Building peace in the minds of men and women

UNESCO World Conference on Education for Sustainable Development - Pre-conference workshops

Join UNESCO for a global series of online workshops on how to transform society through learning with Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), launching in September 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic has had a tragic impact on human life around the world: killing hundreds of thousands of people, causing global economic decline and school closures in over 180 countries. It has challenged the structures of our societies and our ways of life. This disruption also presents a historic chance to redesign our societies and reroute from the current path. UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education, Stefania Giannini, has called upon governments to “build back better”, and change education to meet the climate emergency through Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and the Agenda 2030. ESD reassesses what we learn, where we learn and how we learn to ensure we develop the knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that enable us to make informed decisions and actions on global problems such as the climate crisis and the COVID-19 crisis.

Transforming learning to transform societies towards sustainability is the aim of the ESD for 2030 framework. This roadmap for ESD in 2020-2030 will be officially launched at the UNESCO World Conference on ESD taking place on 17-19 May 2021, in Berlin, Germany. In the lead-up to the World Conference, UNESCO invite you to a series of ESD online workshops in cooperation with the Federal Ministry of Education and Research of Germany, and with the German Commission for UNESCO as advisory partner. The discussions and results from the series of online workshops will be used to further develop the conference program and help shape the agenda in Berlin next year.   



#1: The big conversation: ESD and the world beyond Covid-19
9 September 2020, 12:30 GMT+2 

COVID-19 has challenged many aspects of our lives, but also provided an opportunity for global change. How can ESD contribute to this transformation? To kick-start the series, the first online workshop is designed as a joint thinking process to collect observations and questions on ESD and the world beyond this pandemic. It will be a jumping off point for a number of topics that will be discussed in the upcoming workshops.  

#2: ESD in remote and digital settings: Lessons learned during the COVID-19 pandemic
14 October 2020, 10:00 GMT+2

The global pandemic saw school closures in over 180 countries. This workshop will reviews examples of ESD learning in digital and remote setting during the pandemic; and explores ways to ensure that ESD learning continues under such challenging circumstances.   

#3: Youth, Education for Sustainable Development and resilience: empowered young people mobilizing beyond the crisis
12 November 2020, 14:00 GMT+1

ESD equips young people with knowledge, skills, values and attitudes be resilient under challenging situations, with a particular attention on the role of social and emotional learning.  In the third workshop in our series, we hear from young people involved in ESD programmes about their experiences before and during the pandemic, as well as their vision for the future.  

#4: ESD and global health: Inter-linkage of the health of people and planet
9 December 2020, 12:30 GMT+1

Focuses on the interconnectedness of the health of people and planet as highlighted through the COVID-19 pandemic, and questions how this can be better reflected in ESD practices.


#5: ESD and Climate Emergency: ‘Bend the curve for climate change’
10 February 2021, 10:00 GMT+1

Raises the parallels between the pandemic and climate emergency and discusses how the lessons learned from the public response to the Covid-19 crisis can help ‘flatten the curve of climate change’, in particular through ESD’s contribution.

#6: ESD and lifestyle: Re-designing consumption and production
10 March 2021, 14:00 GMT+1

Reflects on the trends in consumption and production observed during the pandemic, such as re-defining of our daily necessity and the return of single-use plastic, and highlights ways ESD can accelerate transformation towards a more sustainable economy.

#7: ESD for 2030 framework and the Berlin Conference: Time to act - Now or Never
14 April 2021, 12:30 GMT+2

Summarizes the learnings from the series of online workshops and highlights the focus areas of the new framework ESD for 2030, as well as its roadmap on the way forward, from UNESCO World Conference on ESD in Berlin, Germany and beyond.