IOE - Faculty of Education and Society


IOE and UNESCO examine how education can shape the future

7 December 2021

UCL Institute of Education (IOE) has today (7 December) co-hosted a significant event exploring UNESCO's report 'Reimagining our futures together: a new social contract for education'.

Indian children in a classroom

The UNESCO report, produced by the International Commission on the Futures of Education, aims to start a conversation about forging a new social contract for education that will help build peaceful, just, and sustainable futures for all. It was informed by a global consultation process engaging around one million people across schools and governments.

Arjun Appadurai, member of the International Commission on UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative and Emeritus Professor of Media, Culture and Communication at New York University delivered a keynote on the report. He examined the challenges the report seeks to overcome, and the opportunities and ethical and political dilemmas that come from living and learning in a digital culture.

The online event, chaired by Professor Moses Oketch, Co-Director of the Centre for Education and International Development at the IOE, looked at the potential of education to lengthen humanity’s future and to make the future more just and peaceful. In addition to Professor Appadurai’s keynote, there was a discussion led by IOE’s Professor Paul Morris and Dr Maren Elfert (King’s College London) reflecting further on the report. Welcome remarks were given by Professor Beatrice Szczepek Reed, Head of the School of Education, Communication and Society at King’s College London and Dr Brehm Will, Associate Professor of International Development and Education moderated Questions and Answers. IOE Director and Dean Professor Li Wei delivered closing remarks.

Professor Li Wei said: “At a time when such reimagination is critically needed, it is such a privilege to hear Arjun Appadurai discuss UNESCO’s report and the role of education in reimagining and reshaping the future of humanity and the planet.

“At IOE, we believe that education will not only help to strengthen our futures as a species, but also to make those futures more just and peaceful by transforming lives and society. Education and global collaboration are crucial to tackle challenges that threaten our future, such as climate change and the inequalities that the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated.

“I really want to thank all my colleagues at IOE and King’s College London, and everyone who's contributed to organising this event. And of course, to our very distinguished speaker, Professor Appadurai for the thought-provoking discussion.”

Can education shape our futures?’ took place on Tuesday 7 December 2021.



Image from akshayapatra via Pixabay