Earth Charter International Conference Held at Rollins

May 22, 2024

By Jessica Firpi ’11

In April, Rollins played host to the fifth annual Earth Charter Conference, a three-day event focused on education for sustainability and global citizenship and for planetary well-being.

Earth Conference 2024 poster

Rollins recently hosted the fifth annual Earth Charter Conference, bringing together 150 educators, academics, young leaders, Earth Charter International partners, researchers in education, and businesspeople under the theme “Reimagining Education for Ecological Civilizations.”

Organized under the framework of the UNESCO Chair on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter, which works to generate educational programs and research activities specifically at the intersection of sustainability, ethics, and education, the conference provided a space to enhance collaboration, share experiences and research, identify new ways to reorient education toward creating ecological civilizations, and enhance sustainability and global citizenship education.

Volunteers from Rollins’ Center for Career & Life Planning, Social Impact Hub, the Rollins Greenhouse, and Gateway were instrumental in the success of the conference. President Grant Cornwell shared opening remarks focused on the importance of educating students to be global citizens and responsible leaders before more Rollins faculty and students shared presentations:

  • Rachel Winter, communication studies lecturer and co-director of the master’s in strategic communication at Rollins, gave a presentation titled “Partnering for Sustainability: Community Engagement Coursework as a Pedagogical Approach to Building Eco-Literacy” and participated on a panel focused on climate change literacy and communication toward ecological situations.
  • Paul Stephenson, associate professor of biology, gave a presentation titled “Integrating Undergraduate Biology Education and Community Engagement.”
  • Jenn Manak, professor of education, gave a presentation titled “Integrating Problem-Based, Transdisciplinary Education into Teacher Preparation Programs for Sustainable Development.”
  • René Tanner, associate professor and head of research services at Olin Library, and Victoria Machado, visiting assistant professor of environmental studies, gave a presentation titled “Information Literacy Through Lateral Reading in the Environmental Studies Classroom.”
  • Grace Dance ’23, graduate assistant in the Social Impact Hub and student in the master’s in strategic communication program, and communication studies major Karie Yanez ’26 gave a presentation titled “A Review of Rollins Rethinking Fashion Utilizing Value-Belief-Norm Theory to Activate Changemakers.”

The Earth Charter is an international declaration with 16 principles outlining an ethical foundation for actions to build a more just, sustainable, and peaceful global society in the 21st century. The Earth Charter powers a global movement of individuals and organizations from 90 countries that have embraced the declaration’s vision and use it in various ways to guide the transition toward global interdependence and shared responsibility.

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