Written by Abigail Chifusa, Global Schools Project Officer
On October 12th, 2023, the Global Schools Program (GSP) collaborated with Centro Studi Casnati, a school in Italy taking part in the Global Schools Program, to host a session on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as part of the All4Youth Italy 2023 campaign. The Global Schools Program and Centro Studi Casnati were selected by the Ministry of the Environment and of Energy Security to host this event as part of the nation-wide campaign, which is a joint collaboration between the UNDP Center Rome and the World Bank’s “Connect4Climate” initiative.
The event brought together over 100 young individuals and was moderated by Maria Jovanna, an English and global perspectives teacher. Amongst the audience present were students, teachers, and community members. The event was also live streamed for a wider, international audience.
The panel of experts included Amanda Abrom, Director of the Global Schools Program; Nadia Pagliari, Global Partnerships and Events Project Officer at the Sustainable Development Solutions Network Youth (SDSN Youth); Giovanni Davi, a psychologist, psychotherapist, and trainer; Bruno Malki, the creator of the La Methode Project; and Veronica Polizzi and Isabella Cotta.
Notably, Federica Quartesan, a Global Schools Advocate, high school science teacher, and coordinator of the school civics department, was also in attendance. Her speech revolved around the Casnati for ESD program, of which she is leading, and its significance.
Casnati for ESD, a product of collaboration between Centro Studi Casnati and the Global Schools Program, is committed to promoting sustainable development through transformative education and innovative teaching methods, aligning with UNESCO's frameworks. Since 2021, Centro Studi Casnati has engaged over 800 students and 90 teachers in more than 1,300 hours of ESD teaching, hosting ESD events and conferences with over 1,500 in-person participants and expanding the Casnati for ESD Network to 18 organizations and companies.
Federica highlighted that in today's world, ESD is more crucial than ever, given the pressing challenges of climate change, environmental issues, extreme weather migrations, and pandemic risks. She said the current model of development is unsustainable, and the 2030 Agenda, supported by the European Union (EU), aims to guide a new transformation towards sustainability. The EU, alongside the Italian Ministry of Education, promotes learning for the green transition and sustainable development in schools, making the Global Schools Program a vital player in integrating ESD into school curricula worldwide.
Federica Quartesan emphasized the nature of ESD in the civic education department of Centro Studi Casnati, where students receive at least 33 hours of lessons per year. She said the Casnati program has two primary objectives: to prepare students and teachers to be educators and promoters of sustainable development and to increase awareness of sustainable development among the general audience. This program fosters teaching innovation, collaboration with experts, and the implementation of innovative ESD teaching pedagogies like project-based learning.
Amanda Abrom, Director of the Global Schools Program, expressed her gratitude for being part of the All4Youth Italy initiative. She stressed the paramount importance of ESD in addressing today's complex global challenges. Amanda believes that schools, with their diverse communities, can be catalysts for change, with students and teachers leading the way towards a brighter and sustainable future. She highlighted the role of teachers in promoting ESD and the potential of students to be leaders in sustainability initiatives.
In her speech, Amanda also encouraged students to connect their passions with sustainable development. She shared the remarkable impact students and schools have had through the Global Schools Program, which now spans 100 countries and has reached over 276,000 individuals. She reminded everyone that no idea is too big and encouraged them to reach out for advice on their sustainability journey.
In conclusion, Amanda emphasized that education is the cornerstone of a sustainable, peaceful, and equitable future, and it's a collective responsibility to ensure education is truly transformative. She looked forward to continued partnership with Casnati for ESD in shaping a brighter future.
Next, Nadia Pagliari, Global Partnerships and Events Project Officer for SDSN Youth, discussed generational synergy, dialogue across generations, and tackling complex challenges. Her work in climate diplomacy and international relations made her the perfect advocate for youth involvement in addressing the world's most pressing issues. She also stressed the importance of incorporating sustainability into daily life.
Towards the end of the event, students presented their work in the classroom, and they also had the opportunity to ask questions to the presenters.
Ultimately, this event showcased the significance of education in shaping future global leaders and advocates for sustainability. It was featured on the Ministry’s website and in the local press.
An official recording of the session can be found at this link.