Douglas Bourn | Education as a driver of social change
47:02Dr. Bourn shares some key ideas he addressed in his latest book and discusses education’s role in society and social change, particularly the purpose of higher education. Given that it can be difficult to differentiate between themes like education for sustainable development, global citizenship, and peace education, Bourn advocates for understanding the context and how the people using these terms define them. Dr. Bourn believes that higher education educators and administrators need to take the lead to create a pedagogy of hope to address the anger and anxiety students feel about environmental issues. Rather than viewing key topics like sustainability and decolonization simply as items to check off on a to-do list, Dr. Bourn believes higher education administrators should focus on creating spaces for dialogue about them. While there are no quick fixes or ready-made toolkits to remedy these issues, the Earth Charter can be used as an ethical framework to provide guidance.
Carol Anne Hilton | Indigenous worldviews and the Indigenomics approach
34:51Carol Anne Hilton is the founder of the Indigenomics Institute and the Global Center of Indigenomics and author of Indigenomics: Taking a Seat at the Economics Table. Her work centers on rebuilding and strengthening Indigenous economies to combat Canada’s history of oppression against them. In her work, Hilton addresses the economic impacts of this history by shaping a new space around Indigenous economics using traditional Indigenous ideas of conservation, sustainability, and well-being, concepts that are closely connected to the Earth Charter.
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Thomas Legrand | The Politics of Being, when basic needs having been met and mindful eating
42:06In the episode, author, social scientist, and sustainability practitioner, Thomas Legrand speaks with Mirian Vilela about his new book, The Politics of Being, and his work with the UNDP Conscious Food Systems Alliance. Legrand believes that we must move away from a development model based on economic growth and instead to one that ties directly into the Earth Charter’s idea of “being more, not having more,” an idea he sees as very important but has of yet been mostly ignored. He sees an answer to this in reorganizing our society and politics to focus on helping individuals realize fulfillment through wellbeing, rather than emphasizing competition, status, wealth, and consumption. Legrand discusses some concrete examples of achieving this shift toward an economy of being in which everyone’s basic needs are met. He proposes policies that emphasize secure attachment between parents and children by supporting childcare and parental leave. He also sees providing a universal basic income and healthcare as a way to allow people more time to achieve wellbeing and fulfillment through means other than work. He also emphasizes the importance of the rights of nature, restorative justice, moving from a global economy to local economies, and the need for all of these ideas to be incorporated into the education system and national policies.
Edgar Gutiérrez Espeleta | Gobernanza Ambiental Global y Nacional, Sostenibilidad y Liderazgo
1:11:21En esta entrevista Edgar Gutierrez, incluye una reflexión sobre el papel de la Asamblea Ambiental de Naciones Unidas, la UNEA por sus siglas en inglés, creada en 2012, de brindar un sistema más eficaz de gobernanza ambiental internacional. Comenta su experiencia, como presidente de UNEA en dos periodos, en hacer que este ente tuviera un papel político, además de técnico. Y comparte algunas anécdotas vividas, en el proceso de negociación para desarrollar la primera declaración política de la UNEA aprobada en UNEA 3 en 2017. Destaca lo especial de la UNEA en cuanto a brindar la participación de actores no gubernamentales en su proceso. Edgar comenta uno de sus desafíos como ministro en disminuir el algo uso de combustibles fósiles en Costa Rica dado la flota vehicular. Termina resaltando le importancia de asegurar enfoques holísticos y no seguir abordando desafíos de manera fragmentada dando el ejemplo de la problemática de seguridad alimentaria y gestión sostenible de suelos en el país y la necesidad de construir puentes entre la agenda de conservación, de cambio climático, de agua...
Michelle Maloney | Reflections on the Rights of Nature, Earth Laws, and Earth-centered Governance
46:14In this episode, Dr. Michelle Maloney discusses the need for systems change toward an Earth-centered culture where people re-consider their relationship to the Earth and their place within it. She sees Earth Jurisprudence and Earth Law as effective tools to make this cultural shift and to protect the environment from human destruction. In this conversation she reflects on the shift that needs to take place towards Earth Law and Rights of Nature, and on what it means: giving nature legal rights in the same way that humans have legal rights so that it must be legally protected. She shares the examples of both Ecuador and Bolivia that have recognized the Rights of Nature in their constitution, and on a smaller scale, rights can be given to individual parts of an ecosystem like a river or forest. She comments on the work of The Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature (GARN), a global organization dedicated to the universal adoption and implementation of legal protection for the Rights of Nature, and on how she sees the relationship between law, economics, education, and ethics. Towards the end of this conversation, Dr. Maloney shares that she sees the Earth Charter as an important tool to help people envision an Earth-centered culture.
Lisa Miller | Spirituality in Education and exploring The Awakened Brain
1:03:35In this episode, Mirian Vilela talks with Dr. Lisa Miller about the role of spirituality in mental and emotional health, the importance of spirituality in education, and the connections between her work and the Earth Charter. Dr. Miller explains that while religion is completely environmentally and culturally transmitted, we are born with an innate physical capacity for spirituality. She emphasizes that religion is not a requirement to fulfill this capacity for a transcendent relationship, but that this connection to a whole can be experienced through a god, the universe, ancestors, or another higher power. However, this innate spirituality is being socialized out of children which she believes is resulting in many of the emotional and mental health problems in today’s societies. In response to this, Dr. Miller created the Collaborative for Spirituality in Education to develop spaces for spirituality in K-12 schools. She believes that the most important work for a parent, teacher, or caregiver is to strengthen children’s spiritual form by modeling this behavior. To foster spiritual growth, parents must both “walk the walk” and “talk the talk” equally. In her book, The Awakened Brain, Dr. Miller discusses the need for awakened awareness. An obstacle to this is the transactional, achievement-oriented mindset that focuses on attaining more money, prestige, and material wealth. Instead, we must focus on the “deep in-and-of-itself of living”, spiritual value, and quality of life. Counterintuitively, this will lead to more outward success. Dr. Miller sees the connection between her work and that of the Earth Charter because of the focus on the interconnectedness and oneness with the environmental, spiritual, social, and political. Her work at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute identifies a need for a spiritual voice in environmental protection and education. In Principle 14, the Earth Charter emphasizes the importance of moral and spiritual education which parallels her work with the Collaborative for Spirituality in Education. Finally, both the Earth Charter and Dr. Miller recognize the importance of a transcendent relationship through our connection to the greater whole. Learn more about Dr. Miller’s work at the Spirituality Mind Body Institute and the Collaborative for Spirituality in Education at these websites: https://spiritualitymindbody.tc.columbia.edu/ https://spiritualityineducation.org/
Amr Abdalla | Creating Lasting Peace Through Education
45:50In this episode, Dr. Amr Abdalla, professor emeritus and former vice-rector at the University for Peace, talks with Mirian Vilela about his 25 years of experience teaching peace and conflict resolution. He discusses the importance of participatory, interactive approaches when teaching peace and conflict resolution, and how the University for Peace created a space to develop this. To him, the connections between education for global citizenship, peace, and sustainable development are clear: giving people the tools for peace promotes development and prevents violent conflict. While there will always be conflict, education is crucial to creating long-term peaceful solutions and to prevent violence. Amr believes that learning critical thinking skills is key to creating lasting peace. This involves a 360-degree approach that helps the learner to deconstruct assumptions and embrace universal values. He talks about the importance of helping people learn how to deal with conflict to avoid violence. In reflecting about changes in education and cultural differences, he relates an anecdote from his son’s Kindergarten show-and-tell that made him confront the conventional education style that he grew up with and tells an example of when a student made him think differently about violence.
Nika Salvetti | Ten years later: Lessons learned by the garment industry from the Rana Plaza disaster
50:57In this episode, Nika Salvetti reflects on the Rana Plaza tragedy in Bangladesh and its impact on the garment industry. When the Rana Plaza building collapsed in 2013, killing more than 1,000 people and injuring another 2,500, it served as the tipping point for reforms in the garment industry. The tragedy spawned not only safety reforms but environmental ones as well, as the clothing industry is one of the most polluting. Today, garment factories in Bangladesh are subject to regular safety inspections, and companies are required to treat their wastewater so that chemicals do not pollute the soil and water. Salvetti also discusses the factors that motivate businesses to move towards socially and environmentally responsible practices. Finally, she recommends steps that consumers can take to encourage businesses to be more socially and environmentally responsible.
Leonardo Garnier | Insights from UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative and Report with Leonardo Garnier: Reimagining Learning for a Changing World.
1:03:37In this podcast episode, Mirian Vilela, Executive Director, Earth Charter International, interviews Leonardo Garnier, former Minister of Education of Costa Rica about the UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative and its report "Reimagining our futures together: A new social contract for education," which was launched in 2021 and some highlights of his work as a Minister of Education. The podcast provides a thought-provoking discussion on the need to rethink education and redefine the future and purpose of education in the current times and the potential role education has in creating a more just and sustainable future for all.
Laura Chinchilla | Desafíos, oportunidades y la esperanza de la democracia en América Latina
34:03En este podcast, Laura Chinchilla ofrece un análisis sobre los desafíos y el deterioro de la democracia y la polarización en América Latina. Nos habla de la importancia de luchar por mantener los derechos civiles, de la transparencia y del liderazgo ético. Nos invita a considerar que hay que mantenerse firme en contra del populismo y la corrupción y trabajar en conjunto por el bien común, así como para mejorar el acceso a la justicia y garantizar la participación inclusiva en las discusiones políticas.