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What Has COVID-19 Taught Us? Webinar
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What has COVID-19 taught us? “Build Back Better” in the Era of Sustainable Development. The panel will discuss UNESCO’s sustainability report in the context of build-back better at the local level. Discussing UNESCO’s policy guidelines and their potential implementation at the local level.

When: Wednesday, September 16, 2020
9:00 AM
Where: Zoom
United States

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UNESCO recently released its Education for Sustainable Development for 2030 framework - ‘Education for Sustainable Development: Towards achieving the SDGs’ urges us to reflect on our past actions and re-focus on achieving the SDGs. The panel will take the main principles from the UNESCO report and will invite various stakeholders to reflect on their practices over the past COVID-19 period and discuss how their practices have changed over this course.
Key questions that will shape the discussion are- What have we learnt from COVID-19 and how does our learning transform into informed practices towards sustainable development? Given the ever-changing education policy due to COVID-19, the panel will focus on sustainability practices at schools and at homes that continue to neglected. For example, food wastage, energy wastage, plastic pollution, air travel and carbon emissions. This panel will help to reflect on building back better keeping sustainability as a lens. Teachers could reflect on the curriculum in school, parents reflect on sustainability practices at home and with their children. Academics and scholars provide a critical perspective on UNESCO’s 2030 framework and suggest next steps. Practitioners narrate how this past experience has shaped-up their implementation on the ground. Policy makers reflect on the policy gaps.
The panel will highlight discussion points that will help to “Build Back Better” keeping sustainability in mind. It will provide a critical perspective as well as concrete steps forward to make this planet a more equitable place to inhabit. It will reflect on gaps and turn them into opportunities to reflect and take action on. The participants will leave the discussion with clear ideas and objectives on how they can recover from this pandemic with a concrete vision for a sustainable future.

Opening Remarks

Iveta Silova, President, CIES; and Professor, Arizona State University


Jaivardhan Singh, Policy Maker, Madhya Pradesh State India.
William Gaudelli, Dean and Professor College of Education, Lehigh University. On- How can academia use the UNESCO sustainability report to address the research gaps that exists?
Christina Kwauk, Center for Universal Education, The Brookings Institution. On- Is sustainability a far fetched agenda as we build –back?
Alexander Leicht, Chief Section of Education for Sustainable Development, Division for Peace and Sustainable Development, Education Sector, UNESCO. On - What are some of the local applications from the UNESCO sustainability report? What are 5 main areas that need local action?


Radhika Iyengar, Director of Education, Center for Sustainable Development, Earth Institute, Columbia University. Chair ESE SIG, CIES
Carine Verschueren, Ph.D. Candidate International & Comparative Education, Teachers College, Program Chair ESE SIG, CIES
Panel organized by the Environmental and Sustainability Education Special Interest Group at the Comparative International Education Society Conference.

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