Partnership and Cooperation for the Future: The role of youth, security and education


On July 8th, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens joined the second online session for RAUN scholars 2020.

This year, RAUN is organizing its program around UN 75, combining expert lectures and presentations online with focus group work to engage young academics in discussing some of today’s most complex global challenges. Each session will focus on the importance of partnership and international cooperation in times of crisis.

Today, July 8th, Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler participated in the 2nd session of the program. During her talk “Youth, global citizenship and Education for Justice” she gave the scholars an introduction to global citizenship education and its importance for especially young people in the 21st century. She highlighted that today we see the biggest generation of youth in history, and their empowerment can first and foremost come from formal and informal education, especially education about sustainable development. She urged the scholars to focus on SDG 3 (good health and well-being) and SDG 4 (quality education) as they are most affected by the pandemic and need to be prioritized by the international community. 

“Make yes your mantra. We rise with challenges. Grasp the opportunities of whatever is thrown at you.” Monika Froehler

 

The online event also welcomed Heather Wokusch, a longtime partner of the BKMC, who discussed the future of work and education in a post-COVID19 era. She mentioned the repercussions of the influence that businesses and artificial intelligence have on education. As an expert in the education field, she emphasized that the positive humanitarian impact is missing from the development of 21st-century education and that in these disruptive times, we see an imbalance in our value systems vs. technology.

This is where the relevance of the SDGs comes in: The SDGs are not there as a nice show, but they are a guide!” Heather Wokusch

As a final outcome, participants will be required to submit a policy brief/paper of 10 to 15 pages. The policy brief/paper will include background information about the issue, ideas about the kind of future we want to create and common goals, an evaluation of the progress made towards achieving the goals (including milestones and challenges), and effective measures to support the process. Learn more about the program here.

 

Final Day of Online Training with the University of Bordeaux: Global Citizen Scholars 2020

Last Friday, June 26th, the 2020 Global Citizen Scholars completed their online intensive training course on “Africa and COVID-19: Multidisciplinary Insights” with the University of Bordeaux.

On the final day, the scholars presented the results of their group work. Each group was comprised of 4-5 participants, including both BKMC Global Citizen Scholars and other attendees of the course. The groups were assigned to cultivate a multidisciplinary and international team that was tasked with preparing a presentation as a specific stakeholder. It was designed as a “roll-play” exercise, where the young academics were given the opportunity to pitch their ideas for addressing COVID-19 related challenges in Africa directly to decision-makers.

One team, including BKMC scholar Tafadzwa Sachikonye, presented as an NGO addressing a foundation to ask for funds to address the spread of COVID-19 in a refugee camp in Nigeria.

In another presentation, including BKMC scholar Ruvimbo (Ru) Samanga, the group presented as international experts addressing the Nigerian government, offering recommendations for alternatives to re-confinement.

 

 

Another group, including BKMC scholar Odour Kevin, presented as a group of scientists addressing the WHO African Regional Office and compared four different African country’s responses to COVID-19.

 

Finally, after all the presentations were completed, the scholars had a round of feedback and shared their thanks for the opportunity to take the course.

Moving forward, the BKMC Global Citizen Scholars will now begin implementation of their proposed SDG Micro-Projects which will take place over the next 6-months. Furthermore, they will attend expert meetings and workshops hosted by the BKMC and benefit from one-on-one mentoring.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates as we continue to share information about this year’s scholars!

BKMC Took Stage at the RELX #SDGinspiration Day

On June 24th, RELX hosted the seventh SDG Inspiration Day filled with partnered with  a series of engaging, interactive and stimulating events. The event was curated in collaboration with Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, Global Citizen,  Responsible Media Forum, UN Global Compact India, UN Global Compact UK. The virtual event explored topics including post Covid-19 opportunities for the Goals, innovations towards achieve the Goals and the ‘new normal’  for the #SDGs.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre took stage at three different sessions throughout the day. CEO Monika Froehler joined as a panelist for the session on, “Inclusion and Equality: leave no-one behind to achieve the goals.” The session included inspirational panelists such as Akanksha Sharma, Head of Sustainability and CSR at Sterlite Technologies Ltd., and Sello Hatang, President of the Nelson Mandela Foundation. 

“There are 4 ways to continue our work towards achieving the SDGs. Cooperation, Activism, Technology, and Compassion. The latter is important in that we understand we have more in common than what differentiates us. Only then we will leave no one behind.” CEO Monika Froehler.

Although we are met with many problems in regard to inclusion and the global divide, the speakers conveyed the importance of global citizenship education as a solution to mending these inequalities.

Later during the event, Program Officer Julia Zimmerman hosted a session included in the “Innovation Fair” featuring two of the Centre’s Ban Ki-moon Global Citizen Scholars of 2020. Julia shared two videos of the scholars explaining their work towards the SDGs and their proposed SDG Micro-Projects for the scholarship.

Mr. Odour Kevin is working in Kenya, Nairobi, for sustainable food management and reducing food waste, and Ms. Tafadzwa is working for sustainable wastewater management in Zimbabwe.

During his presentation, Mr. Oduor Kevin said, “The problem of food insecurity is so huge. It’s an elephant. It cannot only be left to governments, it cannot only be left to organizations, we must all do something.”

In her presentation, Ms. Tafadzwa stated that “As much as accessing clean water is important, for the sustainability of water and health, there is a need for equal attention to be paid to wastewater and what happens to water after it has been used. It is the responsibility of both the provider and the recipients of water.”

To learn more about our scholarship program, click here.

Eco-Ambassador Talk: Monika Froehler

On June 22nd, 2020, Ban Ki-moon Centre CEO Monika Froehler was a guest speaker for the Eco-Ambassador Talks. The Eco-Ambassador Talks is an interview series coordinated by The Center for Sustainable Development (CSD) of the Earth Institute, Columbia University. The Interview touched the topic of the importance of education for Climate Change and the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s work within this area. You can watch the full interview below.

Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 is Launched!


On June 22nd, 2020, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens launched the Global Citizen Scholarship Program 2020 in partnership with RELX and Université de Bordeaux. Due to #COVID19​, the scholarship program has been adapted to include an online training, expert workshops, and ​one-on-one mentoring sessions. The scholarship program is catering to 6 outstanding scholars from African countries and ​will last a total of six months.

The first day of the program held an introductory session for all the participants, followed by an overview of the one-week online summer program the Global Citizen Scholars will attend. The intensive ​online training developed by  Université de Bordeaux. will focus on “COVID-19 in #Africa: multidisciplinary insights”.

 

 

In the following weeks, the scholars will receive online one-on-one mentoring throughout the completion of their “#SDG Micro-Project”, attend expert online workshops hosted by the Ban Ki-moon Centre, and finally obtain a Certificate of Achievement from the centre signed by Co-chairs Ban Ki-moon and Heinz Fischer.

Learn more about the Global Citizen Scholarship program here.

Kick-Off Event Hosted with Bildungsdirektion


The year 2020 marks the beginning of an impactful cooperation between the Bildungsdirektion Wien and the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens, working towards the implementation of the SDGs into Viennese Schools.

The jointly organized kick-off event that took place on June 18th, 2020 saw the participation of over 80 teachers and directors from the majority of primary and secondary schools in Vienna.

The event, moderated by CEO Monika Froehler, introduced the participants to the SDGs and created room for discussions about the challenges of and opportunities for integrating the 17 global goals into school curricula. The education director in Vienna, Heinrich Himmer, as well as Ban Ki-moon Centre co-chairman Heinz Fischer both highlighted the importance of education for the SDGs and the crucial role of young people in achieving the 2030 Agenda.

During the presentation, a mentimeter survey collected opinions and thoughts of the participants. This way it became evident that cooperation, teacher workshops and student projects were needed to fully introduce the SDGs to every primary and secondary school in Vienna.

 

In the breakout rooms, the participants were able to discuss their experiences with the SDGs and share ideas about a successful implementation of the agenda into existing curricula. Ideas for the integration of the SDGs included city-wide competitions on the SDGs, workshops for teachers, expert groups in schools, inclusion in textbooks and student project days.

The pedagogical director Ulrike Mangl gave concluding remarks and pointed to the BildungsHub Vienna, which will actively start promoting the SDGs in its facilities as of fall 2020.

An SDG marketplace with materials and experts is envisaged to take place at the BildungsHub at the beginning of the winter semester this year.

As a result of the kick-off event and the inquired SDG materials, the Ban Ki-moon Centre will soon publish a resource page for Austria and abroad.

Stay tuned to learn more about Vienna’s progress in integrating the SDGs into primary and secondary school programs.

Integrating SDGs in Viennese Curriculum

May 27th 2020, marked the start of an influential partnership between the Ban Ki-moon Centre and the Bildungsdirektion fur Wien. (Directorate of Education).

The cooperation between the BKMC and Bildungsdirektion Wien aims to promote and advance the SDGs education in secondary schools in Vienna. Today, Heinz Fischer, the BKMC Co-chair joined Director of Education Mag. Heinrich Himmer at the newly established Bildungshub that serves as a platform to share creative impulses and innovative learning practices where teachers and students discuss new ideas and implement projects. Through the video recorded today Co-chair Heinz Fischer will address teachers and students to express the importance of the SDGs to tackle today’s challenges .

Times of crisis like the COVID19 pandemic highlight the utmost importance of education and knowledge about the interconnectedness of global challenges.The joint mission of education for the Sustainable Development Goals leads to a synergetic pathway between the BKMC and Bildungsdirektion Wien. 

The collaboration will start with an online kick-off event on the topic of “The relevance of the SDGs in Viennese schools” on June 18th . Experts from the education sector will discuss ways of integrating the SDGs into the existing curricula.  

Women’s Empowerment for Latin America

The Ban Ki-moon Centre is excited to soon start a new Women’s Empowerment Program catering to young dedicated women from Latin America. The program will be implemented together with the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) and with the generous support of the State of Qatar.

 The 11th President of the Republic of Austria and BKMC Co-chair Heinz Fischer and His Excellency Sultan bin Salmeen Al Mansouri, the Permanent Representative of the State of Qatar to the UN in Vienna showed their dedication to this innovative program through contributing key remarks on the initiation of the Women’s Empowerment Program (WEP) for Latin America during an online meeting on 13 May 2020.

UNODC was represented by John Brandolino, Director of the Division for Treaty Affairs and Marco Teixeira, Senior Programme Officer of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration and was moderated by Lulua Assad.

 “We are encouraged to see us joining forces for this tailor-made Women Empowerment Program.  Especially in challenging times like these, it becomes evident how necessary it is to continue our work to strengthen multilateralism, justice, rule of law and build partnerships that contribute to achieving the SDGs.”, emphasized Heinz Fischer Co-chair of the Ban Ki-moon Centre.

 

During the virtual exchange, the Ban Ki-moon Centre for Global Citizens CEO Monika Froehler presented some of the details of our future collaboration which will be part of the Education for Justice (E4J) initiative, a component of the Global Programme for the Implementation of the Doha Declaration. The Program will focus on training and equipping 20 young, dedicated women from Latin American countries with the skill-set to act as SDG leaders within their fields of work. While all of the 17 SDGs provide the framework for the programme, its focus will be on SDGs 4,5,16 and 17. It will start with a period of online learning, followed by 2-week in-person training in Vienna and will conclude with the implementation of SGD Micro-projects by the participants in their local contexts.

 The WEP for Latin America will be the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s first initiative for that region. Taking the first step in this strategic partnership with UNODC, we are looking forward to the opportunity to transform education policy into action with the distinguished support of the State of Qatar.

 Please stay tuned for more information on the program.

The Ban Ki-moon Centre partcipated in the GenZ Solvers Interactive

The Ban Ki-moon Centre partcipated in the GenZ Solvers Interactive initiative.

 

The “Gen-Z Solvers Interactive” organized by Worldview Education facilitates inspiring and informative dialogues for Generation Z times of Covid and in a post COVID era. By bringing together stakeholders from academiaindustrycivil societygovernments the dialogues will focus on 21st-century issues.

As the Ban Ki-moon Centre for global citizens we joined the conversations with two sessions.

 

The first live webinar that happened on April 29th was on the topic of gender equality and diversity, our COO Katrin Harvey, Sarena Bahad founder of WomenInTech and Gender Consultant Apurva Vurity joined as panelists. The speakers discussed the role of women throughout history and how we can take action to be a change-makers. You can watch the full session right here.

 

 

 

 

 

The second live webinar which took place on April 30th was curated and hosted by the Ban Ki-moon Centre. The interactive panel using Mentimeter to engage the GenZ solvers into the discussion was on global citizenship in times of pandemic. Our CEO Monika Froehler, Communications Officer Katre Olmez and Intern Jeehae Choi talked about the global citizenship mindset, the influence of the pandemic on our lives and the role culture plays when their is a global crisis. The participants were able to ask live questions. You can watch the session right here.

You can find out more about Worldview Education here.

© IPHRD-Africa

THE CRUCIAL ROLE OF WOMEN PEACEBUILDERS DURING COVID-19

© IPHRD-Africa
Image: The 2nd International Young Women Mediation Forum organized by International Center for Peace, Human Rights and Development (IPHRD-Africa) and the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ).

What do the Democratic Republic of Congo, Myanmar, Syria and Ukraine have in common?

Like almost all other countries in the world, they’ve been hit by Covid-19. They are also states experiencing deadly conflicts, lack of good governance and food insecurities. However, their crucial common denominator is a group of extraordinary women peacebuilders defending the rights of marginalized and vulnerable communities most at risk during the pandemic.

On April 24th, the Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security gave some of these women a platform to raise awareness about the challenges they are facing on the ground, and to also highlight the opportunities for systemic change presented by the crisis. The webinar featured four extraordinary women peacebuilders, whose profiles and main messages we would like to share.

Two members of the Ban Ki-moon Centre team joined the webinar to learn more about local peacebuilding efforts and to discover ways in which the organization could support grassroots activities. One of the four pillars of the Ban Ki-moon Centre’s work is Mediation. Under this pillar, the Centre promotes the inclusion of women and youth in peace processes, acknowledging their vital role in decision-making and in the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Women peacebuilders prove to be the leaders for the most vulnerable and marginalized communities, managing not only crisis settings but fighting for a sustainable, equal and inclusive post-conflict society. Access to health infrastructure and digital technology, preservation of human rights, as well as economic empowerment and the inclusion of women in decision-making must be on top of every government’s agenda. Forgetting about half of the population means looking at only half of the solutions. COVID-19 could be a chance to rethink current political structures and create strong and resilient societies. Let’s grab this opportunity!

If you want to support or engage in peacebuilding efforts, explore the grassroots organizations linked below and read about the amazing women right here:

 

Women Peace Network, Myanmar                                                  Center for Civil Society and Democracy, Syria

 

ANZAFRIKA, Democratic Republic of Congo                                 Theatre for Dialogue, Ukraine

 

Watch the webinar in full here: