Reasons to be Cheerful – 2021

Although I am writing this in apparently the most depressive week of the year, I find myself filled with hope. Why? I believe we are in a moment of change that is getting people to think about what they value, who they want to be with and what they would like the future to look like. Views on education are very much part of that.

Those of us who have been working on how education could look ,and be supported for this sustainable future, must be pleased that we are in a ‘Here’s one I developed earlier’ with effective programmes, resources, networks and training. Not only do we have these but we probably have the evidence too. And I don’t mean evidence of outputs – numbers reached, downloads achieved, financial targets reached. I mean outcomes like: feeling empowered; becoming a change agent; understanding how to influence; critically thinking about society’s drivers; exploring different mind sets; world views or even identifying myths. Much harder to measure but of much more use as they are about how education can lead to change.

If you have some interesting stories or evidence of outcomes please do let me know for reasons I am outlining below! Please email me at ann.finlayson@se-ed.org.uk

The other reason I am being cheerful is the establishment of a massive coalition called Our Shared World which had a soft launch in September at the TEESNet conference.

Our Shared World is a coalition of organisations interested in SDG 4.7 – that is what we might call collectively those interested in educating for a sustainable world – for the environment and for social justice. It is currently about 100 organisations and individuals. Some people call this ESD and Global Citizenship. But you might have a different name for what you do. It could be Outdoor Learning, Wellbeing, Sustainable Food, Climate Change Education, Energy Literacy, Sustainable travel, Sustainable Agriculture, Consumption and Production, Green Economics, Resources and Waste, Water Education. These are the adjectival educations that I feel we are missing currently, and we could really do with your voice.

Who is we? Our Shared World was set up by Oxfam as a result of the demise of Think Global, and to see what the need was. We have had a long consultation and forming stage led by Oxfam and WWF-UK who co-chaired it. Groups include Peace Education, ESD, Global Citizenship Ed., Cultural Education, Rights Education and a Policy group which includes unions.

We have identified the objectives to reach our goal of having:

SDG 4.7 mandated , valued and supported.

Our first Objective was to look at the Purpose of Education. Sound familiar? Read more here: https://se-ed.co.uk/about-seed/projects/seed-campaign-include-sustainability-education-act/

SEEd has been Co-Chairing the ESD Group with RSPB and is now Co-Chair with Oxfam of the whole OSW coalition. We will work on evidence, policy and creating a grassroots social movement. If you are interested and would like to support this by adding more environmental organisations please email me at ann.finlayson@se-ed.org.uk

More later…!