UNESCO is the lead agency for the Global Action Programme (GAP) on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), the official follow-up to the UN Decade of ESD (2005-2014). One of the GAP’s five Priority Action Areas focuses on implementing sustainable solutions at the local level. This involves mobilizing local municipalities and communities, ensuring that they have sufficient capacities in ESD, strengthening learning opportunities for citizens in various settings, and promoting collaboration among local stakeholders in different sectors.
To build global momentum for mainstreaming ESD at the local level, UNESCO will organize workshops in all five UN regions between December 2016 and December 2017. UNESCO will invite twenty-five cities or municipalities, each represented by two people, to participate in each regional workshop. At these workshops, which aim to enhance cities’ knowledge on how to best integrate and implement ESD activities, participants will share ESD practices and policies in urban contexts.
Together with the deputy manager from Sønderborg, I participated in the conference. The participants discussed how Education and Learning can support development and secure a sustainable future for all.
This is one of 5 events, (one in each UNESCO region is planned). Photo of our group at the UNESCO UIL headquarters in Hamburg, Germany at the Chinese conference center (a gift from Hamburg’s partner city Shanghai). There are participants from 15 European countries and North America (Canada, USA)
This is a new lens on an old frame. Communities today are revitalizing themselves not only seeking a Return on Investment, but also a Return on Involvement. Attending a recent RED Group session – Regional Economic Development Group of Minnesota, I heard stories that put new meaning to *ROI.
Leaders from three regions in Greater MN put forth narratives that captured community driven grass roots initiatives aimed at improving the economic future of their regions. With the creation of Bemidgi Leads in the Northwest, GreenSeam in Greater Mankato and a refreshed portrait of growth in Duluth in Northeast, MN, we learned about the power of effective and prolonged “intentional collective action” as cultural game changers in each of these regions.
BemidgiLeads (Building a Future of Promise for Our Community) participants gathered every week for three years to listen, evaluate and measure the pulse and prospects of their regions economic future – and they did it gratis! They knew they had to take charge of their economic future to shape and revitalize the future they aspired to. The effort has been transformative – creating a new narrative that is changing the cultural economic identity of their region. They also determined that workforce and talent development could not be separated from economic development.
A decade later they are seeing the value of “the 16 destiny drivers” they developed as guiding the ongoing outcomes of their early listening sessions. BemidgiLeads provided the community with a vehicle for people to make a difference and that in fact, created alignment at a strategic level!
One phenomenal active commitment they made is to Student’s First – assigning a town mentor to each and every 1,600 high school students! This kind of ROI sends a powerful signal to youth that they matter to the future of Bemidgi! This one on one commitment has the potential to benefit the longevity of their community for generations. Measuring that Return on Involvement could be groundbreaking!
Each of these regions was once dependent on a natural resource based economy and find that today’s technology driven 21st Century Agriculture contributes more broadly, intersecting the local economy through tourism and business services. All three regional initiatives defined success based on a new narrative, releasing themselves from the mantle of complaint, grievances and old myths to form instead a fresh identity to carry them forward, together.
Their Return on Involvement made me think about the preeminence given to “big data,” to the concepts of quantification trending nationally. And these stories underscore the quote –
*“Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted.” William Bruce Cameron
Alignment of assets and aspirations for a community can be measured as a Return on Involvement, especially if the interdependence that develops works not only across sectors but also inclusively across race, class and gender.
TA3 is a member driven network that brings a high level of Return on Involvement. So consider joining us as we push the frontier of ideas at the next TA3 2017 Symposium in the Netherlands on new learning spaces.
By L. Burke Murphy, Director of TA3
Bente Lyck-Damgaard is vice president at EUC Syd and has more than 15 years of experience in many different management positions at the college. She is now responsible for upper secondary technical education, IB and for the overall administration and economy of the college. EUC Syd is a regional college based in the southern part of Denmark and offers a wide range of vocational programmes, adult vocational training and supplementary programmes, technical upper secondary school and the International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (IB). Bente Lyck-Damgaard’s experience in the educational sector also includes a position at Southern Denmark Business School.
Bente Lyck-Damgaard holds a Master of Science in Economics from the University of Aarhus in Denmark and a Master of Business Administration in Educational Management from the University of Leicester, UK.
Hans Lehmann is Vice Principal at EUC Syd, a regional college, offering upper secondary technical education, International Baccalaureate, vocational education and adult training. Hans Lehmann is responsible for the vocational educational programmes, adult training and internationalization and he is CIO for IT Center Syd. He holds a Master’s Degree in English and an MBA from University of Leicester.
One of the main focus areas for development in his job is the application of digital learning, and the consequences for teaching and learning. In addition, Hans promotes training that will prepare learners for the global work force. Hans has extensive experience in international projects and networks, including TA3, EU programmes, UNESCO Sustainable Learning Cities and cooperation with Chinese companies and colleges.
News includes a recap of the June symposium at Ivy Tech Community College, an introduction to new TA3 Director, Burke Murphy of Corporation for a Skilled Workforce, exciting project updates and a new member profile.
Read the full February 14 Connections!
Delegates from the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance (TA3) met together in Belfast, United Kingdom for the network’s annual symposium and explored how to prepare for the future global economy through employer and educator partnerships. Hosted by the Northern Ireland Department for Employment and Learning, delegates and speakers were treated to a fantastic mix of robust learning and cultural exchange, sightseeing opportunities and historical experiences.
An open bus tour of Belfast kicked off the four-day event, followed by a networking reception at Crumlin Road Gaol. The conference featured keynote speakers from the U.S. and Europe, representing a wide variety of government, policy and educational institutions. Afternoon workshops provided further interaction and discussion among group members on the following topics:
• Competencies and Credentials,
• Making Apprenticeships work at SMEs,
• Matching Labor Demand and Supply, and
• Successful Models of College-Business Partnerships.
When the day ended, delegates and speakers were treated to local music and dinner at Stormont, the parliament building in Belfast. Minister of Employment and Learning, Stephan Farry hosted the event and concluded the evening with an informative and entertaining tour of the building, including the assembly and senate chambers
At the annual business meeting the next day, delegates discussed potential international collaboration on project work, exchanged ideas about current and emerging issues for educational leadership, faculty, and students, and prepared for the 2016 symposium, which will be hosted by Lawson State Community College, in Birmingham, Alabama.
On the third day, delegates participated in campus tours, including Norbrook Laboratories in Newry, which has grown to be one of the world’s leading pharmaceutical companies specializing in the development of veterinary and animal health medicines. Delegates were able to meet two apprentices during the tour. Apprenticeships was a central theme at this year’s event and cited as a key component of building the future global workforce.
The TA3 is a membership consortium of more than 30 leading community and technical colleges, and several state system offices, in the U.S. and Europe. The TA3 promotes community colleges’ efforts to support their regional economies, and promotes the value and importance of a global perspective on community college missions. The TA3 is managed by co-secretariats, Corporation for a Skilled Workforce in the U.S. and the Danish Agency for Higher Education in Europe.
More photos here! NI Hosts the TA3 Symposium 2015
PowerPoint presentations here!
Member colleges from the Trans-Atlantic Technology and Training Alliance (TA3) convened at One Washington Circle Hotel to hear from a diverse line-up of national experts representing five federal agencies, a policy think tank, foundations and a regional commission. The TA3 is a consortium of leading community and technical colleges in the U.S. and Europe that promotes learning and innovation across borders, supports regional economies, and promotes the value and importance of a global perspective. Speakers offered perspectives on recent and pending legislation, the impact of political changes on workforce initiatives and funding, and successful programs underway around the country. Community college representatives shared experiences and made valuable connections.
Mary Ann Pacelli and Mark Troppe from NIST – MEP kicked off the morning by discussing their state program initiatives for accelerated industry skill development, as well as the paid internship model, part of Right Skills Now. Celeste Carter, NSF – ATE noted the impact a flat budget has had on the ability to fund students in advanced technology fields, while also aiming to increase representation of veterans and minorities in these fields. Several upcoming funding opportunities were shared with members as well.
The U.S. Department of Labor panel featured Gerri Fiala, Laura Ginsberg and Randall Smith who focused on changes to the public workforce system as a result of the Workforce Investment and Innovation Act (WIOA), the benefits of registered apprenticeships and employment initiatives, and supports in place for outreach and services for veterans.
Over lunch, members and speakers were treated to a video conference call with Michael Gould from the Department for Employment and Learning, in Belfast, Northern Ireland, who will host the TA3 June Symposium! After a brief introduction about the country and culture, Michael shared the draft schedule for the four day event that will take place June 7-10, 2015 and will feature keynote speakers from Europe and the United States, and well as workshop sessions in the afternoons. The theme will be “Building on Success – Bringing Business and Educators Closer Together”.
Maureen Conway and John Colborn from the Aspen Institute discussed the role of community colleges in sector strategies and how non-profits can most effectively work with industry.
Jeff Schwartz shared the unique geography and demographics of the Appalachian Region and how the Appalachian Regional Commission works with employers and supports community colleges in the rapidly changing regional economy.
Doug O’Brien and Alex Jones of the U.S. Department of Agriculture outlined the Rural Development initiative, which has a Community and Economic Development Mission and a $200 billion dollar portfolio. The discussion focused on the USDA’s intent to break the cycle of rural poverty by strategically funding and meeting goals set by state directors.
To close the day, Mark Mitsui from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Career, Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE), encouraged members to watch the State of the Union for forthcoming federal funding opportunities, including the American college promise proposal for free tuition at community colleges.
Members noted that the day gave them an insider look at the emerging policy landscape in the U.S., enabled them to make valuable connections they would not otherwise have access to and provided a forum for peer sharing and learning.