Expert group kicks off work on the futures of lifelong learning

26 May 2020

UNESCO recently launched its Futures of Education initiative to reimagine knowledge and learning in an increasingly complex world. The use of the plural, futures, is deliberate to acknowledge a rich diversity of ways of knowing and being as well as multiple dimensions of the future.

Within the context of this initiative, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has invited high-level experts to contribute to an online consultation process on the futures of lifelong learning, which will be held from 26 May to 12 June 2020. Between them, the experts cover a wide range of research fields, including sociology, demography, neuroscience, technology, education, philosophy, economics, climate research, public health and well-being, among others.

The consultation process will address critical questions concerning the futures of education from the perspective of lifelong learning – a transformative approach to responding to increasing complexity, precarity and uncertainty in today’s world, and to shaping a sustainable future. Considering that lifelong learning applies to all contexts and all ages, it is uniquely positioned to provide solutions to myriad challenges and, even more importantly, address cross-cutting issues.

During a period of three weeks – from 26 May to 12 June – the group of 13 renowned experts will reflect on and analyse how lifelong learning needs to be rethought in the context of the deep and rapid changes affecting contemporary societies, such as aging, migration, digitalization and labour market transformation. It will envisage how lifelong learning can contribute to shape future developments, also taking into account the impacts of the global COVID-19 crisis.

The consultation process is organized in collaboration with UNESCO’s Education research and foresight programme, and the outcomes will be submitted to the International Commission on the Futures of Education for its consideration when drafting its global report. In addition, the consultation process will provide the basis for a follow-up publication by UIL capturing transdisciplinary perspectives of the futures of lifelong learning.

List of experts contributing to the futures of lifelong learning consultation

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