Laboratory of ideas for the world to come

Discover UNESCO Forum


The life of ideas is based on concepts and notions that change the course of history. It relies on men and women from around the world who brought their contribution and give birth to new insights. It relies as well on networks and organizations that frame intellectual cooperation.

UNESCO has always hosted major intellectual debates and welcomed the greatest voices of international thought. This commitment to serving long-term thinking, beyond the contingencies of the moment, is a way to strengthen the intellectual and moral solidarity of humanity, where everyone should be able to express themselves freely. 

Thanks to this forum, UNESCO promotes exchanges and circles of thoughts within the international community and relies on the work of personalities and institutions involved in the educational, scientific and cultural life.


This initiative highlights UNESCO as a laboratory of ideas with the theme: "UNESCO Forum: Imagining the World to come".



Discover this network, and join us : #theworldtocome & #unescoforum


UNESCO Forum kicks off with a series of leading women experts and thinkers

Take time to think

The COVID-19 pandemic crisis has shaken societies ; it has also challenged things that looked obvious. While the pandemic is still ongoing, and no one knows how it might end, it is all the more urgent to take time to think. For the pandemic is not so much an unprecedented object to reflect on – rather an occasion to reaffirm the need to think the world that it has revealed. That’s what UNESCO, as a laboratory of ideas, is contributing to.

UNESCO is a place where thinking converges – whether published and recognized, or still in progress. And this also informs UNESCO's strategic reflection – to make sure that tomorrow’s programmes will be at the level of the demands of the emerging world.

This laboratory of ideas is neither a closed circle, nor an ivory tower. On the contrary ! It is about contributing to collective intelligence in a changing world. Space will be made for new ideas and new voices. UNESCO will open up to activities it had not imagined, and to ideas it had not thought of. All contributions, however diverse, are welcome!

Women's voices

As with every major test that humanity faces, this crisis can either bring out our best selves or our worst instincts. The world that emerges in the future will largely depend on the decisions we make today.

Audrey Azoulay, UNESCO Director-General

Inspiring voices to imagine the world to come

« Inspiring Voices » forum was created to enable women share their thoughts and opinions about the Covid-19 crisis. This UNESCO platform, dedicated to women, gives them the opportunity to speak out and express themselves about the future world.

Fadia Kiwan

Professor of Political Science
Director General of the Arab Women Organization
Member of the Scientific Advisory Committee of the UNESCO MOST Programme

Leah Zaidi

Founder of Multiverse Design
Member of UNESCO-Futures Literacy network

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr

Professor of International Affairs
Director of the Oslo University Independent Panel on Global Governance for Health

Sally Talent, Director of Queens Museum: Reimagining museums for the future

With new constraints on welcoming visitors, the Queens Museum in New York City – like many other institutions around the world – is reflecting on how best to redefine our ties to art and culture. The museum’s team is working on an inclusive model that places artists, educators and residents at the heart of its activities, as it seeks to reinvent itself.

Sally Tallant
President and Executive Director, Queens Museum

Read more

Pandemics: Humans are the culprits

It’s easy to blame a bat, but is our wanton destruction of nature and the traditional habitats of species responsible for the pandemic gripping the world right now? Experts concur that the loss of biodiversity, mainly because of humans, is directly connected  to the spread of deadly diseases like COVID-19. The only way to prevent these new diseases from ravaging us is to preserve intact our ecosystems and biodiversity, they caution.

John Vidal

Journalist, author, and former environment editor of  The Guardian newspaper

Read more

UNESCO Courier : Many Voices, One World

For almost 70 years, the UNESCO Courier has served as a platform for international debates on issues that concern the entire planet. Today, more than ever, experts, public figures, artists and journalists from around the world come together to discuss topical issues.

Read our featured articles

Resiliart: Artists and Creativity beyond Crisis

We need a concerted and global effort to support artists and ensure access to culture for all. The health crisis brought on by the novel coronavirus has plunged the global economy into a recession. While billions of people around the world turn to culture as a source of comfort and connection, the impact of COVID-19 has not spared the culture sector. More than 80% of UNESCO World Heritage properties have closed down. Cultural institutions are losing millions in revenue each day. Artists across the world are struggling to make ends meet.

Join the upcoming debate

Music and fight against COVID-19 at the heart of Africa Day celebration

Music and the fight against COVID-19 will be the focus of UNESCO’s celebration of Africa Day, 25 May, organized in partnership with the African Union of Broadcasting (AUB) and the Most Beautiful Dream Academy for Youth organization. 

More about the event

The world needs solidarity.

UNESCO Forum - laboratory of ideas is a contribution to the UN75 global discussion, to mark the 75th anniversary of the UN and UNESCO.

Join #UN75

We thank our partners

Media Partnerships