Co-building our shared futures starts now 

The People’s Global Summit, ‘Co-building a New Eco-Social World: Leaving No One Behind’ starts tomorrow. The Summit will run 24 hours for four days, June 29 – July 2.    

During the Summit people will be able to share their experiences and stories in different ways. These will include presentations from people in communities, live panels, open mic rooms, indigenous-led sessions, storytelling, interviews, cultural expression along with workshops, academic presentations, and keynote addresses from political and civil society leaders. All live and video-presentations will have a chat section for your contributions and to interact with the presenters. This process will provide opportunities for co-building a new eco-social world, and generate security, safety and sustainability for this and future generations.   

POst its on a washing lineThe summit is effectively the first global people’s assembly, initiated by 26 global diverse organisations, and representing 100s of millions of people. We share the perspective that the lofty pledges made by governments after the second world war – on peace, development and human rights – have not been realized. Inequalities and fractures have grown. Poverty sits alongside extreme wealth. Nature has been stripped, leading to climate warming and environmental destruction. Millions of people have been displaced as a result, adding to the millions more displaced by conflict and violence.

The governments that made these commitments have prioritized competition over collaboration, sovereignty over solidarity. They have not yet served the people they represent.   

In the Summit all participants will contribute to The People’s Charter for an Eco-Social World. The process has already started by people and communities submitting their contributions on what values, policies and practices needed to be developed to give everyone and the planet safety and security. During the Summit, the Charter will be developed and drafted from everyone’s contributions. The partners have agreed that the Charter needs to be a living document and will be initially submitted to the world’s leaders as they gather at the 2022 United Nations High-Level Political Forum and General Assembly as an invitation to join us and call to action to work with us for our shared futures.   

The team from the UNESCO Chair in Refugee Integration Through Languages and the Arts features on the very first day of the Global Summit from 8.30am BST. We will live stream from the University’s new Mazumdar-Shaw Advanced Research Centre (ARC).

During our Live Panel Discussion (0900 - 1000 BST), our speakers will discuss and expand upon the themes and issues raised in their recorded Keynote Presentation “Those Left Behind: Radical Dependency, Arts and Refuge” (streamed 0830 - 0900 BST). They will focus on four dimensions of what is ‘left behind’ and ‘who is left behind’. Together they call for a restorative frame which allows for the integration of forms of knowledge and understanding from those experiencing the loss and damage in eco-cultural life. It is here that the challenge of cultural justice can be more widely considered, and the beginnings of a theory of restorative integration might be developed.  

The audience is invited to join us in the ARC Atrium following the panel discussion for mini-workshops with members of the UNESCO RILA team and to watch Summit Sessions screened throughout the rest of the day.  

  • PoetryJoin poet Tawona Sithole as he invites you to share and explore what stories can offer us as we think about our place as humans in pasichigare - the family of nature.
  • Textiles - MIDEQ Researcher and Artist in Residence, Naa Densua Tordzro, will lead a textile session on hair wrappings and their meaning.  
  • MusicLed by Dr Gameli Tordzro – a hands on demonstration of Ghanaian drums, with a singing circle workshop.   
  • Immersive Soundscape: From Alba to AotearoaLed by Brittnee Leysen we focus on the experience of migration through an immersive soundscape: a journey together from the Scottish Highlands and Islands, across the sea to  land in Aotearoa where Māori Waiata, song, reaches us.  

Keynote Speakers:    

  • Alison Phipps, UNESCO Chair Refugee Integration through Languages and the Arts, University of Glasgow   
  • Hyab Yohannes,  Academic Coordinator Cultures of Sustainable and Inclusive Peace, University of Glasgow   
  • Tawona Sitholé, Researcher with MIDEQ (Migration for Development and Equality) and Artist in Residence with UNESCO Chair, University of Glasgow   
  • Piki Diamond, Academic developer at Auckland University of Technology  

Quick quotes from the Keynote Address  

"We're going to be looking at what it means when the cultural, spiritual, artistic, linguistic understandings of the human role within the wider natural world is diminished or is excluded.”  Alison Phipps

“As bearers of precarious status, refugees keep asking us to recognise their existence - their lives - in the same way we recognise our existence - our lives.  They appeal to every one of us to enable them, to restore their human dignity.”  Hyab Yohannes

"Hopefully, in the future, people will see physical, emotional and spiritual elements and expressions of the land within themselves. Kō āu te whenua,  te whenua  āu. I am the land, and the land is me.”  Piki Diamond

This is one step on the journey of a continuing process for sustainability, justice and equality for all.  Join the Summit here: https://newecosocialworld.com/

For further information please contact the UNESCO RILA Secretariat on unesco-rila@glasgow.ac.uk 


First published: 27 June 2022

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