Nowadays, we would struggle to say that people are unaware of the process of globalisation and interdependency in which our world is immersed. We know that the clothes we wear, the food we eat, the light in our houses, the phones we use to communicate, the paper from the books we read, everything has connections which go beyond our country and continent and which arise from a complex framework of global relations.

These interdependent relations and this globalised world doubtlessly offer great advantages and advances (in technology, medicine, human-rights progress…) but has also created major breaches in terms of access to resources, creating greater inequalities and new forms of violence and exclusion.

In the last few weeks in Europe, we have opened our newspapers to news of the biggest refugee crisis since World War II and every day we contemplate the difficulty faced by governments and countries to come to an agreement on how to welcome the thousands of people, ultimately treat like quotes and figures, who flee their country Syria where they have lived in war for more than 4 years. This is merely one of over 20 military conflicts which are currently active in the world, the rest of which are barely discussed.

Together with the refugees coming from Syria, thousands more are crowding at the doors of European states; people from countries which also suffer armed conflicts, draughts, lack of opportunities or hunger.

2015 has become a key year on a global level, since it has celebrated different international summits which have dealt with challenges faced by humanity of the 21st century, including a topic that is currently crucial on an international level due to the crisis of Syrian refugees: migratory movements.

Starting with several consultancies and meetings with governmental institutions, UN agencies, representatives of private bodies and civil-society organisations, the 70th General Assembly of the United Nations has managed to agree on the Goals and Objectives it aims to achieve by 2030 so that the world is better and more just, taking into account caring for the planet.

Approval by the state members of the UNO of these Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), which aim to guide domestic policies to be applied in all countries and will guide development and sustainability policies.  For the first time, although the idea is fraught with tensions and resistance, more and more people are agreeing that we urgently need to find a sustainable and just production and consumption model to eradicate poverty, overcome extreme inequality and protect the environment.

The process in 2015 has been long but fundamental in this critical moment, in which humanity is very much at stake.

  • In may the World Education Forum in Incheon (Republic of Korea) took place, sponsored by UNESCO, in which governments, international organisations and representative of the civil society, teachers, youth and the private-sector came together to reach a consensus on the world agenda with respects to education for all up until 2030. The Incheon Declaration reiterates that education is a fundamental human right and a public good and that it is key to promote social, economic and environmental justice.
  • En julio se mantuvo  la Tercera Conferencia Internacional sobre Financiación para el Desarrollo en Addis Abeba (Etiopía), donde los gobiernos, con la participación de otros grupos de interés, establecían un marco de trabajo global para la financiación del desarrollo sostenible.
  •  In July we had the Third International Conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa (Ethiopia), where governments, with the participation of other interested groups, established.
  • In September, the United Nations Summit, which has taken place in the framework of the General Assembly, has reached an effective and transformational agreement on the Development Agenda for after 2015 up until 2030, with objectives to eradicate poverty, overcome extreme inequality and create a sustainable prosperity. There are 17 objectives, whose approval will mark the international agenda and governmental policies with respects to foreign affairs and development of member countries of the United Nations.
  • Finally, in December the Climate Change Conference will take place in Paris (France), in which governments will attempt to reach a binding agreement that will prevent global warming from surpassing two degrees centigrade, and in turn the disastrous consequences which would come about from this.

In this world full of challenges, we as educators have a fundamental role: developing new ways to create relations, placing human dignity as a priority and building a model for an inclusive and fair global society, giving importance to the global framework for development marked by the SDGs.

It may appear to be a great challenge for education, but education itself has among its aims and priorities “the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace” (Art. 26 This Universal Declaration Of Human Rights).

When we educate, we cannot forget the context in which we do so. Nor can we forget today the refugees who are calling on the doors of Europe, or the people that are nowadays seen living in situations of vulnerability and exclusion, both in the surrounding areas of our town, city or neighbourhood and in faraway territories such as Syria, South Sudan or India.

And with this context, when educating we must take into account the abilities, skills and values that are part of the way we educate: understanding, tolerance, friendship, peace… developed around respect, freedom and participation.

Taking as a reference point the document POSITIONING ON THE IMPORTANCE OF DEVELOPMENT EDUCATION AND THE ROLE OF NGDOs IN BUILDING GLOBAL CITIZENSHIP from the group “Work on Education” for the Development of the Coordinating Body for NGDOs, the education for global citizenship is today more pertinent than ever. Educating global citizens involves educators supporting people so that:

-      They understand and integrate dimensions which are spatial (relations between what is local and global) and temporal (relations of past, present and future) in analysing global processes on a political, social, cultural, environmental and technological level.

-      They are aware of the role of citizenship and feel like they have rights and responsibilities when it comes to looking for alternatives and testing new social models. The document believes that the social, political, economic and cultural models are a cultural product and, as such, susceptible to being changed through conscious and intentional action.

-      They recognise the dignity and fundamental rights of every human being and consider the values of equality, solidarity, justice, liberty, etc… as criteria of action.

-      They participate in and actively commit to the life of citizenship at its different levels (local and global) in order to be able to create a world that is more just, inclusive and human.

-      They are interested in knowing and critically reflecting on global problems and how every one of us is affected by them.

-      They take on habits, customs and lifestyles which are in line with the values they claim to have, and they make it possible to build a world which is more just, sustainable and based on solidarity.

-      The respect, value and celebrate diversity.

-      They are angered by social injustice and exclusion, and individually and collectively reflect and constructively act to transform these issues.

-      They support, promote and work in a network, with a plurality of agents of social change, looking to create meet-up spaces.

Ultimately, it is about educating and supporting people so that they know how to confront and take a stance against challenges brought about in the world today.

In this line of thought, which contemplates Development Education and Global Citizenship as a transformative process, we present you with issue 8 of the magazine, in which we tackle different themes related to the socio-historical, political, cultural and educational situation in which we live.

In this issue we focus especially on methodological proposals which, in the area of education, work to change the environment from a local context to a global one. You will thus find an article on the Schools in Solidarity Network run by the Coordinating Body of the NGDOs in Navarra as an educational work proposal with a focus towards social transformation. This collaboration is proceeded by an article related to elements and factors needed to initiate a Development Education project within the strategic planning of an education centre or institution. In it César García Rincón suggests an itinerary on how to start up these types of projects whose educational bid is intersectionally based on DE and GC. Finally, the article written by the Altekio Cooperative treats the OASIS methodology as its main theme. This is a methodology based on participation, the community and transformation, and has become an opportunity to achieve a new approach which will allow for the inclusion of DE and GC in education centres.

Due to our commitment to providing approaches and projects which develop the theory and practice of the DE and GC agendas, we would like to make you aware of the magazine SINERGIAS, which has just published its second issue in Portugal. We have also included two bibliographical reviews with specific educational proposals: learning modules with a focus on gender “¿Qué tiene la manzana de Eva? [What would Eve's apple have?]” created by a team of teachers at the Colegio Nuestra Señora de Fátima and with a research approach coming from the DEEEP, the document “Monitoring and Education for Global Citizenship. A  contribution to Debate”, which presents a reflection on the reference frame used in indicators and evaluations inherent and specific to the DE and GC programmes.

Issue 8 is filled with methodological proposals and study and research approaches for the DE and GC programmes which will allow us to open new paths to develop this concept and its intersectional inclusion in educational policies, which will in turn allow for the development of skills, ideas and transformative actions focused on Human Rights.