It is no overstatement to say that the Age of Disruption and Hyperchange is here, characterised by the many challenges it is forcing us to address; the climate crisis and eco-anxiety, pandemics and declining mental health, rising inequality, mass population migrations, threats to democracy and what constitutes truth or facts.
This new epoch is also defined by the rising call for alternative visions of ‘success’, as new perspectives and metrics emerge from disciplines spanning philosophy, social science, economics,… and standpoints including social entrepreneurs, businesses, youth, activists… These voices are joined by education leaders, teachers, parents, industry leaders and students with their clarion call for a revolution of values and action. Knowledge and learning are the basis for resilience and transformation and we urgently need new ways of learning, teaching, doing research and mobilising collective intelligence to rise to the challenges we face.
The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 24 January as International Day of Education, and the theme of this fourth anniversary 2022 edition, Changing Course, Transforming Education, addresses this imperative and leads on from UNESCO’s recent global Futures of Education report: Reimagining our futures together. The report has once again identified the need for a worldwide collaborative agenda, in which everyone is invited to contribute and effect real-world change in their communities, countries and regions.
In The Future of Educational Leadership: 5 Signposts, Valerie Hannon and Anthony Mackay, co-founders of the Global Education Leaders Partnership (GELP), insist that the path to this future is New Narratives to recreate the purpose of learning. We need bold and inspiring alternatives in order to evolve the range, diversity and personalisation of learning opportunities. Harnessing the collective intelligence of learning ecosystems to create a framework for social renaissance based on the values of sustainability, solidarity and responsibility.
This requires political will, the will of stakeholders, the will of the public and, importantly, for youth to be included throughout. Put bluntly, moving forward education needs to be ‘everybody’s business’.
Actively contributing to the creation of these new narratives is the #LearningPlanet, an ecosystem of 300+ leading organisations, global pioneers, changemakers and youth, that are collectively addressing complex challenges and co-creating solutions that no organisation alone could achieve.
Co-founded by UNESCO and the Learning Planet Institute (previously CRI), since 2020 the #LearningPlanet has rapidly established itself as a ‘middle ground’ for these diverse stakeholders, from government organisations to grassroots actors, to interact, create and scale their initiatives. The ecosystem’s extensive and deep engagement is already unlocking the learning assets both within and beyond the education sector and bringing with it global recognition.
Achievements and challenges are equally celebrated at the #LearningPlanet Festival, held annually around the International Day of Education, the 3rd edition of which, 22-29 January, features more than 400 events co-created with more than 200 partners and spans 100+ countries.
The theme of this year’s International Day of Education: Changing Course, Transforming Education resonates perfectly with the #LearningPlanet mission and Festival theme,
Learning to take care of oneself, others and the Planet. The 8-day programme includes tracks dedicated to Transitions in Education, Learning for Sustainability, and Youth Empowerment with the #LearningPlanet’s global Youth Council.
On the International Day of Education, 24 January, the Festival’s programme includes sessions dedicated to New Narratives for Learning in the 21st Century and World Tours to tune in and create dialogue between local initiatives from Asia & Oceania, Africa, MENA, Europe and across the Americas.
The #LearningPlanet, its partners and ecosystem extends an open invitation to all forward-thinking education and societal leaders, scientists, artists, pioneers and youth to meet and join the Festival. We welcome you to share your views and experiences so that, collectively, we can develop new narratives of humanity, shape a better future and celebrate learning to take care of ourselves, each other and our planet.
Kekhashan Basu Founder-President, Green Hope Foundation
Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General Education, UNESCO
Valerie Hannon Co-Chair, Global Education Leaders Partnership
Anthony Mackay Co Founder, Global Education Leaders Partnership
François Taddei President, Learning Planet Institute