UNESCO IITE at the Global Education Summit 2019

The UNESCO Institute for Information Technologies in Education (UNESCO IITE) participated in the Global Education Summit 2019 (GES 2019), which was held in Beijing, China on 25-26 November 2019. The event was jointly organized by the leading Chinese and international education, science and technology organizations such as the China Development Research Foundation, Beijing Normal University, the Internet-based technology and cultural enterprise “Tencent”, the modern merchant bank “Global Silicon Valley”, the New Oriental Education and Technology Group and TAL Education Group with participation of UNESCO.

This year the Global Education Summit served as a unique platform for dialogue and collaboration towards finding solutions for the most pressing education issues of today and the future. Themed “Education for All”, GES 2019 aimed to explore a shared future highlighting global education innovation, exchange and collaboration. The event brought together over 800 policy experts, representatives from universities, academics, CEOs of leading education, science and technology companies, as well as investors and the media from all over the world.

During GES 2019, the participants discussed the current state of education and explored how to advance education for the future, focusing on education and technological innovation, education supply and demand in schools and society, and the sustainable development of global education. The programme of GES 2019 covered four core themes:

  • Exploring our Shared Future
  • Education and Technology
  • Schools and Society
  • Sustainable Development for Global Education

The representatives of UNESCO Headquarters contributed to the event as keynote speakers – Mr. Jordan Naidoo, Director of the Division for Education 2030 Support and Coordination, delivered a presentation “SDG Education 2030: Across Countries and Classrooms Around the World” at a plenary session, and Mr. Fengchun Miao, Chief of the Unit for ICT in Education, participated in a host roundtable “Exploring our Shared Future”.

Mr. Tigran Yepoyan, Chief of the Unit of ICT in Health Education at UNESCO IITE contributed to GES 2019 as a keynote speaker at a plenary session. In his presentation “Technology Promoting Global Health Education”, he made a strong case for health and sexuality education, which empowers young people to avoid risky behaviour, make informed and responsible decisions, develop respectful social and personal relationships and realize their health, well-being and dignity. Mr. Yepoyan provided an overview of different digital solutions for formal and non-formal education coming from all parts of the world, elaborated on their advantages and limitations, stressed the importance of using technology ethically to promote human rights and gender equality. In his concluding remarks he called for strengthening partnerships among young people, education professionals, content and software developers and IT industry to create innovative and engaging digital solutions for comprehensive health and sexuality education and making them available and accessible to all children and young people with no one left behind.

At the Global Education Summit 2019, UNESCO IITE organized a sub-forum  “Technology Transforms Future Learning and Life” moderated by Ms. Svetlana Knyazeva, Chief of the Unit of Digital Pedagogy and Learning Materials at UNESCO IITE. The sub-forum was held within the UNESCO Global Initiative “Futures of Education: Learning to Become”, launched during the high-level event at the United Nations General Assembly in New York on 25 September 2019 in order to rethink education and shape the future.

During the sub-forum, Mr. Steven Duggan, Governing Board Member of UNESCO IITE, spoke about the next digital divide; Mr. Huang Ronghuai, Director of the National Engineering Laboratory for Cyberlearning and Intelligent Technology, elaborated on the technology driven transformation of education by 2050; Ms. Amany Atef, Director of Innovation and Future of Smart Learning of Hamdan Bin Mohamed Smart University reflected on emerging technologies and the future of education; and Mr. Ibrahim Kushchu, CEO of TheNextMinds talked about Artificial Intelligence from the perspective of a non-technical training for managers.

The sub-forum participants shared their ideas about the vision of the future in general up to 2050 and beyond, the broad purposes of education and implications for learning. This discussion was also held as part of the initial consultations within the UNESCO Global Initiative, intended to catalyze a global debate on how knowledge, education and learning need to be reimagined in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty, and precarity.

More information about the Global Education Summit 2019 is available at the official website.