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Global Schools: 2020 A Year in Review

During a year where the COVID pandemic ravaged the global educational sector, Global Schools, a program of the SDSN, continued in its mission to support schools and educators in shaping a sustainable world.


March 2020 marked the graduation of the first cohort of Global Schools Advocates. The Advocates completed in-person presentations at over 2,000+ schools and reached out to 7,000+ schools. During the entire time that the Advocates program ran, 678 schools pledged to integrate ESD and the SDGs in their school communities. In 2020 overall, 344 schools pledged to integrate ESD and the SDGs in their school communities. Global Schools is still continuing to improve and build its Advocacy programs and carry out work on the grassroots level with schools, teachers, and students.

One of the major accomplishments was scoping and building a new advocacy program model for teachers. The second cohort of Global Schools Advocates will be primarily focused on teachers and educators. Applications for the new Global Schools Teacher Advocates program were launched in November 2020, and the team received just under 800 applications from teachers and educators in 60+ countries. These new Advocates will start their work in school communities in 2021.

Finally, in December 2020, Global Schools founded and launched Mission 4.7 alongside UNESCO, the Ban Ki-moon Center, and the Columbia Center for Sustainable Development. This high-level task force is co-chaired by Tan Sri Dr. Jeffrey Cheah, Founder & Chairman, Sunway Group; Hon. Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education, UNESCO; Professor Jeffrey Sachs, President, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN); Monsignor Marcelo Sánchez Sorondo, Chancellor, Pontifical Academy of Sciences and Pontifical Academy of Social Sciences, representing His Holiness Pope Francis. It brings together 17 members of the high-level advisory group and 11 members of the Education task force to advocate for the integration of SDG 4.7 in all types of education and learning. The Mission 4.7 launch event had 2,143 live and recorded views and 500 participants.