Cebu, Philippines, on 7th-8th December
The United Nations University, based in Tokyo, is gradually creating a framework for the functioning of the RCE system and the recognition of its results. The UNU Office organizes annual RCE meetings, this year hosted by the University of Phillipinnes, Cebu, Philippines, on 7th-8th December - see conference website.
For the 44 European RCEs this year was the second opportunity to meet and discuss strategies for further development of this concept. Two main RCE orientations have been identified - engaging different societal actors to make a significant contribution to the sustainable development of underdeveloped regions and 2) to further Sustainable Development Education, a set of methods and approaches that help promote social change. The European RCEs often focus on climate change, with the emphasis on environmental sustainability, targeting vocational education, one of the prerequisites for the green economy, and identifying diverse target groups such as older but still active citizens. For the implementation of these plans there are opportunities for joint submission of projects, for example from EU Cohesion Funds (Regional Development Funds).
The RCE network is growing, with another five established this year, and this model has been steadily developing as each network learns from experience-sharing in the regional and global meetings. This creates a network of networks whose individual "elements" are very diverse, but perhaps that is precisely why they can complement each other and together cause the change that today's world really needs.