Carlos Alberto Torres to Speak at IYGU Conference

UCLA’s UNESCO Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education to address worldwide understanding of sustaining humanity and the planet.

UCLA Distinguished Professor of Education Carlos Alberto Torres will deliver a closing keynote at a conference of the International Year of Global Understanding on Nov. 21 at Friedrich Schiller University Jena in Thuringia, Germany. The IYGU addresses the ways in an increasingly globalized world will transform nature, build new social and political relationships, and overcome global challenges.

Torres, who is the first UC representative to serve as the UNESCO Chair on Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education, will address the basic premises of IYGU, which is the designation given to 2017 by the International Council for Science, the International Social Science Council, and the International Council for Human Sciences.

“There are at least three reasons that justify global citizenship education as part and parcel of global understanding,” says Torres. “Firstly, it contributes to global peace. Secondly, it can help to interrupt social cultural and economic inequalities and reduce both absolute and relative poverty worldwide. Finally, it can offer practical options and best practices to promote civic minimums and civic virtues that will nurture a more democratic and just society.”

Professor Benno Werlen, chair of Social Geography at Friedrich Schiller University Jena and executive director of the IGU-Initiative for IYGU, will proclaim the 2020s the International Science Decade of Global Understanding. According to Torres, who endorses this proclamation as UNESCO Chair, the SDGU “will promote a better understanding of the global condition of everyone’s everyday life, the new geographical conditio humana, and help to find culturally adapted ways towards global sustainability.” In 2018, IYGU partners and institutions will begin work on a book focused on global understanding and global citizenship.