Online focus group discussion on the UNESCO Futures of Education: Learning to Become


The Global University Network for innovation (GUNi) hosted on June 11th at 3pm (CEST) an online focus group discussion on the Futures of Education: Learning to Become, an initiative promoted by UNESCO to reimagine how education can contribute to the global common good and shape the future of humanity and the planet.

The Futures of Education initiative aims to generate an agenda for global debate on public policy and action at multiple levels on the futures of education, learning and knowledge in a world of increasing complexity, uncertainty and precarity. Capitalizing on previous UNESCO reports and looking at the year 2050 and beyond, the final report will be published at the end of next year as a result of an inclusive process of consultation, debate, research and engagement of all types of stakeholders (youth, educators, civil society, governments and business among others).

With the purpose of developing the report, UNESCO has convened an independent high-level International Commission, to work under the leadership of the President of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E. Ms. Zewde Sahle-Work, and composed of thought-leaders from the fields of politics, academia, the arts, science, business and education and from different regions of the world.

As it is one of its collaborating networks, UNESCO proposed to GUNi organizing an specific focus group discussion on Higher Education in order to collect in the report the thoughts and perspectives of about fifteen people with a long and recognized career. The discussion lasted approximately one hour and a half and was focused on three key issues:
1. Our changing world. How do you view the future?
2. Broad Purposes of Education.
3. Implications for Learning.

The event was held upon invitation and was not be live-streamed.

List of participants:

- Chandrika Bahadur - President, SDG Academy 
- Roberta Bassett - Global Lead for Tertiary Education and Senior Education Specialist, World Bank 
- Amanda Crowfoot - Secretary General, European University Association
- Vanessa Debiais-Sainton - Head of the Higher Education Unit, DG EAC European Commission
- Etienne Ehouan Ehile - Secretary General, African Association of Universities 
- María José Figueras - President, Global University Network for Innovation
- Eeva Furman - Director, Environmental Policy Centre at the Finnish environment institute
- Francesc Xavier Grau - Secretary of Universities and Research, Government of Catalonia 
- Margarita de Lezcano-Mújica Núñez - Advisor to the Secretary General of Universities, Government of Spain
- Francisco Marmolejo - Higher education consultant, Qatar Foundation
- Matías Matías - WW Business Development, Education, Advisory Member for HP Foundation, HP Life Program, HP Inc
- José Manuel Pingarrón - Secretary General of Universities, Government of Spain
- Paz Portales -  Programme Specialist Education Section, UNESCO
- Hiro Saito - Assistant Professor of Sociology, Singapore Management University 
- Amr Ezzat Salama - Secretary General, Association of Arab Universities 
- Rajesh Tandon -  Co-Chair in Community-Based Research, UNESCO 
- Daniella Tilbury - Commissioner for Sustainable Development and Future Generations, Her Majesty's Government of Gibraltar 
- Josep M. Vilalta - Director, Global University Network for Innovation



  • UNESCO. United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
  • The Catalan Association of Public Universities (ACUP)

Sponsored by

  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry of Business and Employment. Department of Research and Universities
  • Generalitat de Catalunya. Ministry for Foreign Action and Open Government