A letter from the Global President
With the growing importance of global governance (think climate, environment, financial crisis, diseases, human rights, inequality, information technology, nuclear proliferation etc.) it becomes increasingly important to develop educational approaches that respond to the global challenges, both at the global level AND at the local level simultaneously with the focus on national and local issues that education has always had as it relates to the impact. The development of a locally rooted educational approach to global issues is not simple or straightforward. Initially many people resist relating to global issues and institutions. Such global approaches – with good reason – are often seen as disruptive of local community and detrimental to locally rooted democratic educational ventures.
We experience the impact of seven crises each threatening societies and life as we know it. The financial crisis, the climate crisis, the resource crisis, the poverty crisis, the food crisis, the health crisis and the security crisis together form the mega-crisis that questions the future of human civilization. We need to understand the interconnectedness of these seven crises – and we need to learn how to enable the democratic participation of all to be able to deal with the challenges. The issue of democracy is becoming a question of life and death. We need to develop education as a tool to enable all human beings – we need to make it possible to every single human being to relate to the issues that determine the conditions of his or her life at all levels from local to global. Education and adult education are indispensable tools to do this.
The work AWE has done in the last years developing and experimenting with the IAED edu-game on education and globalization is an attempt to develop a bridge between locally rooted education and community development and global issues in a way that contributes to a positive development of local community, to local democracy development AND to more legitimate and democratic global institutions.
So AWE has special resources, opportunities and responsibility. Some of the resources are the network of excellent practitioners and organizations in many parts of the world, the connection and access to UN and UNESCO, Journal of World Education and the long time of existence of AWE – and the positive reputation of the organization. The opportunities and responsibility come from the unique position AWE has as one of the very few global networks in education and from the access to the UN system, where global issues are becoming extremely important.
Noël Bonam ~ Maine, USA