Social issues

International Congress of UNSECO Educational Chairs for Sustainable Development Issues

Round-table discussion: the activity of the UNESCO chairs on social issues for sustainable development.

September 18, 2009

Ideas of the round table discussion: the discussion of structure, content and organization measures to intensify the network cooperation of the UNESCO chairs for the sustainable development of regional and international social and economical systems and solving the key social problems; making the list of the innovative initiatives in the social sphere; studying the UNESCO chairs experience in educational activity for sustainable development in social sphere; forming the special level of uniform information space and information culture of the population, social networks - the basis for the development of transcultural communicativeness and intercultural dialogue; the culture of responsible product and service consumption as a basis of high life quality of future generations; relevancy of informative inequality liquidation for strengthening the unity of society and education; searching for the innovative ways of the popularization of sustainable development ideas in mass media.

The Chairman of the meeting: Professor Aleksandr Pavlovich Lunev, Rector of Astrakhan State University, Head of the UNESCO Chair “Learning Society and Social Sustainable Development”, Doctor of Economics.

Report of A.P. Lunev, the Chairman of the meeting, on the topic: “Information Culture of the Population is a Basis of Social Sustainable Development”

Issues for discussion:

- forming the special level of uniform information space and information culture of the population, social networks - the basis for the development of social sustainable development of the society

- forming humane and tolerant social sphere through studying foreign languages and social informal supplementary education

- the cooperation of the UNESCO chairs in creation of the network of the transfer of social initiatives and projects for sustainable development of regions and information culture formation of the population

- the consolidation of the UNESCO chairs activity in the development of the culture of sustainable consumption through the consumption networks, specifying the specific features of socially responsible consumer and the patterns of sustainable consumption with the low level of negative influence on the environment

- the cooperation of the UNESCO chairs with the organizations and the enterprises, aiming at reducing energy consumption in the manufacturing the products and environmental pollution, working out and implementing the innovative technologies of clean production

- What key social problem/unstable factor of your country/region can be stated for its solving in the network of social initiatives and projects transfer?

- What important social initiatives and projects in your country/ region can be presented to the network of the transfer of social initiatives and projects to share the experience?

- the proposals of the UNESCO chairs on the joint elaboration of the interdisciplinary academic courses of supplementary education in the sphere of sustainable consumption, information culture for different target groups of course participants

- What new technologies, information and media resources should be developed for efficient informal life long education of the population?

- the UNESCO chairs’ proposals on the creation of international interdisciplinary student teams to carry out marketing and social researches, aimed at the revealing positive and negative factors, having influence on the formation of information culture of the population and sustainable consumption.

Discussion of the issues and main topics of the meeting

Discussion of the meeting protocol.

The protocol of round table meeting on

the Activity of the UNESCO Chairs on Social Issues for Sustainable Development

On September 17 – 18, 2009 the round table meeting “The Activity of the UNESCO Chairs on Social Issues for Sustainable Development” was held within the framework of the international congress of the UNESCO chairs, dealing with sustainable development. The representatives of the UNESCO chairs, interested in the studying the social aspects of sustainable development of modern society, took part in the round table session of the congress. Having listened to the speakers and having discussed the reports of the representatives of the UNESCO chairs on social issues and sustainable development, the participants of the round table session emphasize:

- the topicality of D.A. Medvedev, the President Of Russian Federation’s initiatives on social, economic and political development of Russia, pointed out in the Article “Set forward, Russia” and other speeches of the President

- the need for a common standard in the field of education and sustainable development, including the recommendations on defining the levels of difficulty and professional competence. The need for the skills of responsible decision making in social and cultural sphere and for teaching to implement these decisions on practice. It is possible by means of using imitational models and games.

- the need for the promotion of consumption culture among people for sustainable social and economical development of countries and regions, consulting the consumers in the area of environmental, social and economic consequences of their preferences and actions

- the need for the elaboration of methodological bases for sustainable production, food and energy consumption, the integration of the issues of environmental protection and the strategy of the developing the key economic clusters of a state or a region.

- the need to search new ways of updating young people to promote the culture of healthy lifestyle and to prevent such socially dangerous diseases as alcohol addiction, drug addiction and smoking.

- the formation of the information culture of the population and the liquidation of informative inequality is the most important challenge of a global information society. Thus the actual educational problem of the UNESCO chairs is an education of the citizens, engrafting the readiness for transnational communications and intercultural dialogue in social and consumer networks.

- the increasing need for different types of informal supplementary education, which lets quickly and efficiently meet constantly changing social and cultural and educational needs of a person, develop the motivation for learning, develop the information culture both of a person and a society as a whole.

The UNESCO chairs, studying the social aspects of the sustainable development of a modern society, include into their programs the organization and carrying out of interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary educational courses for different target groups, widely apply the technologies of on-line education for the organization of informal supplementary education of the population, carry out the researches of social issues of the development of a global information society and sustainable production and consumption.

For the extension and intensification of the cooperation of the UNESCO Chairs on social issues for sustainable development it’s necessary:

- to use more widely the new facilities of a global information society in the establishing of international social networks for the exchange of knowledge, initiatives and projects

- to develop the cooperation of scientists for joint elaboration of interdisciplinary academic and educational courses, training guides and books, carrying out the researches for the sustainable development of regions, forming the information culture of the population, the liquidation of information and economic inequality

- to make international student teams for conducting new social projects, researches, which will allow to train the specialists of new level, having not only professional skills, but also being able to conduct intercultural dialogue, be tolerant to other ethnics and cultures.

On the basis of the discussion of the reports and the presentations the following recommendations were offered for their including into the protocol with the decisions of the Congress of the UNESCO chairs:

1). establishing the international network of transfer of social initiatives and projects for gathering, analysis, estimation and the exchange of social initiatives and projects, the formation of information culture of the population to activate the network interaction of the UNESCO chairs in solving the social problems for sustainable development of the society

2) creating of united virtual platform for the Russian UNESCO chairs to present major elements of material and cultural heritage of RF regions and to form virtual space of material culture of the regions, to preserve and develop cultural diversity of Russia, to extend access to the regional and local culture for the population of Russia and world society as a whole.

3) paying special attention to the developing the joint academic and educational programs, carrying out the joint interdisciplinary researches by the UNESCO chairs, aimed at the liquidation of information inequality of the population in different regions/countries

4). considering the promotion of consumption culture among the people for reducing the negative influence on a human and the environment, decreasing energy and resources as one of the top tasks of the UNESCO chairs

5) considering working out the programs aimed at prevention of socially dangerous diseases(drug-addiction, alcohol addiction smoking, etc.) by UNESCO chairs as necessity

6) supporting the conceptual ideas and proposals by D.A. Medvedev on modernization of state and society, based on the paradigm of sustainable development

7) proposing to create standart in the sphere of education for sustainable development

8) Using such new teaching techniques as imitational modeling and business role-play to form practical skills of decision making in the social and cultural spheres

9) contributing in every possible way to the preservation of cultural and natural heritage for the sustainable development of a region/country, to plan and coordinate the UNESCO chairs’ researches in the field of protection and sustainable usage of cultural and natural heritage. Paying more attention to the international and regional cooperation in the sphere of tourism as to a mechanism of sustainable development.

10) developing the partner communication and mechanisms of the UNESCO chairs’ interaction in the sphere of social issues of sustainable development of the society through the organization of the academic mobility of teachers and students, the working out joint interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary researches and projects

11) rendering the assistance especially to developing countries and transition countries in the liquidation of information inequality and the formation of the sustainable consumption culture

12) improving the quality of academic programs and courses, developed by the UNESCO chairs, for the developing socially responsibility of the citizens and the liquidation of information inequality

13) organizing the large international conference “At the Crossroads of Great Civilizations: the Preservation of Cultural and Historical Heritage of the Lower Volga region for the Sustainable Development of the Region” in September 2010 in Astrakhan

14) organizing the international scientific and practical conference under the auspices of UNESCO “Electronic Culture – XXIst Century” in October 2011 in Astrakhan.

For the implementation of the above mentioned recommendations the participants of the session ask to support the following initiatives:

Project 1: “The International Network of the Transfer of Social Initiatives and Projects for Sustainable Development of Regions and the Formation of Information Culture of the Population”

Project 2: “The International Cooperation of the UNESCO Chairs for the Development of Sustainable Consumption through Consumer Networks”

3. To support the development of the project “Transit-R” PSENMCS (Korolev) for the creation of the international low-orbit info trunk of the Russian universities and the UNITWIN (the UNESKO near-earth satellite) in the near-term and medium-term perspective.

4. To hold in March 2010 the international technical-scientific conference “The regions for the sustainable development of Russia” under the sponsorship of the UNESKO department of Novosibirsk State University “The sustainable development of the environmental sciences and social problems”.

5. To hold in April 2010 the contest for the schoolchildren “More information for the strong nation” on the basis of UNESKO department “The healthy life-style is the guaranty of the successful development” of the Moscow State Medical and Stomatological University.

6. To hold in November 2010 the conference under the UNESKO sponsorship “Russian regions in the past, present and future: searching for the ways of the sustainable development” on the basis of UNESKO department of the Academy of the management “TISBY” (Kazan, Tatarstan).

7. To recommend to hold the congress of the UNESKO art and art education departments on the initiative of UNESKO fine art and architecture department of the Russian Academy of Arts.