Five student teams from Australia, China, France, Nigeria and the United Kingdom will compete in the final round of the fifth edition of Airbus’ Fly Your Ideas global challenge, organised in partnership with UNESCO. The radical concepts selected cover a wide range of innovations going from an alternative to satellite imagery, to improved aircraft taxiing, clever ways of boarding, new areas for luggage storage or offering a new business model using existing Airbus aircraft.
Representing nine different nationalities and eight universities across Africa, Europe and Asia-Pacific, the five finalist teams embody true diversity, which is a key driver of innovation and performance. The students, competing for a €30,000 prize, also demonstrate a wide variety of disciplines from Natural Sciences to Engineering and Business.
Their inventive ideas, which were selected from over 350 entries, had to answer one of five challenges identified by Airbus to provide sustainable future solutions. The innovations proposed by the five finalist teams look at alternative business models, passengers’ experience and flight operations.
The five finalist teams will soon travel to Toulouse, France, where they will spend a week at the Airbus ProtoSpace facility to prototype, test and visualise their ideas using state-of-the-art equipment with personal guidance from Airbus. At the end of their week at Airbus, the students will present their innovative projects and the newly developed prototype in front of Airbus and UNESCO experts and personalities from the aerospace and academic world. The competition offers a unique opportunity for students worldwide, working in diverse teams of 3-5 members, to develop valuable skills, including teamwork, project management, communications and presentation, and to get involved in engineering.
Finalists of Airbus' 2017 Fly Your Ideas competition © Airbus
The ideas competing for the final prize are:
Airborne Earth Observation - Team SkyVision
University of Surrey, UK
A radical concept that turns a commercial airliner into an ‘Earth Observation Device’ by installing equipment into the belly of the aircraft to monitor ground activity during flight. An alternative to satellite imagery, it opens up new opportunities such as ecology analysis and urban planning.
Improving Airport Taxi Flow and Efficiency - Team Nevada
Obafemi Awolowo University, Nigeria
An airport taxiing system that uses sensors and algorithms for automated Ground Traffic Control, both in the tower and on the aircraft, to significantly improve aircraft traffic at airports and thus reduce emissions.
Compact Luggage Strategy Mobile App - Team PassEx
Institut d’Administration des Entreprises – IAE Toulouse, France
A revolutionary boarding system that uses a real-time mobile app to assign boarding status to passengers according to their luggage size. The Compact Luggage Strategy (CLS) addresses current storage issues in over-head compartments by distributing passengers across the aircraft according to the size of their baggage.
Private Stowage Compartment - Team DAELead
University of Hong Kong, China
A clever aircraft cabin design that locates a Private Stowage Compartment (PSC) underneath passengers’ feet, utilizing the space between the cabin floor and the cargo ceiling.
A400M Aerial Firefighting Platform - Team Aquarius
Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology, Australia
A fire-fighting solution that incorporates modular systems using pressurized fire retardant containers fixed to fast-loadable pallets for a network of Airbus A400M aircraft, to create a system of aerial firefighting platforms that can be used for rapid wildfire suppression.
When terror strikes, the media are critical in ensuring affected people have access to much-needed information. However, coverage of terrorism can sometimes be disproportionate and sensationalist, persuading entire populations they are in pressing danger when the level of risk may be relatively low.
In line with UNESCO’s publication Terrorism and the Media: A Handbook for Journalists, we explore some of the most common myths surrounding the issue of terrorism and take a look at what the evidence says:
MYTH: "Western" countries are the most affected by terrorism
When discussing terrorism it is important to maintain a global perspective. Media coverage tends to favour tragedies that occur in close geographic or cultural proximity; hence, attacks that occur in Europe or North America tend to be overrepresented in international, European and North American media. In fact, terrorist attacks occur mainly in the Middle East and North Africa, South Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa regions, which together account for 84% of attacks and 95% of deaths (2015). (Source)
MYTH: Western Europe has never been more affected by terrorism than today
In actual fact, the period between 1970 and the early 1990s saw a higher number of deaths and much more frequent attacks in Western Europe, notably from separatist or revolutionary groups. Yet today, advances in media development – mobile technology, social media and 24/7 news channels – mean that people are continuously faced with wall-to-wall coverage, thus raising feelings of insecurity. Such rare events then seem more common than they actually are. (Source)
MYTH: Fear of terrorism is rational – terrorism is likely to kill you
Fear can be a powerful and involuntary response to terrorism, but understanding is needed of the objective level of risk involved. Although terrorism is unique in its ability to shock and scare, the actual risk for an individual citizen is relatively small, especially compared to countless other factors. The global death rate from terrorism in 2015 was 0.39 per 100,000. Road accidents, by comparison, accounted for 18.2 deaths per 100,000 people, according to the World Health Organization. (Sources: 1 | 2)
MYTH: Refugees and recent migrants bring terrorism
Most terrorist attacks in recent years have been perpetrated by people born in the countries where the attacks took place. UN Secretary-General António Guterres, then-UN High Commissioner for Refugees, said that “it is not the refugee outflows that cause terrorism; it is terrorism, tyranny and war that create refugees.” A 2016 report from the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights stated that “there is little evidence… that terrorists take advantage of refugee flows to carry out acts of terrorism. Such perceptions are analytically and statistically unfounded, and must change.” Fearing and demonising refugee groups by blaming them for terrorist acts can worsen their already highly vulnerable situation. (Sources: 1 | 2)
MYTH: People in many “Western” cities are living in permanent warzones
The choice of words when discussing such a tense topic used can be extremely important, and the word ‘war’ is one such example. It is critical to keep a sense of perspective about what war looks like. In the words of Dominique Faget from Agence France-Presse, who covered several wars around the world, “war is to live in daily fear of death, to live on borrowed time, to not have security anywhere, anytime. It’s to watch people falling around you every day, from bullets or shells that rain down on entire cities.” (Source)
Other words to be aware of include ‘terrorism’ itself – when should an attack be described as terrorism and when should it not? See our publication for more insights.
It is crucial to understand what lies behind coverage of major issues like terrorism – the motivations of the media, the goals of terrorist groups. The real risk is that fear and suspicion will drive a new wave of nationalism and populism, and that the freedoms we have all worked so hard to achieve will be sacrificed. This is why media coverage must avoid fostering division, hatred and radicalisation at both margins of society by providing verifiable information and facts.
An electronic version of the handbook Terrorism and the Media is available online here.
Read more about what UNESCO is doing to contribute to the fight against terrorism and radicalization: Preventing Violent Extremism, Media in Crisis and Disaster Situations and Media and Information Literacy.
Jean-Paul Marthoz, author of Terrorism in the Media, discusses some of the issues for journalists in covering terrorism.Social Media Content
Download social media visuals to share and discuss with your networks the importance of accurate, responsible coverage.
The UNESCO MAB Secretariat is saddened by the news that Prof. Dr. Samir Ibrahim Ghabbour passed away on 4 April 2017, Cairo, Egypt.
A stern advocate of the ideals of UNESCO and its Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme, Prof. Ghabbour spared no efforts during his long and illustrious career at the Cairo University, and as visiting Professor at numerous universities internationally, to inform and educate generations of young students and researchers around world about ecology, environment and natural heritage conservation issues.
With unparalleled knowledge, wisdom, international outreach and never ending enthusiasm, curiosity, energy and friendship, Prof. Ghabbour made invaluable contributions to the UNESCO MAB Programme. As the Chairman of the Egyptian MAB National Committee, his legacy is for ever enshrined in the MAB Programme through his large number of MAB publications and contributions to the ArabMAB Network and the World Network of Biosphere Reserves, as well as to key MAB and biosphere reserve developments, such as the Seville Strategy and the Statutory Framework, the Madrid Action Plan, and the MAB Strategy and Lima Action Plan (2015-2025).
Prof. Ghabbour will be sorely missed by the UNESCO MAB Secretariat, and our condolences goes to his family and friends.
Man and the Biosphere (MAB) Programme
UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, took part in the Abu Dhabi Culture Summit 2017, a high-level international forum, bringing together culture professionals and artists to address the role of culture for peace, mutual understanding and sustainable development.
"It is highly significant that a publication specialized in world affairs and security issues holds such an event on the role of culture for social cohesion and resilience," said the Director-General. "We stand at a crossroads, where more and more people and leaders realize the role culture plays in societies. With the recent adoption of a historic resolution adopted by the UN Security Council on heritage protection and peace building, and the first ever G7 meeting of culture ministers last week in Florence, culture offers responses to many of today's challenges and UNESCO has been working to leverage its potential since it was founded," she continued. "We must unite and work together to educate young people and teach about the value of heritage and the need to protect it."
Emirati Minister of Culture Sheikh Nahyan bin Mubarak insisted on the importance of culture as indispensable to lead a dignified life. Several speakers commented on positive effects of cultural initiatives, theatre and artistic activities in refugee camps or in emergency situations to bring back hope, dignity and a sense of normalcy.
"When people have been living in camps for the last 20 years, you can no longer speak of a crisis. It is a long-term challenge that requires long term solutions to equip a whole generation with skills, dignity and jobs as well - and culture plays a vital role here," said the musical artist and UNHCR Ambassador Octopizzo, as Irina Bokova highlighted some of UNESCO projects to advance education, skills and culture in Jordan, Iraq and Mali.
Irina Bokova urged for enhanced coordination and international efforts to measure the impact of culture and the creative economy for job creation and sustainable growth. "Recent UNESCO reports on creative economy, on cultural policies, and on urban culture, have demonstrated that culture is a major driver for sustainable development, and we need more robust data, stronger policies, better planning to make the most of it."
The event was hosted by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and presented in conjunction with the Foreign Policy Group, and TCP Ventures.
The summit, held under the theme “The Creative Mind of the Connected World: Culture as a Change Agent in the Digital World”, brought together representatives from over 80 countries to address challenges ranging from the preservation of cultural heritage to understanding the disruptions likely to be associated with emerging technologies, from bringing arts education to the young to finding new ways to finance the arts, from preventing threats like violent extremism to developing public policies that promote creativity and social development.
While in the United Arab Emirates, the Director-General met with HRH Princess Dana Firas, President of Petra National Trust and HE Ohood bint Khalfan Minister of Happiness.
Paris, Washington, D.C. and Havana – United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Director-General Irina Bokova and UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador Herbie Hancock announced today the sixth annual International Jazz Day, which will be celebrated worldwide on April 30, 2017. The day will culminate with an All-Star Global Concert presented at the Gran Teatro de La Habana Alicia Alonso, under the auspices of the Ministry of Culture of Cuba, the Cuban Institute of Music and the Cuban National Commission for UNESCO. The concert will be live streamed by UNESCO and will feature an extraordinary array of artists from around the world paying tribute to the international art form of jazz.
The musically vibrant and culturally rich city of Havana, Cuba, has been selected to serve as the 2017 Global Host City, presented each year on April 30th, in partnership with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz. International Jazz Day highlights the power of jazz as a force for freedom and creativity, promotes intercultural dialogue through respect and understanding, and unites people from all corners of the globe. The day is recognized on the official calendars of both UNESCO and the United Nations. International Jazz Day programs are made possible by Toyota, the 2017 lead partner.
The All-Star Global Concert will have Herbie Hancock and Chucho Valdés serving as the artistic directors, and John Beasley and Emilio Vega as the evening’s musical co-directors. The Concert will feature stellar performances by a truly international roster of artists including Ambrose Akinmusire (United States), Carl Allen, (United States), Marc Antoine (France), Richard Bona (United States), Till Brönner (Germany), A Bu (China), Igor Butman (Russian Federation), Bobby Carcassés (Cuba) Regina Carter (United States), Kurt Elling, (United States), Kenny Garrett, (United States) Herbie Hancock (United States), Antonio Hart, (United States), Takuya Kuroda (Japan), Ivan Lins (Brazil), Sixto Llorente (Cuba), Marcus Miller (United States), Youn Sun Nah (Republic of Korea), Julio Padrón (Cuba), Gianluca Petrella (Italy), Gonzalo Rubalcaba (Cuba), Antonio Sánchez (Mexico), Christian Sands (United States), Esperanza Spalding (United States), Chucho Valdés (Cuba), Ben Williams (United States), Tarek Yamani (Lebanon), Dhafer Youssef (Tunisia), Pancho Amat (Cuba), César López (Cuba) and others, with further details to be announced in the days to follow.
“UNESCO is proud to be associated once again with the Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz, as well as with the Instituto Cubano de la Música, to raise the flag for jazz, for freedom, for creativity, for diversity and for unity. This year’s focus on Cuba is testament to the power of jazz to build bridges and join women and men together around shared values and aspirations”, said Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO.
Many acclaimed musicians and educators from Cuba and around the world will participate in free jazz performances, master classes, improvisational workshops, jam sessions and community outreach initiatives. Programs will take place at schools, arts venues, community centers, jazz clubs and parks across the city of Havana and throughout Cuba beginning on Monday, April 24th and leading up to the festivities on April 30th. Additionally, jazz history and education programs will be provided for tens of thousands of students in over 11,000 schools across Cuba. These programs will be among the thousands of International Jazz Day live performances, educational activities, and community service programs taking place in more than 190 countries on all continents.
Herbie Hancock, UNESCO Goodwill Ambassador for Intercultural Dialogue, said: “Afro-Cuban jazz and its rich history have played a pivotal role in the evolution and enrichment of the entire jazz genre. The incomparable trumpeter Dizzy Gillespie along with beloved Cuban musicians Mario Bauzá, Machito and Chano Pozo, infused American jazz with Afro-Cuban rhythms to create a brand new, energetic sound that defined modern music. We are so pleased that Havana, Cuba, will serve as the Global Host City for International Jazz Day 2017. On behalf of the worldwide family of jazz musicians, educators and enthusiasts, I would like to thank the citizens of Havana and Cuba for their enormous support of this truly global musical art form.”
The Thelonious Monk Institute of Jazz is once again working with UNESCO and its field offices, national commissions, networks, associated schools, universities and institutes, public radio and public television stations, and NGOs to ensure their involvement and participation in International Jazz Day 2017. Additionally, in countries throughout the world, libraries, schools, universities, performing arts venues, community centers, artists, and arts organizations of all disciplines will be celebrating the day through presentations, concerts, and other jazz-focused programs.
The celebration in Havana of the International Jazz Day in 2017 marks the seventieth anniversary of Cuba’s accession to UNESCO and the foundation of the National Commission for UNESCO.
+ 1 323 467 8508
Elena Nápoles (UNESCO Havana Office)
+53 7 833 34 38
Lucía Iglesias (UNESCO)
+33 1 45 68 17 02
How can Education for Sustainable Development(ESD) learning experiences help transform societies? How can we create the learning environments and experiences that lead to empathy, passion and sustainable behaviour?
To find answers to these questions, UNESCO gathered international experts and local stakeholders on 27 and 28 March in Gelsenkirchen, a town in a former coal mining area of Germany, for a second symposium, in a series of five, on the future of ESD. The symposia are designed to generate new ideas and to ensure ESD’s relevance and continuity beyond the Global Action Programme (2015-2019).
The two-day event encouraged freethinking, dialogue and sharing stories, narratives and perspectives between local actors and outside specialists from different disciplines. They discussed the conditions and pedagogies that can nurture effectively the soft skills, values and attitudes empowering citizens to support the paradigm shift for a sustainable society.
The 25 participants from 16 countries (including Australia, Brazil, Bhutan, Canada, Finland, India, Germany, Japan, Republic of Korea, Madagascar, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Senegal, the UK and the USA) represented fields ranging from neuroscience and information technology to sociology, teacher training, media and youth, all sharing a focus on sustainability.
Field visits to learning sites
Among the highlights of the symposium agenda were field visits to three different local learning sites. The first, the Weiterbilungskolleg (WEL), is an institution of second chance learning that actively implements project-based learning as a part of its whole-school approach to ESD. The WEL is currently taking part in the 2016-2020 campaign “Schule der Zukunft” (School of the Future) to scale up ESD through local networks and activities. Being a second-chance school, with students already living their adult life outside of the school, the WEL actively embraces social sustainability issues such as racism and diversity in its learning, in a town where 40% of its population has a background of migration. The adult learners are encouraged to reflect on sustainability not only in their learning but also in their everyday lives and jobs. When asked how the learning changed their daily reality, students at WEL replied that they ‘learned to appreciate life’ and ‘became more open, understanding and curious about why people are the way they are’.
The second visit was to the non-formal education centre Ziegenmichelhof, which will introduce two flagship ESD programmes addressing soft skills and values for sustainable development. The centre grew out of the official 2013/2014 German Project for the ESD Decade. Set in an old farm surrounded by a garden, the Wellness and Cosmetics for Girls programme allows girls to address issues of health, natural resources and sustainable life style. The Harmony with Horses programme focuses on empathy through learning to take responsibility for another being (a horse) and transfers the learning to social and global dimensions. The owner Michael Lorenz emphasized, “We have to live what we preach to children.”
The Biomass Park Hugo, the third place visited, was built on the site of the former Hugo 2/5/8 mine in Gelsenkirchen-Boer. It is a sustainable renewable energy park and a lifelong learning space for ESD. The previously closed-off area was returned to the people and became a huge “project-based learning” site. Local stakeholders organize idea workshops jointly with the citizens, addressing the challenges of revitalizing the area through critical thinking, collective decision-making and problem solving. With the leadership of local organizations, the citizens become the change agents and the park a living learning environment for sustainable development. To describe the collective energy people have shared to create one of the most sustainable cities in Germany, Werner Rybarski, Head of Agenda 21-Office, City of Gelsenkirchen, explained “The German word for homeland, roots, is ‘heimat.’ Home is a vision, ‘where we want to go’, as well as where we come from. It is important to know where you want to go as well as where you are from.” The collective learning becomes the basis of a common vision and shared action for a sustainable city.
Establishing learning spaces
These impressive learning sites have at least one characteristic in common. All of them focus on participation and lived democracy as condition for creating sustainable society, with an atmosphere of hope and trust in a region severely challenged by poverty and unemployment. Together, the sites demonstrate how high-quality learning spaces can be designed.
Leslee Udwin, CEO of Think Equal, and Arjen Wals, Professor of Transformative Learning for Socio-Ecological Sustainability at Wageningen University in the Netherlands and Gothenburg University in Sweden, both commented on the fact that the people of the region had experienced loss – the closing of the mines. They seem as a result to be particularly mindful of the meaning of loss, and ready to consider their assets and value them.
Through intense in-depth discussion on what to teach, how to teach and what education system changes are needed, the participants of the symposium identified ownership, relevance and peer-learning as the key drivers in transforming people into change agents for sustainable development.
Walter Hirche, International Advisor to the National Platform for ESD in Germany and Chair of the Education Committee, German Commission for UNESCO, emphasized the changing role of teachers: “Teachers are learners themselves. They should learn to cooperate and use the expertise of people outside of the school in networks.”
The participants of the meeting reaffirmed the importance of ESD to address the changing challenges of sustainability. As demonstrated by the best practices in Gelsenkirchen, education as a form of civic intervention to teach values and attitudes for sustainable community can encourage curiosity and ownership that lead to resilience and action. Irmeli Halinen, former Head of Curriculum Development at the Finnish National Agency for Education, said: “The fundamental change needed is for all elements of education to be able to work together as a whole to socialize a human being.”
From 9 to 13 April, UNESCO Director-General, Irina Bokova, is traveling to Abu Dhabi to take part in the Culture Summit 2017, a high-level international summit that will bring together government leaders and culture professionals and experts to address the role culture for peace, mutual understanding and sustainable development.
The summit is held under the theme “The Creative Mind of the Connected World: Culture as a Change Agent in the Digital World”. It will bring together representatives from over 60 countries to address challenges ranging from the preservation of cultural heritage to understanding the disruptions likely to be associated with emerging technologies, from bringing arts education to the young to finding new ways to finance the arts, from combatting threats like extremism to developing public policies that promote creativity and social development.
The event will be hosted by the Abu Dhabi Tourism and Culture Authority and presented in conjunction with the Foreign Policy Group, publishers of Foreign Policy Magazine, and TCP Ventures, a producer of artistic ventures and an advisory firm focused on issues associated with the arts and culture.
The Director-General will take part in two State of the Arts plenary sessions entitled “Universality and Uniqueness: Boundaries and that by Which We are Bound Together in a Connected World” and “Change Agents, Healers and Advocates: The Why of the Arts and Media in the New Global Cultural Reality”. She will also participate in a plenary session on “Cases studies in Connectedness: New collaborations for a New World”. This session will take place in the presence of H.E. Noura Al Kaabi, Minister of State for Federal National Council Affairs of the United Arab Emirates, and Chairperson of the Media Zone Authority Abu Dhabi and twofour54 and Mr Robert Lynch, President of Americans for the Arts.
While in the United Arab Emirates, the Director-General will hold several bilateral meetings and visit Al Ain inscribed on the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site in 2011.
Paris, 17 June. UNESCO Secretariat organized an information meeting today to brief Permanent Delegations on the status of preparations for the United Nations Ocean Conference (5-9 June 2017) and to present the activities foreseen by UNESCO’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) and the Culture Sector.
Hosted by the Fiji and Sweden at the UN headquarters, the conference aims to support the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 14 (SDG14) and reverse the decline of ocean health for the benefit of humanity by identifying solutions and engaging all stakeholders: Governments, Research institutes, civil society, industry and ordinary citizens.
Mr Per Magnusson, Deputy Director at the Swedish Ministry of Education and Research, introduced some background and the basic objectives of the conference on behalf of the Swedish Permanent Mission to UNESCO, emphasizing the role of ambitious voluntary commitments by the various stakeholders as an important mechanism to accelerate the implementation of SDG14. He encouraged UNESCO Member States to take part in the conference, which he called “a unique window of opportunity to make a real difference for the oceans”.
IOC’s Executive Secretary, Vladimir Ryabinin, outlined in his presentation the key contributions of IOC and UNESCO to the Ocean Conference, including a proposal for an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development, the launch of the latest UNESCO flagship publication, the Global Ocean Science Report, and the launch of a UN web portal for World Oceans Day.
UNESCO and its IOC are also mobilizing for the conference through various other elements, including participation in the Partnership Dialogues (PD), contributions to the “Call for Action” outcome document, the launch of several voluntary commitments, organization of official side events and exhibits, and the hosting of a televised panel discussion and gala event.
IOC hopes that the outcome document will explicitly support its proposal for an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development (2021-2030), and call on countries and stakeholders to support the initiative.
Ms Jyoti Hosagrahar spoke on behalf of UNESCO’s Culture Sector, focusing on the links between world heritage and SDG14. She raised attention to the contributions of the Secretariat of the 2001 Convention on Underwater Heritage and the Marine World Heritage Programme to the UN Ocean Conference. This will comprise an official side event and participation in the World Oceans Day segment.
The meeting closed with a very productive Question-and-Answer session, followed by the screening of a video recently produced by Dutch delegate to UNESCO, Stein van Oosterem, which very simply explains the rich concept behind IOC’s proposal of an International Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development.
Please find here all of the materials and presentations shared during the information meeting:
Statement: Mr Per Magnusson
Video: IOC “UN Ocean Conference” Promo
For more information, please contact:
Julian Barbière (j.barbiere(at)unesco.org)