Education for Sustainability: CIES 2019
During its “Development Decade” of the 1960s, the UN advocated education as a driver of economic growth. But, over the past fifty years, questions have been asked with increasing urgency about what kind of development is promulgated through literacy, skills training, and formal schooling. What is the longer term cost of an education that promises – and sometimes delivers – productivity, industrialization, modernity and consumption? Who pays this price? What are the larger costs? And with what ultimate consequence for the planet?
Our 2019 theme connects the CIES with a reconsideration of human progress – by scholars, governments, corporations, international agencies, and civil society at the grassroots level. This reconsideration is also reflected in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development adopted by UN member states. The agenda finds its power by setting goals and building peaceful partnerships for the simultaneous pursuit of human well-being and ecological integrity. Our theme will remind us that, while education is both a public and private good, its impact is global. Indeed, education is integral to the four pillars the UN has seen as supporting sustainability: inclusive social development, inclusive economic development, peace and security, and environmental sustainability. We in the CIES, both individually and collectively, have much to contribute to these pillars.