Meeting of the European RCEs, London 22nd-23rd June 2016: Report of key points
A total of 45 people attended the meeting, with representatives from 17 RCEs. A high level of participation and engagement resulted in the following key points:
The issue of forced migration was important for the agenda. Alia Alzougbi of HEC Global Learning Centre (London RCE partner) shared some of the work they have been doing in schools with Syrian refugees in Jordan and British school children. A large number of RCEs are working on this issue and shared their expertise and ideas for future development. We identified potential here for RCE collaborations and these will be explored in the following months. European RCEs also discussed at length a draft position paper (prepared by Pinar Guner) on refugees and forced migration. Pinar has kindly agreed to work on a second draft which will be circulated in due course after taking account of comments at the meeting. The meeting proposed that this could be presented at the global conference for further discussion, agreement and possibly alongside a draft declaration on this subject.
RCEs – SDGs and GAP
Discussion was held on the work of RCEs in relation to the SDGs and the GAP. An excellent set of RCE posters were produced and shared. Ros Wade offered to collate poster PDFs and photos of posters to circulate round participants and share with RCE Service Centre. The meeting recommended that the RCE Global conference also include a poster conference which could lead into discussion on the link between education work of RCEs and SDGs etc
The Global RCE conference 2016
Concern was expressed about the difficulty for most RCEs of attending this due to cost (out of the reach of most RCEs) and also due to our commitment to sustainability and the need to avoid adding to the world’s greenhouse gases. At the same time RCEs would like to be part of discussions and to be involved. The feeling was also that the global conference cannot speak for the majority of European RCEs if they cannot contribute or be present in some way.
There was a strong recommendation to look into the possibility of (a) making more use of virtual conferences and discussions via skype of video conference (b) setting up on line discussions prior to the conference which would allow wider contributions
ESD skills and TVET conference
A workshop run by Glenn Strachan and Betsy King was held on skills for ESD which involved discussions and sharing of ideas and resources. A useful document produced by WWF Scotland was circulated around RCE participants.
A number of RCEs were interested in the proposal for a TVET conference and most thought it a positive idea. Jos Hermans asked for expressions of interest in hosting this proposed conference with UNESCO – colleagues are requested to let him or the RCE Service Centre know if they are interested.
Transition Town movement
Hilary Jennings of the UK Transition Town movement spoke of their work and discussed the potential for collaboration and synergy. This is a growing local and global movement which shares ESD values and objectives, linking the local with the regional. Its loose and flexible structures very much reflect and mirror those of the RCE movement. It is hoped that possible future collaborations may develop as a result of these discussions.
Jaya Gajparia reported back from her visit to UNESCO to see Bernard Coombes from the ESD team. The discussion focussed mainly on issues of communication and the need for mutual support. It was felt that communication should be two way and that RCEs would appreciate more communication from UNESCO about key events and issues. Ros Wade agreed to follow this up.
UNESCO would like in particular for RCEs to provide useful case studies with identifiable impact for UNESCO to use with briefing of ministers etc. They would also like to widen their expert list and to include RCE members where appropriate. Ros Wade agreed to follow this up and to ask for more detail on case study requirements as RCE Service Centre has already made available a large number of these. RW and Detlev Lindau Bank agreed to draft some criteria and circulate a request to all European RCEs to identify areas of specialisation for the purpose of making this available to UNESCO.
Documents & Posters from the meeting
RCE Nuremberg / Buettner (Power Point)