Group photo participants of the conference

International UNESCO-Chair Meeting Wuppertal

Linking Education, Transdisciplinarity and International Partnership
Group photo participants of the conference
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)

Published:

First International UNESCO-Chair Meeting at Wuppertal University

How can science and education effectively contribute to sustainable development? What are the main obstacles to achieving the Sustainable Development Goals defined by the UN in its Agenda 2030 framework? What role do culture and cultural organizations play in current processes of social transformation? These and other questions were debated at the first international UNESCO-Chair meeting "Linking Education, Transdisciplinarity and International Partnership", held from December 2-4, 2019 at the University of Wuppertal.

Organized by Christine Volkmann (UNESCO-Chair of Entrepreneurship and Intercultural Management) in cooperation with the German Commission for UNESCO and sponsored by the Federal Foreign Office, the conference brought together holders of German UNESCO-chairs with chairholders and scholars from Europe, Africa, North and Central America, and Australia, as well as representatives from UNESCO and the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU). In several workshops and best practice sessions, the participants discussed strategies how to implement sustainable development policies in different cultural, social, and regional contexts and shared their expertise on current challenges of sustainable development in both the Global North and South. Benno Werlen contributed to a panel discussion on international collaboration and science policy. Thomas Reuter, member of our chair's advisory board and partner of the chair at the conference, provided critical thoughts on sustainable food futures and agricultural systems.

During the conference, special emphasis was placed on the role of education for sustainability and transdisciplinarity. In particular, the new UNESCO framework "Towards Achieving the SDGs" (ESD for 2030) was discussed as a central means to closer link research and education. During a visit to the Junior University in Wuppertal, the participants were able to gain their own impression of successful science-oriented educational projects. Likewise, local "Real World Lab" projects for sustainable urban development were presented and provided valuable insights into the challenges and opportunities of transdisciplinary research. As the conference's outcome document, the Wuppertal Declaration [pdf, 650 kb] de, stated, UNESCO-chairs have a special commitment to engage with stakeholders beyond academia and "open their scientific work to the wider public".

Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)
Image: Malte Reiter (Bergische Universität Wuppertal)