UNITWIN Network on ESD

UNITWIN Network on Education for Sustainable Development and Societal Transformations (UNiESD&ST)


Starting in November 2021 for an initial period of four years, this new UNITWIN Network UNiESD&ST will focus on research, policy development and implementation of ESD at all levels of education with specific regards to global perspectives on ESD and teacher education. The new UNiESD&ST will expand our current individual efforts and create new possibilities by engaging selected partners to enhance much needed collaboration to serve the goals of the ESD for 2030 Roadmap in promoting ESD as a key enabler of all of the 2030 Agenda with the SDGs. Synergistically scaling up these activities with further partners from all UN regions will help serve education systems, ministries of education and other relevant entities.

Additionally, as the founding Chairs work across the SDG spectrum, partnering with several UN agencies and INGOS, not only will UNESCO´s broader SDG 4 mandate be supported but a new consortium of academia towards promoting ESD as an essential transformative element in achieving all 17 SDGs will be created.

The Chairs and their partner institutions are recognized think tanks in embedding ESD within education systems, pursuing transformative learning approaches, structurally changing curriculum development and delivering education services through technology. A specific focus on teacher education exists in all founding Chairs. ESD knowledge, insight, research and experience will be more effectively and respectfully contextualized to further understanding and be simultaneously shared in all UN regions.

UNiESD&ST will create a significant multifaceted research and policy support instrument that will be capable of receiving both global research requests and worthy of receiving (international) resources to promote ESD and bridge to other new education aspects emerging from UNESCO activities, such as the Futures of Education Global Initiative.

Beyond expanding ESD implementation, there are increasing needs of researching ESD as a transformative process, engaging sustainability science and as a factor in sustainability diplomacy. UNiESD&ST envisions explorations into these transformative aspects as well as the preparation/training of multipliers to be a part of its mandate, acting globally as a collective incubator for additional activities of UNESCO member states.

Leuphana University´s UNESCO Chair in Higher Education for Sustainable Development and the Institute for Sustainable Development and Learning will co-host the global network with its five founding and over 30 further partner institutions from Asia, Africa, Europe, Oceania and the Americas. The other founding partners in this new alliance are:

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