On 6-7 November, SOLIDAR Foundation joined 200 national, European and global civil society actors, government representatives, academics, politicians and education practitioners at the ENVISION 4.7 Conference in Helsinki to discuss a joint roadmap on achieving SDG Target 4.7. This specific target relates to ensuring that by 2030 all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, ensuring that all learners are educated in gender equality, human rights, a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship, and to appreciate cultural diversity.
ENVISION 4.7 was organised under the auspices of Bridge 47, a global network created with the aim of bringing people together to combat global injustice and poverty through Global Citizenship Education. Supported by EU Development education and awareness raising (DEAR) funding, the network consortium contains two global networks, CIVICUS and the International Council for Adult Education, among its 15 European and global organisations members.
The tremendous work done at the Conference to elaborate the Roadmap for achieving SDG Target 4.7 was preceded by inspiring words from the Finnish Minister of Education Li Andersson and the Gapminder founder, Olof Gränström. Li Andersson highlighted how the current global challenges can no longer be addressed only by focusing on formal education. Education goes beyond schools, it is lifelong and life-wide and must draw from non-formal and informal sources as well. SOLIDAR Foundation is pleased to see that the Finnish Council Presidency recognises the value of lifelong learning and of informal and non-formal education in a context where societal developments require constant adaptation from all citizens. However, as Olof Gränström stressed, no challenge can be addressed without ensuring that the right evidence to illustrate the problem is in place. Evidence-based policymaking is needed to combat our preconceptions and to fight off the rise of nationalism, xenophobia and far-right extremism which feed on the stoking of people’s fears, focusing on and exaggerating the dramatic, while disregarding the facts.
With this in mind, participants have designed a roadmap to be used for ensuring that, come 2030, SDG 4.7 can become a reality. Participants at the Conference sent an unequivocally clear message that a pan-European strategy for achieving this goal is needed while education must be reconceptualised in a transformative way that is learner-centred, participatory, encourages reflection and promotes a lifelong and life-wide learning perspective, offering equal weight to the formal, non-formal and informal sectors.
SOLIDAR Foundation relished the opportunity to design a vision for this highly crucial and timely SDG target, and commits to integrating the recommendations in its work. The Roadmap can be found in the Downloads section on this page.