Global Citizen Education for Sustainable Development
25-30 July 2015, Vitsa, Epirus
The second summer six days cosmopolitan peripatetic seminar, which took place at the land beyond in Vitsa, Epiros, Greece (National Park of Northern Pindos), 25-30.7.2015, building on the experience and outcome of the founding GLAP seminar (2-7.8.2014), on "Cosmopolitan consciousness and civic action in a globalized world", had the goal: to advance global citizen education through school curricula and civic action around the world with a view to promoting sustainable development.
Despite the coincidence with unfavorable political circumstances in Greece, a group of 20 scholars, professionals, from diverse nationalities, religions, specialization and age, from the civil society and think tanks, the media, international organizations, civil society, Media, international institutions and Universities, Professors and students, met during almost a week in this unique crossroad of thought, nature, spirit and inspiration.
This year’s seminar was inspired by the objectives of the European Year for Development, which dedicated the month of July 2015 to children and youth. It also draws on UNESCO’s Global Citizen Education initiative and the UN’s efforts to define universal Sustainable Development Goals for the period 2015-2030. Through this seminar we aspired to sensitize and draw the attention of young people towards the ideal of sustainable development, as it concerns both covering the needs of the developing world, as well as promoting a new lifestyle in the developed world.
In the resolution that we have adopted using collaborative tools, we stated that, a new sustainability mindset should inspire our thinking and action, individually and collectively, redefining the good life in a way that can be sustained over generations, and introducing happiness and satisfaction beyond consumption and short-term rewards, that emotional and spiritual intelligence are sorely needed for a holistic worldview in our rationality- and profit-oriented world, that we need to replace the human-centered concept of development, which involves an ever-increasing demand for resources, with co-evolution, which prioritizes a harmonious co-existence between human beings and ecosystems and that at the core of our thinking and civic education, a culture of rights with responsibilities needs to take root, replacing current approaches that are based primarily on rights, focus on taking rather than sharing.
These are elements of a new narrative on social justice, liberty, earth-centered development and, ultimately, well-being in peace that we are determined to promote, though our life and work, in practice, every day. We call on all people of good faith, who share our concerns, to join us in this effort, through the initiative of The Land Beyond and FOGGS, “Global Land Paths”, in order to create a critical mass in favor of the transition towards a compassionate civilization, towards a new era of responsible global citizenship and sustainability for humanity and Mother Earth.