It is no longer news that the disruption the world has experienced the past year and a half due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been devastating for our children, our schools, our homes, and our planet. Now more than ever we need to build resilient and innovative education models that prepare students to solve for issues beyond their own boundaries. This is why Diplomatic Courier was proud to partner this year with Qatar Foundation during UNGA 76’s Global Goals Week to organize a four-part series of high-level meetings focused on the intersection of progressive education and sustainability.
We began our first day’s session with a discussion centered on how we can build more progressive education systems capable of empowering us to become more involved in climate action. The session featured leaders from Pre-University Education at Qatar Foundation, the Smithsonian Science Education Center, the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), and Childhood Education International.
The second forum explored new models of impact investments in EdTech, featuring leaders from the World Bank Group, Mastercard Foundation, and the World Innovation Summit on Education. The speakers discussed growing trends of impact investors who have begun working on investment strategies that deliver both financial returns and also advance on solving towards the UN SDGs.
The third forum shifted the attention to youth and decision making, featuring leaders from Educate Lanka Foundation, the Digital Citizen Fund, the Amal Alliance, and the World Innovation Summit on Education. Since the coming generation of young leaders will be the ones tasked with the burden of managing some of humanity’s biggest crises, how can we truly include them in decision-making now?
The fourth and final session in the series, looked at how digital credentialing and recognition systems will broaden the range and quality of learning opportunities. Leaders from Emsi Burning Glass, BrightHive, T3 Innovation Network, Weaving Lab, and Kaplan University gave insights on the brave new world of the skills economy, micro-badging, and credentialing.
Each day brought together thousands of participants across multiple time-zones who interacted with the presenters in several digital platforms. The simultaneous live broadcasting carried out by Qatar Foundation during the four mini-summits allowed for unprecedented accessibility. A silver lining of the pandemic has been the ability to bring high-level speakers and meetings to groups of people usually underrepresented at UNGA. This series allowed for people to view, learn, and interact with the speakers and share how they—as individuals or as members of their own organizations—are contributing to solving the SDGs. After all, as we repeatedly said during the series, solving the SDGs is everyone’s business.
We are thrilled to present the key takeaways from the series and we hope you will join us in the discussions that we and our partners at the Qatar Foundation and the World Innovation Summit on Education will continue to present during this multilateral season. Join us next in October at the G20 Summit in Italy, in November at the COP26 meetings in Glasgow, and in December at the WISE summit in Doha.