The post-2015 development agenda will require both a catalytic and transformative shift in the way we conceptualize and implement development. This was the key argument that Dr. Hubert Gijzen, Director and Representative UNESCO Jakarta, presented at the start of his keynote speech.
He further said that if we do not transform ourselves then we are in trouble. But how do we transform ourselves?
Often when we say we are catalysts, we focus on catalyzing change with the stakeholders we work with. Taking a narrow chemistry definition – a catalyst is a substance that hastens a reaction while not being changed by the reaction.
If we are to be effective as education advocates then we need to not just be a part of this transformation process, but equally be transformed by what is essentially an education and learning process.
In addition Dr Gijzen emphasized the need for us to be able to zoom out, to see and appreciate the bigger picture, while also zooming forward to see and work towards the desired future. Often we need to be simultaneously be grounded in the present, see into a shared vision of the future while keeping a broad overview to ensure that one takes a holistic and integrated perspectives.
This ability to view multiple perspectives is learned. However, the more educated we become, the more we know about less. Is this the kind of education we advocate for?
This morning was an opportunity for us to look at the bigger picture – through the global picture of the post 2015 development agenda; while keeping our eye on the shared vision of sustainable development; and also focusing on the minute details of the Indonesian context.
May we take these abilities to transform ourselves and keep these multiple perspectives in sight as we prepare to plan and strategize for the future we want.