Webinar series “Learning Cities’ COVID-19 recovery: from research to practice”

© Gwangmyeong city

The COVID-19 pandemic has clearly demonstrated that cities’ resilience is key to tackling crisis situations. Learning cities such as those engaged in the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities need to be able to cushion shocks and persistent structural changes in such a way that learning continues, the well-being of citizens is preserved and no one is left behind. But how are resilient learning cities built?

Taking stock of the previous and ongoing webinar series UNESCO Learning Cities’ response to COVID-19, this new webinar cycle addresses this question by highlighting challenging aspects of learning city development, drawing on recent research and development. Starting on 17 June 2020, five webinars focus on topics such as inclusion, learning outcomes measurement, planning and evaluation, technical and vocational education and training (TVET), education for sustainable development and learning for health and well-being.

The webinar series demonstrates the practical application of successful approaches in learning cities to address the above issues by offering a conceptual and analytical dialogue. In so doing, the intention is to build learning cities’ capacity to take forward their own responses and approaches to the challenges they face.

This new webinar series is jointly organized by the PASCAL International Observatory and the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning. The series addresses city representatives, university networks, academia, practitioners and further interested stakeholders. The dates and topics are as follows:

17 June 2020

The challenge of inclusion in learning cities, building on the work of the fourth International Conference on Learning Cities

13:00–14:30, Central European Time 
Webinar recording

Opening address
Mr Mike Osborne Professor of Adult and Lifelong Learning. Director of Research, School of Education,  University of Glasgow and Director of PASCAL

UNESCO learning city of Medellin, Colombia
Ms Alexandra Agudelo Ruiz, Secretary of Education

UNESCO learning city of Mantes-la-Jolie, France
Ms Aminata Diawara, Officer-in-charge Learning City

UNESCO learning city of Melton City, Australia
Ms Cassandra Connelly,  Lifelong Learning Projects Office

8 July 2020

The challenge of measurement, planning and evaluation in learning cities

13:00–14:30 Central European Time
Webinar recording

Planning for achieving SDG4 at city level: Findings from An IIEP-UNESCO research project
Candy Lugaz, Research Coordinator, International Institute for Educational Planning (IIEP) UNESCO

UNESCO learning city of Goyang, Republic of Korea
Mr Jaejoon Lee, Mayor of Goyang, Mr Hoseok Kim, Lifelong Educator

City of Huye, Rwanda
Mr Ange Sebutege, Mayor of Huye

Transition to Urbanisation
Mr Pierre Claver Rutayisire, Applied Statistics Department, University of Rwanda

UNESCO learning city of Huejotzingo, Mexico
Ms Angélica Patricia Alvarado Juárez, Mayor of Huejotzingo

16 September 2020

The challenge of developing the role of TVET, business learning, and entrepreneurship in learning cities

13:00–14:30 Central European Time
Webinar recording

The challenge of developing the role of TVET
Fabien Adeyemi Farinan, City of Cotonou-Benin

Entrepreneurial learning in VET
Olena Bekh, Senior Specialist in Human Capital Development, European Training Foundation (ETF), Turin

Fostering Youth Employment and Entrepreneurship

21 October 2020

The challenge of Education for Sustainable Development
13:00–14:30,Central European Time

Webinar recording

The Challenge of Education for Sustainable Development:A Sustainable Healthy Learning Cities Perspective
Ms Michele Schweisfurth, Professor of Comparative and International Education at the University of Glasgow

Wyndham, Australia UNESCO GNLC/ PASCAL LCN
Ms Diane Tabbagh, Community Learning Coordinator at Wyndham City Council


18 November 2020

Community-Based Participatory Research & Learning Cities

13:00–14:30 Central European Time

Webinar recording

Introduction to work of Knowledge for Change (K4C) Global Consortium
Mr. Rajesh Tandon (Co-Chair, UNESCO Chair in Community-Based Research & Social Responsibility in Higher Education & Founder-President, PRIA)

Weaving the Community Fabric
Mr. Andrea Vargiu (Professor, University of Sassari & Coordinator of Sassari Hub)
Mrs. Speranza Serra (Teacher and Community Partner)

Preventing drop outs in Education by Durban Hub
Mr. Darren Lortan (Durban University of Technology)
Ms. Diana Hornby (Director, Community Engagement Division, Rhodes University)

Addressing issue of Urban Sanitation by PRIA Hub
Mr. Kaustuv Bandyopadhyay (Director, PRIA)
Mr. Krishan Kumar Joshi (President, SIC Forum, Ajmer)

UNESCO learning city of Shanghai, China
Mr. Jiacheng Li, Deputy Director, Shanghai Municipal Institute for Lifelong Education (SMILE), China


16 December 2020

The challenge of Health and Well-being in learning cities

13:00–14:30 Central European Time


Webinar recording

GNLC learning city of Bogotá, Colombia
Ms Sara Valencia (Director, Districts Research Centre for Health Education of the Health Secretariat)

GNLC learning city of Duhok, Iraq
Dr Azad A Haleem (Vice Manager of the Hevi Pediatric Teaching Hospital, General Directorate of Health of Duhok, Assistant Professor, Head of paediatrics, University of Duhok College of Medicine)

Health in a Learning City
Mr Rich Mitchell (MRC/CSO Social and public Health Sciences Unit, University of Glasgow Centre for Research on Environment, Society and Health (CRESH))

PASCAL EcCoWell Community Recovery Program
Mr Peter Kearns (Pascal Board Member)

More information

Strategy of the UNESCO GNLC

Medellín Manifesto

UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities

Outcomes of the webinar series UNESCO Learning Cities’ response to COVID-19

Video interviews with mayors and further representatives of UNESCO learning cities about their response to COVID-19