Europe Regional Conference 2016

On June 23-24, 2016 about 50 participants from 17 European RCEs met at London South Bank University (LSBU) in London to hold the annual European RCE Meeting. On the first day of the conference, overshadowed by UK’s decision to leave the European Union, European RCEs affirmed their solidarity and commitment to future collaboration to promote social and environmental justice.

RCE London hosted this meeting, where RCE partners and RCE advisers from a wide range of countries such as Crete, Denmark, Finland, Belarus, Germany and France, also attended.

During the poster conference, participants described projects on energy use, urban development, curriculum development, and youth entrepreneurship. Hilary Jennings, from the London Transition Town Movement highlighted the potential for synergy and collaboration between RCEs and Transition Town Movements across Europe. The Transition Town movement began as a response to climate change. As it gained momentum, it split into working groups to tackle food, energy and housing issues and to develop a community-based 20-year plan to reduce a town’s overall fossil fuel dependence. Today there are over 1,000 Transition Towns in 44 countries.

 

“These were inspiring and motivating two days, with networks renewed and strengthened. There was a great deal of mutual shared learning and many collaborations discussed.” Ros Wade, Director of the Education for Sustainability (EfS) Programm, LSBU

 

One major area discussed during the conference was the role of education in achieving the sustainable development goals (SDGs). RCEs examined in particular how educators can raise awareness and challenge the negative discourse and media coverage on forced migration, thereby lending support to displaced people. A number of RCEs, such as RCE Graz, Vienna and Crete shared their experiences in this field. A position paper on refugees and forced migration is currently being drafted to be shared and endorsed at the Global RCE Meeting in November.

Outcomes of the Conference:

(1) Participants agreed that a conference on Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET) would be a useful contribution to the GAP.

(2) European RCE position paper on refugees and forced migration is under development to be published and endorsed by the whole RCE network at the Global RCE Conference on 23-25 November, 2016.

(3) Ros Wade and Detlev Lindau Bank were appointed as communication links’ for the European RCE network. 

 

The final agenda and proceedings of the meeting can be found here.

Report and key points of the conference can be downloaded here.

Twitter hashtag: #RCELondon2016 

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