UNESCO call for a dialogue on the purpose of education and the organization of learning in a world of increasing complexity


The Report ‘Rethinking Education: Towards a global common good?’ aims to promote public policy debate on education and allocate learning within global challenges. This document attempts to strengthen the link between leaning and global common goods. 

How can education respond to the challenges of achieving economic, social and environmental sustainability? How can a plurality of worldviews be reconciled through a humanistic approach to education? These are some of the main questions raised at 'Rethinking Education: Towards a global common good?’ published by UNESCO in order to reflect about the future of educational policies and learning.

This report, released in May at the World Education Forum, is based on a humanistic vision of education and development. Therefore aims to promote a debate among stakeholders in order to engage and reaffirm education and knowledge as global common goods and thus, reconcile the purpose and organization of education as a collective societal endeavor in a complex world.

In words of the Director-General of UNESCO, Irina Bokova, education “is key to the global integrated framework of sustainable development goals. Education is at the heart of our efforts both to adapt to change and to transform the world within which we live”

As an attempt to strengthen the link between leaning and global common goods, the report also raises a range of matters which to enhance the international debate. The publication reflects four main different aspects of education and how they are affected by global issues: the first item, sustainable development, is displayed as a central concern exploring trends and contradictions in an existing process of social transformation; the second part is based in a need for an integrated approach to education based on renewed ethical and moral foundations; the third item analyses issues linked to educational policy-making in a complex world; the last part focuses on the need to recontextualize foundational principles for the governance of education, particularly the right to education and the principle of education as a public good.

Rethinking Education enhances the vision provided by the two landmark UNESCO publications: Learning to Be: The world of education today and tomorrow (1972), the ‘Faure Report’, and Learning: The treasure within (1996), the ‘Delors Report’.

For further information access: UNESCO

To read the full report click here.








  • 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