Global Land Paths

Global citizen education for sustainable development

25-30 July 2015, Vitsa, Epirus

We, the participants in the second Global Land Paths (GLAP) seminar, held at Vitsa, Epirus, Greece, under the auspices of The Land Beyond and the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability (FOGGS), from 25 to 30 July 2015, having shared in freedom and mutual respect our knowledge and views on the topic “Global citizen education for sustainable development”, inspired by the beautiful nature of the Northern Pindos National Park, conscious of the paramount importance of education for all as a right and ultimate tool for the development of nations and individuals, using Action Reflection Learning methodology, and building on the outcome of last year’s GLAP seminar on “Cosmopolitan consciousness and civic action in a globalized world”, agreed on the following key points of reflection for action:

  • A new sustainability mindset should inspire our thinking and action, individually and collectively. It should be grounded on respect for each other, respect for other living beings and for nature as a whole, placing human activity in the context of the multitude of natural and social systems at work, redefining the good life in a way that can be sustained over generations, and introducing happiness and satisfaction beyond consumption and short-term rewards.
  • Emotional and spiritual intelligence are sorely needed for a holistic worldview in our rationality- and profit-oriented world. They should be brought back and placed at the centre of educational systems and the public discourse to help us formulate sustainable nonviolent lifestyles and encourage social, economic and cultural innovation to ensure the well-being of present and future generations and of mother Earth.
  • Earth is our common home, source of sustenance and inspiration for our lives. We need to replace the human-centred concept of development, which involves an ever-increasing demand for resources, with co-evolution, which prioritizes a harmonious co-existence between human beings and ecosystems. We need to be inspired by nature in a biomimetic approach, to learn from natural processes that create zero waste as they feed seamlessly into each other in an economy of nature that outsmarts the market in efficiency.
  • At the core of our thinking and civic education, a culture of rights with responsibilities needs to take root, replacing current approaches that are based primarily on rights, focus on taking rather than sharing, value short-term success rather than long-term well-being, and as a result have brought our societies and planet to their limits, threatening human and ecological security in all their aspects.

The mental and attitudinal shifts associated with the above reflection-and-action points would help us confront much more effectively challenges from the personal to the global level, including the challenges of sustainability and climate change, on the basis of common and differentiated responsibilities, individual and collective capabilities, solidarity and justice based on the principle of nonviolence.

These are elements of a new narrative on social justice, liberty, earth-centred development and, ultimately, well-being in peace that we are determined to promote, though our life and work, in practice, every day.

We call on all people of good faith, who share our concerns, to join us in this effort. Speaking up at meetings, using social media, webchats and blogs, lobbying politicians and business people, joining civil society organizations, volunteering for good causes and having a strong presence at the UN and other international organizations, we can create a critical mass in favour of the transition towards a compassionate civilization, towards a new era of responsible global citizenship and sustainability for humanity and Mother Earth.

Vitsa, 29 July 2015

Global Land Paths (GLAP) is a joint project of
The Land Beyond and the Foundation for Global Governance and Sustainability. The objective of GLAP is to explore ways of building global citizenship in consciousness and in action, and of using it to address today’s impasses in democratic governance, sustainability, peace and security. GLAP brings together a diverse group of scholars and practitioners for a week of peripatetic discussions, immersion in thinking and in nature, and mutual inspiration.

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