Ideas exchange on Global Citizenship Education going ahead

Ideas Exchange

The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO is hosting a lively discussion on Friday 30 October at the National Library, Wellington.

The Global Citizenship Education Ideas Exchange brings together a range of voices who will share projects that have had a positive impact on their communities across Aotearoa New Zealand.

By adopting diverse cultural perspectives and approaches Global Citizenship Education is about empowering people to face and resolve local and global challenges, and to become proactive contributors to a more peaceful, inclusive and secure world.

The Ideas Exchange will traverse subjects such as: the arts in dealing with trauma, spirituality, prison education, mental health and innovation – highlighting that GCED takes many forms and locations while reaching people of all ages.

The Ideas Exchange will take place at the National Library in Wellington, at 5.30pm Friday 30 October.


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.

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 (, 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 school, 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:

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