“Educating. Resilient. Societies.” International ESD-Conference in Saltillo, Mexico

The year 2015 marked an important milestone in the process of political agreement to promising common objectives in sustainable development. While the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) were still mainly targeting the improvement of living condition in developing countries, the new Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) aimed at the entire global community and at a sustainable development of its social, economic and environmental dimensions. Education for sustainable development (ESD) is explicitly referred to as an instrument for reaching these goals.

However, in the discussion of ESD people are raising doubts for some time whether it is sufficient to focus on education for a sustainable development. Climate-related disasters and social crises, they claim, might no longer be simply avoided in the future – we just need to face them. This implies that we need to learn to deal with crises and transformations and develop strategies for resilience, thus also acquire the ability to be capable of acting even in difficult situations.

In the light of the above, on the 24th November 2015 the international conference “World Encounter on Sustainable Actions: 1st Edition: Educating. Resilient. Societies.” took place during the 10th international ESD Expert Net Meeting in Mexico. Organiser of the event was the City of Saltillo, which developed the programme of the event in close coordination with Engagement Global and the ESD Expert Net. About 350 participants from educational institutions, politics and youth initiatives discussed with international experts the role of education to support not only sustainable acting, but also the development of societal resilience. The ESD Expert Net contributed with several presentations of Best Practice, which were transnational compatible with formal and non-formal education. The conclusions of the conference were summarized in a “Declaration of Saltillo”, which is to serve as a framework paper for the national further development of ESD-strategies.


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