RCE Greater Phoenix - 2023

Turn It Around: Flashcards for Education Futures
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Turn It Around: Flashcards for Education Futures
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Contributing organization(s) : 
RCE Greater Phoenix, Sustainability Education
Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Artists’ Literacies Institute, Art, Andrew Freiband
Open Society Foundation, Nonprofit organization
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Katja Brundiers
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Alejandra Enriquez Gates
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Format of project: 
Online platform, printed edition, street art exhibit, exhibits, social media engagement, conferences, PowerPoint
Language of project: 
English and online Spanish, French, Arabic, Mandarin Chinese
Date of submission:
Additional resources: 
Panel Discussion:”Policy Meets Art: A Dialogue among Education Policymakers and Youth Activists about Climate Futures” https://youtu.be/V5DFY6AxZxU
UNESCO’s Futures of Education Initiative
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Operations are primarily based in Tempe, Arizona (where Arizona State University is located) and New York (where the Artists Literacies Institute is located)
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Payne Hall, 1000 S. Forest Mall, Suite 204, P.O. Box 871611, Tempe, AZ 85287-1611
Target Audience:
Community, Higher, Primary, Secondary, Teacher Ed., TVET, Youth (Informal)
Exhibits: UNESCO, Paris, COP27 2022, Change the World Tempe, 2023
Socioeconomic and environmental characteristics of the area : 
As a rapidly expanding area situated in a precarious desert environment, the Phoenix Metropolitan Area faces significant sustainability challenges. The City of Phoenix has recently been called the most unsustainable city in the world, especially in terms of air quality, heat island effect, groundwater availability, and quality education. The city of Phoenix is home to 1.6 million people; is the fifth largest city in the United States and is the fastest growing city in the United states. The ethnic makeup of the Phoenix metropolitan area is as follows: White (43%), Hispanic (42%), Black/African American (7%), Asian (4%), Native American (2%), Pacific Islander (<1%).
Description of sustainable development challenge(s) in the area the project addresses: 
The youth who participated in the project are challenging the status quo of education and climate action. They are demanding youth participation in decision making and policy action. This project addresses SDG 4 and SDG13 and positions youth to re-educate policy makers, educators, and leaders.
April, 2022 to March, 2023
‘Turn it Around Flashcards for Climate Futures’ is a learning tool for adults, made by youth, to reimagine our approach to education and our relationship with nature and the living world during the time of climate crisis. This deck of flashcards has been designed by youth to challenge education policymakers, politicians, and teachers to think, see, and act in new ways. By ‘turning around’ who teaches whom, this project is a reminder that everyone-and everything - must change.
This initiative mobilizes the power of socially engaged art to bring together visions and voices from youth across the globe in a collective effort to address the root causes of the climate crisis.- It starts with the premise that education is directly implicated in the climate crisis and our failure to imagine alternatives. But it can also be the catalyst for radical change.
The deck is designed to activate a series of ‘turns’ by shifting the old categories, structures, and systems that can no longer be taught as possible, tolerable or ethical:
Intergenerational ‘Turn’
Decolonial ‘Turn’
Methodological ‘Turn’
Pedagogical ‘Turn’
Activities and/or practices employed: 
Flashcards have been used in world exhibits: UNESCO Exhibit in Paris, France, June 2022. COP27 Exhibit from November 6-12th in the Blue Zone and Climate Education Coalition’s First-of-its-kind Climate Education Hub. Attendees at COP27 convening in Sharm el Sheikh were able to interact with the Turn it Around cards, submit their own reflections and were provided materials to share the initiative in their own contexts. TIA cards are used as ’conversation starters’ with university students as in ‘Change the World: Ideas to achieve the future we imagine’ in March 2023, faculty and k-12 professional development sessions, international conferences such as CIES, sustainability events, gallery walks, professional development workshops: North American Association of Environmental Education eePro. Turn it Around Flashcards have also been delivered to high level policy makers at UNESCO, universities, conferences and when the opportunity arises.
Size of academic audience: 
Decks of cards shared initially 1000+ 500, Workshops – 65 people engaged approximately, Conferences – Team has spoken in front of approximately 600 people, Twitter followers – 235 Instagram followers – 1137
We have requests from RCE partners, faculty members, community educators and government officials, for the ability to purchase complete sets (decks) of cards to be used in classrooms, professional development sessions, community sessions, and business meetings. Our team is looking into this possibility.
The Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College uses TIA cards for professional development conversations with educators: Native American communities, EdD and PhD students conversations.
Flashcards are being translated into Mandarin Chinese and other languages, TIA cards are currently available in English (card decks), and online in French, Spanish and Arabic.
Lessons learned: 
People overall prefer the printed decks of cards to be used in classrooms and meetings. There is a need for printed decks in Spanish and other languages. Flashcards need to be translated into additional languages.
Key messages: 
The deck of flashcards is designed by youth for education policymakers, politicians, and teachers to challenge them to think, see and act in new ways. By flipping who teaches sho, this project is a reminder that everyone - and everything- must change.
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
Climate Action, Sustainable Cities and Communities, Youth activism.
Open Society Foundation for the Turn it Around Project, and RCE Greater Phoenix for printing of additional card decks, postcards, posters and in-kind sponsorship


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon TIA 1_COP27.jpeg (3.55 MB) COP27 "Earth is All We Have Got" Turn It Around Flashcards for Climate Futures A. Nielsen
Image icon TIA 2_COP27ClimateEducationHub1106-1223.jpeg (226.52 KB) COP27 Climate Education Hub & Youth/ TIA Flashcards for Climate Futures A. Nielsen
Image icon UNESCO Paris.jpeg (64.27 KB) TIA Flashcards for Climate Futures displayed outside 'Transforming Education Pre-Summit', UNESCO Bldg, Paris- A. Nielsen
Image icon TIA Flashcard displayed outside UNESCO .jpg (3.59 MB) TIA Flashcard for Climate Futures displayed outside UNESCO Building, Paris A. Nielsen
References and reference materials: 
UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)
(https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/sdgs) and other themes of Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)
SDG 1 - End poverty in all its forms everywhere 
SDG 2 - End hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture 
SDG 3 - Ensure healthy lives and promote wellbeing for all at all ages 
SDG 4 - Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all 
SDG 5 - Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 13 - Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts 
SDG 14 - Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources for sustainable development 
SDG 15 - Protect, restore and promote sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems, sustainably manage forests, combat desertification and halt and reverse land degradation, and halt biodiversity loss 
SDG 16 - Promote peaceful and inclusive societies for sustainable development, provide access to justice for all and build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels 
SDG 17 - Strengthen the means of implementation and revitalise the global partnership for sustainable development 
Traditional Knowledge  
Curriculum Development 
Plants & Animals 
ESD for 2030-Priority Action Areas
Priority Action Area 1 - Advancing policy 
Priority Action Area 2 - Transforming learning and training environments 
Priority Action Area 3 - Developing capacities of educators and trainers 
Priority Action Area 4 - Mobilizing youth 
I acknowledge the above: