Planet 2030 - Please help us to redefine the Future of Humanity
a. Virtual Educa, leading the future
Virtual Educa was established in 2001 by the Organization of American States (OAS) as a strategic initiative of the Institute of Advanced Studies of the Americas (INEAM). Its aim was to support a public-private partnership agenda for an innovative and more inclusive Education in Latin America and the Caribbean During the last 20 years Virtual Educa has led change in Education, helping tens of thousands of educators across Latin America and the Caribbean to overcome the challenges of extending quality education and lifelong learning throughout the region. We have worked with country education systems coordinators; organized Information and Communication Technology (ICT) seminars for Ministries of Education; carried out Higher Education symposiums about Digital Transformation; collaborated with the Latin American and Caribbean Parliament (PARLATINO) on innovating legislation approaches; worked on frameworks to accelerate Human Capital Development where most needed, to name just a few areas of performance.
The implementation by Virtual Educa of a) the Inter-American System of Education and Innovation [Declaration of the Forum of Ministers of Education of the Americas about Innovation and ICT, XIV Virtual Educa International Symposium, Medellin, Colombia, 18.06.2013]; and b) the Global System of Education and Innovation [Declaration of the XVIII Virtual Educa International Symposium, Bogota, Colombia, 13.06.2017] have proved to be a powerful tool to promote an effective change in the Americas. In January 1st 2017, Virtual Educa became an independent institution, operating at a global level [Virtual Educa Global Alliance (VEGA)] and closely collaborating with several agencies of the UN system [SDGF/PNUD, UNESCO, UNITAR], the World Bank Group (Y2Y) and other international organizations such as the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB), PARLATINO, etc.
b. Walking together the path towards 2030
The 2000s welcomed a 21st century in which Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Big Data, Augmented Reality, and a Cloud-Based digitalized society has led to the Fourth Industrial Revolution. Most experts agree that the 2020-2030 decade will be critical for Humankind, since present societies will change at an exponential rate with Exponential Technologies. Therefore, it is urgent to identify the challenges and develop solutions/responses. Virtual Educa collaborates in the development of multilateral initiatives, being considered a hemispheric reference in the organization of its symposiums and forums. Since 2017 we have expanded globally, through the Virtual Educa Global Alliance (VEGA).
The T20/G20 2018 [Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 2018] adopted the Virtual Educa proposal The Means for Achieving Greater and Better Literacy: An Exponential Education Model in Support of the 2030 Agenda. We understand Exponential Education as a model by which, using the latest disruptive existing technologies (artificial intelligence, augmented reality, etc.), the quality and access to education and training may be, effectively and exponentially, accessible worldwide. We are working on the development of its action plan, based on Human Capital Development for Social Innovation, emphasizing and prioritizing the following initiatives:
c. 2020-2030: ten initiatives that will make a big difference
Virtual Educa has established a very ambitious project with 10 initiatives for a 2030 Sustainable Planet:
1. Exponential Education, quality Education and Lifelong Learning for All. An Exponential Education is our response to the transformative challenges in our modern society, including the way we look at the lifelong learning processes. Klaus Schwab, Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, makes explicit in ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’ that unparalleled change at a quick path will substantially modify the world as we know it in the next few years. Therefore, the 2030 Agenda takes the form of a temporal frontier foreshowing what the world will be.
2. Environmental Education, a crucial tool. Together with the North American Association for Environmental Education (NAAEE)4, we are developing an awareness-raising and capacity building project for communities’ engagement on critical environmental issues including tackling plastic pollution and deforestation.
3. Think BLUE. Powered by Virtual Educa, Think Blue is a World Bank project in collaboration with the Organization of Eastern Caribbean States (OECS), that is developing a framework for the Caribbean. Blue is the color of our planet and frontier thinking. It will take thinking differently for citizens to THINK BLUE to truly incubate and sustain transformation.
4. A platform to enhance Democracy and Citizenship. Because societies can’t operate without conscious citizens, Virtual Educa is developing the ‘Democracy and Citizenship 2030’ initiative, in cooperation with the Electoral National Institute of Mexico (INE), a world known organization. Our main objective is to raise awareness on the need for a responsible citizenship, including digital citizenship.
5. Transversal SKILLS for the 21st century. With Virtual Educa cooperation, the Interamerican Development Bank (IDB) organized the Forum The Future is now. Transversal Skills in Latin America and the Caribbean in the 21 century [Panama, October 21st-22nd, 2019]5. Soft skills are one of the most prominent topics of discussion at our events, where teachers and researches present their best practices and discuss the most common challenges we face as a global society.
6. CODING. Virtual Educa support the Coding initiative, a joint project by our partners POSITIVO, UBBU and EDUPAN. President Obama said in his 2016 State of the Union Address that “In the coming years, we should build on that progress, by … offering every student the hands-on computer science and math classes that make them job-ready on day one” [ref. ‘Computer Science for All’ initiative].
7. Improving Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Mathematics (STEAM). To maximize future job potential of our youth, STEAM workshops in our yearly international symposiums have a strong reputation. In collaboration with the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), we are planning to expand its Scientific Women at Schools Mexico initiative to other areas and countries.
8. POPUP Schools / E-Life Skills Centers as an inclusion project. The JP Group, a Portugal based company, has installed Popup Schools in Africa, Asia and in some of the most precarious places in Latin America and the Caribbean [the latter in partnership with Virtual Educa] helping communities to become more sustainable and educated. Inclusion is an essential component of the most successful projects promoted by Virtual Educa. We must arrive where we are needed to foster inclusion.
9. UNIVERSITY 2030. A Latin America and the Caribbean Higher Education Institute (IESALC) / UNESCO and Virtual Educa joint project, its main goals are to create a space to support the universities digitalization processes and its adaptation to the Fourth Industrial Revolution.
10. SMART cities or knowledge hubs. The world population is pivoting from the rural areas towards the cities, many of which are becoming megacities. Infrastructure alone won’t make a city smart, but social innovation, planning and human capital development will contribute to that end.
Why we need your support?
As a non-profit organization, we need your support to achieve the PLANET 2030 projects. Virtual Educa efforts are driven by individuals and volunteers that strongly believe that our collaboration approach makes the difference. As Virtual Educa impact grows globally, we need funds that will make our projects true.