30th anniversary of the UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs Programme “Transforming knowledge for just and sustainable futures”
On the 3rd and 4th of November, the Global University Network for Innovation (GUNi) came together with other UNITWIN networks and UNESCO Chairs to celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Programme in UNESCO Headquarters in Paris
The Programme, gathering 850 university chairs and UNITWIN networks from over 110 countries, has been truly celebrated as a driving force for knowledge sharing and collaborative work, inspiration for change, hope, and imagination for the future. This Programme is a unique pool of excellence and innovation for intellectual and scientific cooperation at the national, regional, and global levels.
In this sense, Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director-General for Education in UNESCO, exposed that all UNITWIN networks and chairs play a key strategic role in bridging knowledge, research, education, and development policies. Moreover, the network of chairs extends multilateralism and transdisciplinarity all over the world, which is the essence of UNESCO.
Ecology and the contribution of knowledge and higher education to sustainability was a key focus of the Conference, along with the need to rethink thinking. During the opening keynote speech, Professor Mbembe, philosopher, political scientist and public intellectual, declared that contemporary epistemology is undergoing a transformation. The centre is being resituated with other ways of inhabiting the earth and repairing it, with other ways of thinking about humanity and decolonial and gender perspectives being included.
The Conference was concluded with the enthusiasm of having strengthened inter-institutional connections, interdisciplinary dialogue, and mobilisation to face the challenges of higher education by 2030. GUNi, as a UNITWIN network, continues envisioning and pursuing transformative action for higher education and its institutions, creating and sharing knowledge at the global scale.
All UNESCO Chairs and UNITWIN networks were called to take a step deeper so to prepare the ground for change in our HEIs and countries. Transformation of Higher Education for just and sustainable futures is moving forward!