The UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean of the University of Athens, in which MEdIES is happy to be one of its official Associates, co-organised together with 13 other UNESCO Chairs, with success, the  Special Session “UNESCO Chairs for Sustaianble Futures” in the context of the UNESCO World Conference on ESD (17-19 May 2021) on 17 May 2021 (17.30-19.00CET), in the Education for SDGs Market Place. 

In an effort towards advancing the roll out of the #ESDfor2030 framework that is launched in the Conference, the panelists from the UNESCO Chairs reflected on the following questions:

  • What are the key learnings on ESD so far? 
  • What are the pressing issues at the moment?
  • What is our future vision?
  • What does it mean  be a UNESCO Chair? 

Based on their background and work, the panelists divided in the five priority areas of ESDfor2030 (as follows) and shared their 5 minutes reflections, while they replied to questions posed by the participants (72 participants in total!):

Advancing policy: Michael Scoullos, UNESCO Chair on Sustainable Development Management and Education in the Mediterranean, University of Athens & Robert Didham, UNESCO Chair on education for sustainable lifestyles (2015), Inland Norway University of Applied Sciences 

Transforming Learning EnvironmentsDaniel Burgos, UNESCO Chair on E-Learning, Universidad Internacional de La Rioja &   Matthias Barth, UNESCO Chair in Higher Education for Sustainable Development, University of Lueneburg

Building capacities of Educators: Hiroki Fujii,  UNESCO Chair in Research and Education for Sustainable Development, Okayama University &  Benjamin Jörissen, UNESCO Chair in Arts and Culture in Education, Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg

Empowering and Mobilising YouthMirian Vilela, UNESCO Chair on ESD-The Earth Charter Center for Education for Sustainable Development/Costa Rica, & Michel Ricard, Chaire UNESCO en Education, formation et recherche en développement durable, Institut Polytechnique de Bordeaux

Accelerating Local Level Actions:  Hani Sewilam, UNESCO Chair in Hydrological Change and Water Resources Management, Aachen UniversityGermany  &  Annamaria Colao, UNESCO Chair on Health Education and Sustainable Development, University Federico II of Naples

The Session was co-moderated by Charles Hopkins,  UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability  & Leon Tickly, UNESCO Chair on Inclusive and Quality Education for All , and Tanjya Klepacki, UNESCO Chair in Arts and Culture in Education  together with Katrin Holms (UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability) provided technical moderation.

Watch the recorded video of the Session from the youtube link:



Stay tuned with the World ESD Conference at:



UNESCO Chairs zoom_AB