The 15th BBCC/JTES Conference on Sustainable Development, Culture, and Education: Interplay of Tradition and Innovation for ESD

From November 16-18, 2017, UNESCO/UNITWIN Chair on the Interplay of Tradition and Innovation in Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) at Daugavpils University in cooperation by partnership with Baltic and Black Sea Consortium in Educational Research (BBCC) Network Universities, the Editorial Boards of JTES and DCSE journals, UNESCO Chair in Toronto in Reorienting Teacher Education Towards Sustainability and the Network on Reorienting Teacher Education to Address Sustainability, the UNESCO Latvian National Commission, Riga Technical University, Urmia University in Iran, Japanese Society of ESD (JSESD), and Miyagi University of Education have organized the 15th BBCC/JTES International Conference on “Sustainable Development, Culture, and Education: Interplay of Tradition and Innovation for ESD” that took place at the Faculty of E-learning, Technologies, and Humanities, Riga Technical University.

Held at Daugavpils University in 2003, the first conference on this theme focused on reorienting teacher education to address sustainability. During its first decade, the responsibility for organizing the conference was shared among JTES Editorial board members and BBCC members from Tallinn Pedagogical University (Estonia), Vechta University (Germany), University of Helsinki (Finland), University of Debrecen (Hungary), Anadolu University (Turkey), Daugavpils University (Latvia), UNESCO (France), Siauliai University (Lithuania), and University of Eastern Finland (Finland), Chelm (Poland), Riga (Latvia), and Konya in Turkey.

The aims of the BBCC/JTES International Conference “Sustainable Development, Culture, and Education: Interplay of Tradition and Innovation for ESD” was on deepening participants’ understanding and interpretation of methodology from transdisciplinary perspectives and stakeholders’ approach for transformations to sustainability and investigations of social innovations for ESD.

Identification of transdisciplinary issues and development strategies for the creation of social innovations for ESD in education, transdisciplinary research for ESD, and organization of transformations to sustainability in institutions were among the key expected outcomes of this conference.

The conference has opened the forum for addressing the challenges raised by UNESCO as stipulated in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and the Global Action Programme (GAP).

The themes of the conference featured plenary presentations, paper sessions, workshops, and posters on ESD. The following themes covered a wide spectrum of research areas as well as practices related to sustainable development are suggested and expected to be addressed throughout this event such as:

(1) Exploration of transdisciplinarity in the context of sustainability and sustainable education;

(2) The influence of transdisciplinarity on a quality development in institutions;

(3) The development of social and culture innovations to support and promote sustainable education, teacher education, higher education, and sustainable science development.

There were participants from Latvia, Estonia, Lithuania, Germany, Ireland, Greece, Japan, Jordan and Iran. We express our gratitude to all the participants who took part at this international event.