UNESCO has launched the “Futures of Education: Learning to Become” initiative with the aim of redefining learning models for the future. The initiative is a global debate on how knowledge, education and learning should be re-imagined in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty and precariousness, to shape the future of humanity and the planet. The Director-General of UNESCO has convened an independent International Commission for this purpose under the direction of the President of Ethiopia, Mrs. Sahle-Work Zewde, to develop a global report on the Futures of Education. The members of the Commission include leading figures from the worlds of politics, academia, arts, science, business, and education. The Commission will carefully evaluate all inputs from the global consultation process launched with the Futures of Education initiative, in a collective intelligence effort that will feed into a final report and other in-depth papers. The objective is to rethink the role of education, learning, and knowledge, in the light of the great challenges we are facing and the opportunities offered, by predicted, possible and preferable futures also following the so-called futures literacy approach.
The “Futures of Education: Learning to Become” initiative is involving citizens, organizations, bodies and networks all over the world since September 2019, in order to spread the debate on how knowledge and learning can change the future of humanity and of the planet, by defining a set of different perspectives on challenges and opportunities for education and learning that can be both anticipated/foreseen and imagined/visualized by looking at the year 2050 (UNESCO, 2019). The public can be involved in different ways, for example through a three-minute questionnaire or by sharing thoughts in form of text and documents/articles or even artworks.
That’s why the organizing and scientific committee decided to contribute on such an important topic, by launching a participatory in-depth work including different stimuli. The Millennium Project Italian Node, an independent futures study network working with the contribution of 67 nodes all around the world, the Italian Institute for the Future, a non-profit organization on futures studies, Generation Mover™, a professional network working on building future through multi-generational approach, and Novus Lab, a cultural association focused on design thinking, organized and facilitated this participatory structured debate dedicated to “Education 2050“, with a focus on Italy. The event was organized in partnership with UNESCO and included within the Festival of Sustainable Development promoted by ASVIS, the Italian National Alliance for Sustainable Development. The contributions that emerged during the debate about the topics of “Education 2050”, and specifically hopes and fears to 2050 (topic 1), purposes (topic 2) and implications of learning, (topic 3) were included in a report sent to the UNESCO Commission to contribute to the initiative and now out for public release.
The scientific and organizational committee of the event is composed by Mara Di Berardo (Millennium Project), Roberto Paura (Italian Institute for the future), Isabella Pierantoni and Silvia Rigamonti (Generation Mover), Gloria Puppi (Novus Lab).