa – Reaching the Unreached and various articles on governance, education decentralization and the SDG 4.

Rilli Lappalainen, President of CONCORD Europe, Chair of Bridge47, and Director of FINGO

Rilli Lappalainen is currently acting Executive Director of Political Parties of Finland for Democracy – Demo Finland which is a co-operative organisation of all Finnish parliamentary parties. It enhances democracy by strengthening the political participation of women, youth and persons with disabilities in particular and by supporting dialogue between political parties. He is on work leave from Fingo, the Finnish national network for development NGOs, where he is Director of sustainable development and strategic issues at. Mr Lappalainen is also President of CONCORD, European Confederation of Relief and Development NGOs which amongst many global issues works with sustainable development and policy coherence. Before that he served as vice-president of Forus, global network to represent civil society in many international arenas. Mr Lappalainen is also the Founder and Chair of Bridge 47 network , global network to bridge different actors to support, promote and implement Sustainable Development Goal 4.7. Bridge 47 network also does advocacy, brings different actors together, promotes lifelong learning and raises awareness of the importance of the right to active participation in societies. His background is a combination of more than 30 years long career from local to global level to fight for global solidarity and sustainable development. Work and life history included roles as civil servant, researcher, consultant, activist, CSO leader and facilitator in Finland, Europe and global organisations. His educational background is in international politics, education and engineering.

Tony Jenkins, Assistant Teaching Professor, Program on Justice & Peace Studies, Georgetown University; Coordinator, Global Campaign for Peace Education; Managing Director, International Institute on Peace Education

Tony Jenkins, PhD, is an Assistant Professor of Justice and Peace Studies at Georgetown University. He has 20+ years of experience directing and designing peacebuilding and international educational programs and projects and leadership in the international development of peace studies and peace education. Since 2001 he has served as the Managing Director of the International Institute on Peace Education (IIPE) and since 2007 as the Coordinator of the Global Campaign for Peace Education (GCPE). Professionally, he has been: Director, Peace Education Initiative at The University of Toledo (2014-16); Vice President for Academic Affairs, National Peace Academy (2009-2014); and Co-Director, Peace Education Center, Teachers College Columbia University (2001-2010). Tony’s applied research has focused on examining the impacts and effectiveness of peace education methods and pedagogies in nurturing personal, social and political change and transformation. He is also interested in formal and non-formal educational design and development with special interest in teacher training, alternative security systems, disarmament, and gender. Tony has taught graduate and undergraduate peace studies and peace education at: Teachers College Columbia University (New York and Tokyo); Jaume I, Castellon, Spain; University for Peace, Costa Rica; The University of Toledo, Ohio; Georgetown University, Washington, DC.; George Washington University, Washington, DC.; George Mason University, Washington, DC.

Aaron Benavot, Professor, Department of Educational Policy and Leadership, School of Education, University at Albany-SUNY, Albany, NY, USA (Discussant)

Aaron Benavot is currently Professor of Global Education Policy in the School of Education at the University at Albany-SUNY. Previously (1990-2007), he served as Senior Lecturer in the Dept. of Sociology and Anthropology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. His scholarship explores diverse educational issues from comparative, global and critical perspectives, most recently on global citizenship education, climate change and sustainability education. For 8 years Aaron worked at UNESCO headquarters in Paris, first as Senior Analyst and then as Director of the Global Education Monitoring Report, an independent, evidence-based report analysing progress towards international education targets. Aaron is currently Lead of Indicator Development for the Monitoring and Evaluating Climate Communication and Education (MECCE) project, which is developing robust indicators to inform intergovernmental and national policy making on climate education. Aaron also co-founded NISSEM, a community of academics and practitioners advocating for the inclusion of global and humanistic themes and social and emotional learning in textbooks. Aaron worked with for APCIEU in South Korea on a feasibility study of global citizenship competence. His recent publications can be found here, here, here and here.

Event Organizers

This event was co-organized and co-hosted by the Global Campaign for Peace Education and NISSEM (Networking to Integrate SDG Target 4.7 and Social and Emotional Learning into Educational Materials)

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