RCE Greater Phoenix - 2023

Learning Planet Festival @ Arizona State University
Basic Information
Title of project : 
Learning Planet Festival @ Arizona State University
Submitting RCE: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Contributing organization(s) : 
Learning Planet Institute (lead)
Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College, (Arizona State University, ASU)
Julie Ann Wrigley Global Futures Laboratory, College of Global Futures School of Sustainability (ASU)
Knowledge Exchange for Resilience (ASU)
Learning Futures Collaboratives on Education, Sustainability, and Global Futures (ASU)
BRIDGES Flagship Hub (ASU)
Thunderbird School of Global Management (ASU)
University Design Institute (ASU)
RCE Greater Phoenix
Focal point(s) and affiliation(s)
Charlotte Simunek
Organizational Affiliation: 
Learning Planet Institute
Iveta Silova
Organizational Affiliation: 
Arizona State University, Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College
Katja Brundiers
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Alejandra Enriquez Gates
Organizational Affiliation: 
RCE Greater Phoenix
Format of project: 
In-person and online
Language of project: 
Date of submission:
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
UNESCO’s Futures of Education Initiative.
At what level is the policy operating?: 
Geographical & Education Information
United States
Address of focal point institution for project: 
Payne Hall, 1000 S. Forest Mall, Suite 204, P.O. Box 871611, Tempe, AZ 85287-1611
ASU is the local partner for the Learning Planet Festival, which is based in Paris, France

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 greater Phoenix Metropolitan area is a large, interconnected area marked by urban sprawl, which is situated within the natural boundaries of a desert valley surrounded by the mountains of the Sonoran Desert. The main challenges the region faces are: environmental, socio-cultural, demographical, economical and multi-layered education quality and landscape requirements. Arizona’s largest and most populated city, Phoenix, has recently been called the most unsustainable city in the world by New York University sociologist Andrew Ross (2019). The primary sustainability challenges that the greater Phoenix area faces are increasing urban heat island effect, decreasing air quality, unsustainable water resource management, and inequitable access to quality education (Heffernon, Welch, & Melnick, 2007). Five Sustainable Development Goals can be used to address these issues—Sustainable Cities and Communities, Climate Action, Reduced Inequalities, Gender Equity, and Quality Education.
January, 2023
We celebrate the accomplishments made in the field by the growing community supporting and driving the transformation needed to enable us to take better care of ourselves, each other and our planet through this year’s core themes. With over 300 Alliance partners worldwide, the Learning Planet Festival explores new ways of learning, teaching, researching, and making an impact in light of complex societal and environmental challenges.
The Themes guide our activities- The Assembly: Learning Planetizens Unite! Fostering learning for wellbeing, equity and inclusion, peace and the environment. Followed by Action Tracks of Transforming K-12, higher education, vocational training and lifelong learning. The Learning Society, mobilizing all game changers, innovators and supporting learning ecosystems, prioritizing youth empowerment and equity; and The Futures, exploring learning futures building on imagination and traditional wisdom, fostering social and emotional wellbeing. Closing by celebrating all of our learning communities around the world, launching new initiatives and powering up for the transformation journey ahead with Planetizerns Take the Stage.
Activities and/or practices employed: 
The Learning Planet Festival at Arizona State University took place from January 24th through 27th in a diversit of formats: In-person and online conferences, panel discussions, workshops and a day-long Youth Engagement session. Activities were offered through RCE Greater Phoenix and partners as listed here: https://festival.learning-planet.org/arizona-state-university-events-lpf23/
Size of academic audience: 
Approximate audience of 300 people + participating from USA, Romania, Canada, Palestine, Argentina, Turkey, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Armenia, Mexico
20 number of in-person/online sessions/workshops, panels held
259 people attended from local, national and international locations
6 number of ASU entities / faculty organized events …
41 number of local youth participated
Arizona State University: having organised 20 events during the Festival, ASU is powering a range of initiatives, such as the new Transitions in Higher Education Circle, a Manifesto on decarbonizing research, the 100 Million Learners initiative, numerous programmes bringing together Arts and Planetizenship, and a hub of the BRIDGES Coalition.
BRIDGES Coalition: supported by UNESCO, BRIDGES continues its mission to reframe the role of research for society, showcased in its seven events during this edition, and its upcoming co-researching and mapping projects with indigenous communities of knowledge, through Club of Rome and its four other BRIDGES hubs.
Follow up activities include extension of the “sustainability officers” status to more high schools in the Greater Phoenix area.
Lessons learned: 
Attendees and Youth in particular were extremely engaged and looking forward to more opportunities to participate in the Learning Planet Festival and discussions on The Futures, and What the World Needs. Thanks to the support of the RCE, participation of the Learning Planet Institute as speakers in ShapingEDU, the event of ASU’s ShapeEDU unit, follow-up workshops to design a carbon impact of research practices manifesto to be proposed to the entire research community of ASU
Key messages: 
“Learning Planetizens are to the planet what citizens are to the city, meaning that whether you are a human, animal, plant, anything on this planet, you are endowed with rights in our global community.”
- Learning Planetizen Manifesto, 2022, by François Taddei
Relationship to other RCE activities: 
The Learning Planet Festival Institute and ASU will continue the collaboration to expand the LPF in 2024 by integrating local community projects, increasing Youth engagement and coordinating with ASU faculty.

In 2024, the Learning Planet Festival at ASU is planned to grow and reach a wider local audience, including the partners and potential partners of the RCE. Partners of the RCE in Arizona will be invited to participate and even submit their own events for the festival.
The 2024 edition will also be an opportunity for the RCE to make its actions visible to the wider public locally and internationally, as well as within the ASU community.
The Learning Planet Institute would also like to actively support the network of youth “sustainability officers” in high schools and expand it to more districts, including ASU Preparatory Academies.
RCE Greater Phoenix funded the Youth Engagement activities of the day consisting of a visit to the Walton Center for Planetary Health at Arizona State University, an activity to make them reflect on their “Ikigai” (reason for being) and then linger a bit more on “What the World needs”, to finally ask youth to co-design what a desirable future would be in art form. The RCE Greater Phoenix also sponsored transportation and lunch for the group of High School students representing 13 different schools from the Phoenix area.


File Name Caption for picture Photo Credit
Image icon YouthMappers.jpeg (144.65 KB) Book Launch: Open Mapping towards Sustainable Development Goals voices of YouthMappers on Community Engaged Scholarship D. Solís
Image icon LPF Youth Engagement.jpeg (167.56 KB) Youth Engagement workshop 'What the World Needs' A. Enriquez
Image icon LPF Youth Engagement_Partners.jpeg (94.58 KB) Youth Engagement Workshop Partners A. Enriquez
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 6 - Ensure availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all 
SDG 7 - Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all 
SDG 8 - Promote sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, full and productive employment, and decent work for all 
SDG 9 - Build resilient infrastructure, promote inclusive and sustainable industrialisation, and foster innovation 
SDG 10 - Reduce inequality within and among countries 
SDG 11 - Make cities and human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable 
SDG 12 - Ensure sustainable consumption and production patterns 
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 
Disaster Risk Reduction 
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 
Priority Action Area 5 - Accelerating sustainable solutions at local level 
I acknowledge the above: