from Promise and Potential to Practice
March 30th 2023
13.00 - 15.00 (CET)

Four 90 minutes interactive webinars for the Future of ESD
presented by the global ESD-Net


ESD-Net Learning Webinar March 30, 2023.

‘The Activation of ESD-based Education – from Promise and Paperwork to Practice’

Facilitated by: Dr. Jos Eussen, Maastricht University / The OPEDUCA Project


To accelerate the implementation of education for sustainable development (ESD) in a decade of action to deliver the Goals and achieve the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, UNESCO launched in October 2022, the global network of education stakeholders: ESD-Net 2030. This Network, based on the success and lessons learned from the previous Global Action Programme (GAP), aims to facilitate the implementation of the ESD for 2030 framework and its Roadmap by enhancing knowledge sharing, collaboration, mutual learning, advocacy, monitoring, and evaluation, among a wide range of education stakeholders.To promote knowledge sharing, collaboration and mutual learning through ESD-Net 2030, UNESCO is organizing a series of learning webinars in March, May and September 2023 on ESD pedagogy to highlight and promote innovative practices in ESD. The learning webinars will focus on providing concrete and practical ESD activities in line with the five priority action areas outlined in the ESD for 2030 Roadmap: 1) advancing policy; 2) transforming learning environments; 3) building capacities of educators; 4)empowering and mobilizing youth; and 5) accelerating local level actions


The interactive learning webinars will focus on sharing and strengthening pedagogical approaches and key competencies in ESD through a broad range of topics and issues. This March session, in particular, will feature four distinct organizations - Association for Learning Design and Education for Sustainable Development (ALDESD); the Disciplinary Intuitions team; The OPEDUCA Project; and the International Association of Universities (IAU) – who will be delivering four simultaneous workshops covering a broad array of topics ranging from curriculum design, intersection of AI, Science technology and wellbeing to unleashing the transformative power of ESD as well as embedding ESD and SDG 4 in higher education. 

Target Audience

The primary target audience of this learning series includes education stakeholders seeking to strengthen the implementation of ESD in their learning environments (e.g., teachers, head teachers, community-based educators, teacher trainers, youth leaders, academics, and other education stakeholders). The available number of spaces in the webinar is limited to 200 participants. Registration is open to all stakeholders who consider this webinar relevant, and space will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis on the day of the webinar. We apologize in advance if we cannot accept all participants on the day due to the limited space and to ensure quality interaction during the workshops. We encourage participants to log on 10 minutes before the start of the webinar.

90-min Webinar Program

Welcome and introduction
13.00 - 13.15

Ms Jun Morohashi
Chief of Section of Education for Sustainable Development, Education Sector, UNESCO

The Activation of ESD-based Education
from Promise and Paperwork to Practice

Dr. Jos Eussen
Maastricht University / The OPEDUCA Project 
(interactive, video-on, questions and preliminary remarks are welcome - post here)
More info

Curriculum design and ESD in practice
CoDesignS Learning Design and
ESD Framework & Toolkit’

Maria Toro-Troconis and Norita Ahmad PhD
Association for Learning Design and Education for Sustainable Development

Learning at the intersection of AI, physiology, EEG, our environment and well-being
(the Life2Well Project)

Kenneth Y T Lim and Students
The Disciplinary Intuitions team

Higher Education & ESD
Taking a transdisciplinary approach to teaching based on SDG 4 and ESD at universities

Dr. Hilligje van’t Land and Isabel Toman
The International Association of Universities

Closing and next steps
14.45 - 15.00

Mr Mark Manns
Programme Specialist, Section of Education for Sustainable Development, Education Sector, UNESCO 

'We can no longer leave ESD to approaches that lead to an endless mingling of minds
in unbalanced debates situated across the globe'
Jos Eussen

The Activation of ESD-based Education

from Promise and Paperwork to Practice
register here

Starting in 2004, the OPEDUCA Project sought to bind the knowledge and action of education, industry, science and regional governments for sustainable development through collaborative real-world learning. This OPEDUCA concept (www.opeduca.eu) considers ongoing learning processes on future defining themes like a tread throughout and beyond the formal system (from primary up to and including higher education), basing education on sustainable development. It enables a transition process on the human scale through transdisciplinary learning in direct cooperation with sources of knowledge and experience in daily regional society. Regions that base a local-to-global sphere for sustainable development through which youngsters are empowered to learn anytime, anyplace, through any device, with anybody on themes that define their and our common future.

After a short introduction and a compromised presentation of ESD-based education building on 20-year participatory studies and work in daily practice, we will open up to concretely question the concept and perceived ESD-blockades such as curricula, assessments, teacher capacity, school leadership, and the cacophony of ‘educational priorities’ screaming for attention. We will see how science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), information and communications technology (ICT), environmental education, and reading, writing and mathematics have merge into ESD-based education, as well as exchange on how it is also home to philosophy and positive psychology. Together we will observe an education that is no longer in need of cuddly add-on projects and external support that drains schools’ own capacity, one going far beyond a whole school approach and truly placing the interests and development of our youth as the paramount goal of ESD. The workshop will invite participants to develop a true local-to-global learning space for all, unleashing the transformative power of ESD from within, also by exploring crucial topics such as what it truly means to put the student central, how to effectuate entrepreneurship and honor creativity, welcome diversity and a multitude of cultures and arts, apply transdisciplinary education and re-establish and professionalize teachers and school leaders.

Teachers, school leaders, and staff (focus on secondary and post-secondary), industry management and staff in corporate social responsibility (CSR), human resource management (HRM) and learning and development, government staff (e.g., national, regional, city, town, municipal, etc.) involved in policy development, societal transition and/or sustainable development.  

An economist from the origin, Jos Eussen worked in industry for over 20 years in various sectors, most production-oriented (petrochemical, metal, wood, media, automotive) until he grew more “astonished than angry” around 2004, observing how development changes for youngsters appeared to decline. Since then, he has been involved in the world of ESD for nearly 20 years, collaborating on the ground with schools and educators to connect upper policy development and major industries’ maneuvers with a ‘boots on the ground’ mentality. He presently lectures Sustainable Development and is developing a new transdisciplinary course that integrates all faculty disciplines towards future defining themes at Maastricht University, cooperating with schools, industry, governments and scientists in around 40 regions worldwide as part of The OPEDUCA Project he founded in 2007. For his work through The OPEDUCA Project (2007-2017) Jos received a Doctorate at Maastricht University following several more years of in-depth study of regional multidisciplinary alliances, learning theories, cooperative knowledge development, the transformation of school-based education and the professionalization of teachers. 

The 90 minutes webinar can look as follows:

5 min
Personal introduction (background, involvement in ESD, motivation) and introducing the flow of the Webinar.

30 min
Presentation/review of the multidisciplinary development of the OPEDUCA concept and project, inviting for in-between questions. Amongst the aspects of ESD addressed will be The formation and operation of a regional alliance of Schools, Industry, Science and Governmental authorities / Community-based and Real-life Learning / Understanding motivating Learning(-Psychology) i.e. Activation, Meaningfulness, Inquiry-based Learning Self-steered Education / Folding together Environmental Education, Entrepreneurship Education, Citizenship Education, Internationalisation / Re-positioning ESD in within School-based Education (away from add-on and temporary projects) / Competence development and ongoing professionalization of Teachers / Re-positioning the School (Primary, Secondary, Further and Higher) as nexus of learning processes in the region / Meeting the Curriculum and Examination requirements through ESD.

20 min
Q&A of what has been presented.
If time/progress allows a joined web-based construction of a ‘Field of Knowledge’ on either the theme Food, Water, Energy.

10 min
Presenting/proposing a strategic joint approach ESD as of now (taking into consideration strengthening ESD-Net).

20 min
Open exchange about the opportunities, blockades and further need to understand a strategic way towards an interconnected local-to-global learning space / Jointly listing Challenges and accompanying Answers to these.

5 min
Summary and Closing

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For academic reference and publications: Eussen, J. F. G. (2022). ESD-based education - https://doi.org/10.26481/dis.20220201je - ISBN 9789464235906