Global Schools was launched in October 2018 at the IB World Conference in Vienna, Austria. Global Schools is an initiative of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), a global research and policy network launched by the UN Secretary-General to support the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Climate Agreement. Global Schools' mission is to create a world where every primary and secondary school student is equipped with the knowledge, values, and skills necessary for effectively responding to the greatest challenges of this century and shaping a sustainable and prosperous world. The Global Schools Program has been working internationally to support schools and educators with evidence-informed training and localized classroom resources in order to integrate sustainable development into school curricula, operations, and activities.
Total Reach to Date
What we do
Global Schools (GS) is a data-driven and evidence-based international education program that equips teachers with the knowledge, tools, and resources to promote ESD within their schools and classrooms. To do this, GS has developed a teacher training methodology called the Global Schools Advocates Program. This program equips teachers with training, a toolkit, and resources to transform pedagogy and promote sustainable development literacy in classrooms. GS complements this initiative with its research programs and high-level policy outreach.
Why it Matters
Research shows that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and its core pedagogical features, can be highly effective tools for enhancing educational outcomes, including increased academic skills and student attendance.
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the benefits of ESD, it is not integrated into all classrooms globally. This is because policies have not been supported by increased resources to build teacher capacity and expertise on new pedagogical approaches
Research shows ESD fosters socio-emotional skills by engaging students in critical thinking, collaboration, and problem-solving. ESD contributes to improved mental health, improved values toward minority groups, and improved conflict-resolution skills.
ESD gives students the knowledge and skills to navigate the challenges of the 21st century, including social, environmental, and economic disparities. ESD is also linked to more civic engagement and increased positive environmental behaviors.
Mission 4.7 brings together leaders from government, academia, civil society, and business to accelerate the implementation of Education for Sustainable Development around the world. Mission 4.7 draws upon UNESCO’s global leadership, as well as on its responsibility for the monitoring of SDG Target 4.7. Global Schools is a proud co-founder and partner of Mission 4.7. Given the importance of SDG Target 4.7 to children and young people, Mission 4.7 and the Education Technical Working Group will act as a high-level advisory board for the work of Global Schools.
Audrey Azoulay, Director-General of UNESCO, and Ban Ki-moon, the 8th UN Secretary-General, will serve as co-patrons of Mission 4.7. The initiative will be co-chaired by Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President of the UN Sustainable Development Solutions Network; Tan Sri Jeffrey Cheah, Chairman of the Sunway Group; Ms. Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General for Education; and Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor of the Pontifical Academies of Sciences and Social Sciences, representing Pope Francis.