The world is undergoing important social transformations driven by the impact of globalization, global environmental change and economic and financial crises, resulting in growing inequalities, extreme poverty, exclusion and the denial of basic human rights. These transformations demonstrate the urge for innovative solutions conducive to universal values of peace, human dignity, gender equality and non-violence and non-discrimination. Young women and men, who are the most affected by these changes, are hence the principal key-actors of social transformations.
Social transformations through social inclusion and social innovation are at the crossroad of all of UNESCO’s activities, with a particular focus on those who are vulnerable and disadvantaged and excluded. UNESCO’s Management of Social Transformations (MOST) Programme and its Intergovernmental Council (IGC) are unique drivers for advancing holistic capacity-building initiatives on social transformations and for building bridges between social scientific knowledge, public policies and society, and ensuing implementation.
The MOST Programme focuses on two thematic priorities:
- Social Inclusion as an essential feature of fighting poverty, narrowing inequalities, and advancing towards inclusive societies, as one of the key goals of sustainable development; and
- Social Transformations arising from Environmental Change in recognition of the necessity to address crises ranging from the reduction of natural resources, food, water and energy shortages, loss of biodiversity the pressure of accelerating urbanization and population growth, to climate change and natural disasters. Considering that sustainable development has inseparable social and environmental pillars, social and environmental challenges are closely interrelated.