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workshops – (education for a)
Cosmopolitanism beyond Comfort Zones

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What kind of education do our children need in order to make them more resilient to all kinds of capitalist, conformist and fundamentalist manipulations of our co-existence and to help them to live better with each other in our complex society?

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The 2019 United Nations High Level Political Forum on the Sustainable Development Goals has education as one of the main themes. On this occasion, we want to reflect on what education for sustainable development would need to be today and tomorrow, taking into account equality in terms of access to education and the fact that the spirit of the Sustainable Development Goals is universal, independent as it is from national, cultural, religious or ethnic context.

We aim to do these reflections in the form of a series of workshops that will take place in various places in the world, each time in cooperation with a local or international organisation.

The basic idea to be proposed and elaborated in the workshops is that education should help any child and adolescent to become a self-reflexive, open and tolerant cosmopolitan or ‘world citizen’. There are reasons to conclude that, still today, most approaches to education now mainly prepare our children to function as one-dimensional uncritical subjects in the political, economic, social and spiritual systems of our society. Children and adolescents have the right to be educated differently, with the aim to make them more resilient to all kinds of capitalist, conformist and fundamentalist manipulations of our co-existence and to help them to live better with each other in our complex society. In other words: they deserve an education that enables them to think and act beyond the various comfort zones of power and profit strategically maintained in our society. As a consequence, the chances are bigger they would become more reflexive, responsible and tolerant adults later on

To make matters more concrete, we want to invite all relevant actors (civil society representatives, policy makers, activists, academics, …) to reflect with us on the possibility, need and feasibility of developing a universal curriculum and an educational toolkit that can be used as reference for first, secondary and higher education anywhere in the world.

and this on the following topics:

– Ethics.
– Worldviews.
– Human rights.
– Human ecology.
– The experience of art.
– Religion in its social context.
– Spirituality and interspirituality.
– What can and should democracy be?
– Science and technology in its social context.
– What can and should sustainable development be?
– The possibility of tradition, creativity, transition and innovation.

As a preparation to the workshop series, the first half of 2019 will be devoted to discussions and research visits with the aim to draft a working text “on the need for an Education for a Cosmopolitanism beyond Comfort Zones”. That text would then be discussed in the workshops series and finally presented as a source of inspiration for anyone working on the spirit of education and of education reform.

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Currently we are preparing a pilot workshop in New York in cooperation with the World Council of Peoples for the United Nations and the Forum 21 Institute

Another one is planned to take place in Accra (Ghana) in cooperation with the Intellectual Capital Institute of Africa

Contact us if you would like to co-organise a workshop with us!