The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is holding a free ideas exchange on Global Citizenship Education (GCED) at the National Library in Wellington on 20 August from 5:30 to 7:30pm. It will also be livestreamed through our Facebook page.
GCED is about empowering people to face and resolve local and global challenges, and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure world. View the programme here:
The event will bring together a range of voices who will share their experiences and projects from across Aotearoa New Zealand that have had an impact on their communities; by adopting diverse cultural perspectives and approaches, these projects support emotional resilience and wellbeing.
Hon Jenny Salesa, Minister responsible for the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, will give an opening address. Speakers will traverse subjects such as arts in dealing with trauma, personal transformation, spirituality, prison education, mental health and innovation, highlighting that GCED takes many forms in a variety of settings and reaches people of all ages.
RSVP via UNESCO.NZ@education.govt.nz
Host: Hon Jenny Salesa – Member of Parliament
Hon Jenny Salesa is New Zealand’s first Tongan born, Tongan speaking Member of Parliament and the first Tongan born Cabinet Minister of the Crown. In 2014 she was elected in as the Member of Parliament for Manukau East and was subsequently re-elected in 2017.
Following her re-election, Jenny was sworn into Cabinet as a Minister of the Crown with portfolio responsibilities for Building and Construction and Ethnic Communities, and with Associate responsibilities for Education, Health, Housing and Urban Development. She is also the Minister Responsible for Relations with UNESCO.
Chair: Dr Carol Mutch – Education Commissioner, New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO
Carol is a Professor in Critical Studies in Education at the University of Auckland. She has a strong education research perspective that is closely aligned to UNESCO’s work in nations experiencing rapid change, conflict and trauma. Carol has lived and worked overseas as a teacher in Canada and the UK, a visiting professor in Japan (Nagoya & Waseda) and the UK (LSE), and taught at the National University of Samoa. Her teaching and research interests are in research methods, education policy, curriculum development and social education.
Shruthi Vijayakumar – Enabler & Innovator at Emerge Institute
Shruthi’s career began working as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group advising large business and government clients in an effort to better understand how business works and the potential it has in improving our environment and the lives of people. She realised how much the mindsets and beliefs of people shaped their actions and spent the next leg of her career in India, working with Better World Ed, an education start-up bringing empathy, creativity and understanding of global issues into classrooms. She then returned to New Zealand, trained as a coach and ran a social entrepreneurship accelerator, Live the Dream, helping young entrepreneurs develop themselves and their business ideas.
Shruthi spent two years living in Oxford where she completed her MBA on full scholarship and studied systems thinking, new economic models and the role of business in impacting society and the environment. She worked for the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship running leadership development and skill building programmes for Oxford University’s top students. Alongside this role, she has had extensive facilitation and coaching experience – teaching on corporate executive education programmes, an MBA Elective at INSEAD University, running trainings on the Doughnut Economics model, and coaching on the world’s largest Climate Innovation Summer School, run by the European Union.
Vinny Lohan – Technologist & Designer at Emerge Institute
Vinny is a nomad at heart who moved to New Zealand in 2002 and later went on to study engineering at The University of Auckland. During his time at university his interest was engaged in how technology can assist in making an impact in the lives of people who need it the most instead of assisting companies who have lost track of their moral responsibility to society and are just creating technology that is hurting this planet. Vinny and his team worked on enabling access to internet style connectivity to millions of low cost computers in rural areas using AM/FM radio based connectivity. It was an internationally acclaimed project that concretised his view that we already have enough technical capability to solve many global problems, the work ahead is to get this technology in the hands of the people that need it.
In his desire to understand the need of the people and to build technology solutions for the bottom of the pyramid, he moved to India in 2012. He proceeded to co-found a technology and design studio which built products across many sectors including education, music, health care / mental health and support organisations working in the social sector including UNESCO and the Gates Foundation. For his work in India he was named 1 of 3 emerging social entrepreneurs in the world under 30 by General Electric.
Peter O’Connor – Professor at University of Auckland
Peter is a world leader in applied theatre research, focusing on the role and place of the arts for social transformation. For over twenty years he has led applied research in marginalised and disadvantaged spaces including prisons, refugee centres, homeless centres and in disaster zones and on sensitive issues including family violence, child abuse and mental health stigma.
As Director of the Centre for Arts and Social Transformation at the University of Auckland, Peter leads international research projects on establishing measures of creative environments in schools; award-winning projects with the homeless in Auckland and Los Angeles; mental health education in Primary Schools; and arts education during and post-disaster. The Centre provides a national clearing house for research on arts and wellbeing. He led the development of Te Rito Toi (www.teritotoi.org), with support from the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO. It aims to assist teachers in using the arts and wellbeing as a focus for return to classrooms during COVID19. 40,000 teachers accessed and used the site, downloading over 250,000 pages.
Josh Villanueva – Year 13 student at St Johns College, Hastings
Josh is in his final year of high school and was appointed College Captain at the beginning of 2020. He was also elected on to the College Board of Trustees in 2019. Through school he has been able to follow his passion of service by participating in many extra-curricular activities through groups such as Young Vinnies, a branch of the charity society of St Vincent De Paul and the Catholic Character Committee, overseeing the special character aspect of the school.
As part of the social enterprise programme at the College Josh is involved in the unique internship with Whatever It Takes (WIT), a support organisation for mental health and those most vulnerable within the community. He finds this work deeply rewarding and at times heart breaking.
Josh is in awe of the social enterprise model and special projects delivered at St John’s College. He is proud of what a medium size college can achieve and do so sustainably each year. Josh has a passion for education and the difference it can make. He seeks to change the world for the better – starting locally, then nationally, and then provide a template for what is possible globally.
He is the captain of the school’s badminton team and has been a part of the Pasifika group.
Fred Devereux – Year 13 student at St Johns College, Hastings
Fred was born and raised in Hawke’s Bay. He was appointed Special Character Leader for the school at the beginning of 2020. He has a strong interest in commerce and ethical decision making by both corporates and government. Social Enterprise is an area he relishes both learning about and participating in, especially having regard to community wellbeing and protecting the environment.
Fred chairs the Young Vinnies group. Most mornings in the winter he is on site at 7am, preparing breakfast for other students who are hungry when they arrive for the day. He also participates with Whatever It Takes (WIT) as an intern, supporting those in the community who are homeless and suffering from addiction.
Fred wants to make a real time difference in the local community; he lives by the College motto: In Word and Deed. He is CEO of PEAR, a social enterprise project for this year. During the Covid-19 lockdown, his team created a cost-efficient ventilator to fight the human effects of the virus. This ventilator generated considerable media interest both nationally and locally. Now back at College, Fred and his team are constructing a sustainably powered industrial light for use in rural communities – to keep workers and the community safe. Fred has put together a local commercial consortium of robotic and engineering firms to work towards this goal.
Fred enjoys discussing the challenges faced by his local community and how to make a difference about modern world issues, such as climate change. He plays football, futsal, basketball and cricket and is very passionate about sport and his mates.
St John’s College Hastings is the only Catholic Boys secondary school in the Hawke’s Bay region. The College is a low decile, with a roll of 390, and has significant cultural diversity amongst its students. The special character of the College is reflected through programmes such as Young Vinnies, the social enterprise model and special project work.
Emerge Institute offer immersive, indigenous inspired nature-based experiences to transform individuals and teams to effectively address our world’s greatest challenges. Experiences are based on the belief that our ability to tackle complex challenges and affect change is directly linked to our own inner state of being – our awareness, resilience, adaptability and healing.
Te Rito Toi, supported by a grant from the New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, is an art-based online resource to support primary school teachers positively transition children back into school: www.teritotoi.org