Since 2013, the World Academy of Art and Science (WAAS) has been working for a paradigm change in education which closely parallels the ideas advocated in the recent UNESCO reports and is fully consistent with the UN’s Human Security approach. As the 2021 UNESCO report ‘Reimagining our Futures Together‘ states, we need a new social contract for education. Education should be a holistic and student-centred experience. Curricula should emphasize transdisciplinary learning. Pedagogy needs to be organized around the principles of cooperation and collaboration. The Academy’s research findings and publications are aligned with the principles that the UNESCO roadmap charted out in the 2022 report ‘Beyond Limits: New Ways to Reinvent Higher Education‘, namely, inclusion, equity, participation of all stakeholders, critical thinking, creativity, sustainability, social responsibility and values.
WAAS established the World University Consortium (WUC) as a partner institution in 2014, specifically to promote a new paradigm in education, which will provide affordable, quality education to all. Together with a wide range of partner organizations, WAAS and WUC have organized five international conferences at UC Berkeley (2013), Rome (2015), Rio de Janeiro (2017), Belgrade (2019) and online (2021). Two of these conferences were conducted in collaboration with UNESCO and two former Director Generals of UNESCO are closely associated with this project. In addition, 15 multi-day curriculum development workshops have been conducted to identify the characteristics of the new paradigm in education and strategies to develop and implement the new model. Several reports have been published based on these conferences and over forty articles have been published on issues related to education.