Education for the City we need – how to integrate the UN-Habitat NEW URBAN AGENDA in higher education curricula?

Last week (7 – 9 June 2017) TU Delft organised  an Urban Thinkers’ Campus (UTC ) on Higher Education for the New Urban Agenda. The title of the UTC was “EDUCATION FOR THE CITY WE NEED”.  A concept sponsored by UN HABITAT in partnership with the World Urban Campaign.delft

The aim of the meetings was to explore how to integrate the UN-Habitat NEW URBAN AGENDA in higher education curricula. How do we prepare young professionals to understand and implement challenges related to the New Urban Agenda in diverse national and local developing environments? That’s the question the Urban Thinkers’ Campus aimed to answer.

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The New Urban Agenda is the outcome document agreed upon at the Habitat III cities conference in Quito, Ecuador, in October 2016 and signed by all the UN member states.This event brought together speakers and participants  to discuss strategies, methodologies, literature and practical exercises that can be implemented in higher education courses in Europe and elsewhere. Our attention is on social, economic and environmentally sustainable urban development everywhere, but the challenges of urbanisation in the Global South are truly urgent.

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I would like to thank the organisors for the excellent initiative and for inviting me to share our ideas and the need for Open Principles in Education for  “EDUCATION FOR THE CITY WE NEED”. I hope Open Principles in Education is firmly included in the education ideas for the future.

I fully support TUDelft Global mission statement “Science for the benefit of people. All people. Worldwide.”

“GeoForAll” Lab of the Month – WorldBridge

Dear GeoForAll Colleagues,

As I started on this “Lab of the month” series for the Geo for All newsletter, I myself started learning more and more about the excellent work that our amazing colleagues globally have been doing. This month, I am pleased to share the excellent work of WorldBridge who are involved in International Real-time, Real-world Collaborative Projects by Trillium Learning. WorldBridge is an international award-winning program for learning 21st Century Skills, using advanced teaching methods that incorporate real-world projects involving industry and government partners. A World Bridge continually advances educational models for international leadership, economic development and educational research. These dynamic projects involve the design and implementation of Real-world, Real-time Project-Based Learning into the curriculum. Students develop professional skills while working on locally-oriented projects that have relevance to the larger global community, such as urban management and sustainable resources. Details at http://aworldbridge.com

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I was particularly impressed by their work with students through NASA Europa Challenge . Alaska’s A World Bridge program in Kodiak won back-to-back NASA Europa – International Grand Challenges the past two years, competing against the world’s “Best and the Brightest” to generate solutions to societal issues that will benefit both the local and world communities. The competition includes top universities and commercial organizations – the 2015 Alaskan team represented the first high school to be involved in the competition. The Earthquake Signal Precursors (ESP) project (aka Global Earthquake Forecast System) is a revolutionary initiative that will advance the field of earthquake science using a dynamic monitoring system of earthquake precursor signals that have the potential to forecast imminent seismic activity. ESP can serve as a cornerstone to inform the community for the increasing risk of an earthquake. The current work monitors the Earth’s magnetic field for anomalies. These anomalies have been consistently shown to shortly precede actual seismic events by several hours to a few days.

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Members of the Kodiak Team working on their project (picture courtesy of Trillium Learning)

The students are also working on the NASA OpenCitySmart global initiative, which challenges “the world’s best and brightest” to find solutions for creating sustainable communities. They are looking for renewable energy solutions and the development of shared energy grids suitable for Arctic conditions. Students are also working on building new types of greenhouse systems that can withstand extremely cold temperatures, technology that could have enormous impact on agriculture in the Arctic. This is a great example of accelerating academic performance for students in STEM to greatly enhance the quality of our next generation of scientists, technologists, engineers and mathematicians. See more details at

http://www.gettingsmart.com/2017/03/building-world-bridge-college-career-life-readiness/

http://www.arctic.gci.com/blog/2017/1/31/kodiak-students-team-with-scientists-to-impact-arctic-the-world

We thank Ron Fortunato who is a pioneer and innovator in the development and implementation of educational technology. He is one of the original five Christa McAuliffe Educators in the USA selected by the National Foundation for the Improvement of Education, and a NASA Space Ambassador for the United States. His understanding of teaching and learning processes, real world project-based learning and program implementation enable him to design and produce effective learning environments.

Thank you Ron and WorldBridge Team for making possible. It is important that we can share these amazing ideas with all, so that it keeps building more synergies. We are a global community and it is this global perspective which gives us strength. It is important that we highlight and share ideas from colleagues in different parts of our home planet.

Best wishes,

Suchith

 

GeoAmbassodor – Patrick Hogan

It is my great pleasure to introduce our colleague Patrick Hogan (NASA) as our GeoAmbassador.

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Patrick Hogan began his U.S. Government career with the Environmental Protection Agency in 1990, and then joined NASA a year later as their senior environmental geologist at Ames Research Center. In 2002 Patrick was asked to lead the NASA Learning Technologies program. This is where NASA World Wind was born, the world’s first open source virtual globe program. In 2009 World Wind received the prestigious NASA Software of the Year award. There are versions of World Wind in Java, Android and for the Web in JavaScript.

NASA has a motto, ‘for the benefit of all.’ In this spirit, NASA World Wind helps the world advance innovative solutions for spatial data in the realm of free and open source software, as well as proprietary. In recognition of this work, Patrick was awarded the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal.

Patrick graduated in 1985 with a Masters in Earth Science and a teaching credential and was a High School science teacher for a couple years and then, as a licensed Professional Geologist and Registered Environmental Assessor, did geo-tech subsurface cleanup work for major refineries and the mining industry. Patrick is a former commercial deep sea diver and pilot, as well as a big fan of the Italian Renaissance.

We are especially grateful for Patrick’s efforts in creating the NASA Europa Challenge initiative which adds great momentum to our efforts to promote openness in education and research worldwide. Now in its fifth edition  the aim of this challenge is to inspire ideas for building great applications that serves the INSPIRE Directive and uses NASA’s open source virtual globe technology World Wind. This NASA challenge attracts the best minds to develop their ideas covering a broad range of domains from transportation to air quality to linked data. The previous competition winners work is available at

The Europa Challenge has always had Europe’s INSPIRE Directive to guide project development. This year we continue to have INSPIRE guide us and more specifically, we are looking for solutions specific to urban management. The CitySmart Europa Challenge is challenging the world’s *best and brightest* to deliver sustainable solutions serving city needs.

Almost every city needs the same data management tools as every other city. How can we help cities work together to be more sustainable, more livable and more resilient? If cities were able to share their solutions with each other, this would multiply their investment by the number of cities participating. Each city could develop different functionalities and then ‘share’ these with each other, massively increasing our planet’s collective productivity. This challenge is open to all on our home planet. Students and SMEs are welcome to join the competition this year.

This year’s Europa Challenge is an excellent opportunity for the global community to begin working in collaboration and prepare for the increasing climate change scenarios in cities context. Students are our future and looking at previous year’s contributions from Global Earthquake forecasts systems (developed by some high school students from Alaska who went on to win the first prize in 2015 and 2016!) to Urban Traffic Visual Analytics Simulator , it just shows the amazing contributions of these students and SMEs made for the global good and for the benefit of all.

Details at http://eurochallenge.como.polimi.it/ and overview video at https://youtu.be/OQEzJrEDmEI

Those interested in being part of this global enterprise, please subscribe here http://lists.osgeo.org/cgi-bin/mailman/listinfo/opencitysmart  . Your participation is very welcome.

We look forward to your strong participation for the NASA CitySmart Challenge 2017and joining our mission to make geospatial education and opportunities available for all.

Geo for All is a worldwide movement that provides immediate benefit to the world. We aim to create openness in Geo Education for developing creative and open minds in students which is critical for building open innovation and contributes to building up Open Knowledge for the benefit of the whole society and for our future generations. We are proud to honour Patrick as our GeoAmbassodor and we are extremely grateful for his contributions to Geo for All.

I am grateful for this opportunity of introducing some of our amazing colleagues from different parts of our world each month as our GeoAmbassadors and get inspired by their amazing work and contributions for the wider community.