This webinar will focus on the potential of the 53 nations of the Commonwealth to collaborate as a resource for the global community in delivering the skills and evidence needed for implementation of the 2030 Agenda. In 2015, the Commonwealth committed to the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agenda. In 2018, Commonwealth Education Ministers committed to the Curriculum Framework for the SDGS, a framework document across formal, informal and non-formal education at all levels, from pre-school to lifelong learning. At the forthcoming Commonwealth Summit in London (April 2018), Heads of Government will agree the Commonwealth Blue Charter for sustainable development of members’ ocean and coastal resources. This is, then, an international association that recognises the opportunities and imperatives of development within planetary boundaries that is inclusive and ‘leaves no-one behind’.

One key theme of the webinar will be the principle of universality: how does the universal applicability of the goals affect educational institutions in North and South differentially, and what are the implied responsibilities of universities in the ‘global North’  if we are all to be on an ecologically sustainable, upwardly convergent path of development that is defined in terms of outcomes for people, rather than simple GDP metrics? How do we produce the data needed for a bottom-up, participatory approach to decision-making for sustainability? How will universities help promote ‘citizen science’, with data openly accessible to stakeholders? And how can traditional knowledge and heritage be recorded and protected? How can we promote interdisciplinary working and problem-based learning? And how can we ensure joined-up thinking across the silos and levels of government? The webinar will also consider the role of other values, such as empathy and trust, that will be needed to secure the global partnership for the Goals.

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