On 18-19 April 2013 Professor Ilga Salīte attended an international conference “Education for Sustainable Development in the Local Polycultural Education Area” which was hosted by Pskov State University in Russia. In acknowledgement of her renowned expertise in researching the sustainability of education, a formal invitation to deliver a keynote speech at the conference had been issued to Professor Salīte by the Faculty of Education and Social Technologies of the host university and endorsed by its rector.
The highlight of the conference was a plenary session that featured two keynote lectures. The first was delivered by the dean of Pskov State University Professor Irina Vitkovska who examined the promise of sustainable education for pursuing the goals of sustainable development. Meanwhile, Professor Salīte focused on participation as a keystone for building a sustainable culture through development of teacher education.
11 sections created a dialogically rich environment and afforded ample opportunities for attendees to share the findings of their studies in a true spirit of open debate inherent to academic fellowship. This international conference was a sterling example of blending experience and youth in that it welcomed both veteran researchers and acclaimed experts as well as graduate and postgraduate students from Russia, Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Bulgaria and Kazakhstan. The broad international scope of the conference enabled the participants to partake of each others’ culturally contextualised perspectives on the power of education to shape the humanity’s aspirations towards sustainability.
It is expected that the cooperation between Pskov State University and the Institute of Sustainable Education at Daugavpils University will continue to evolve. The Pskovians have pledged their interest in joining the BBCC consortium which has grown into a true benchmark for pursuit of excellence in the researching and practical implementation of the UNESCO DESD 2005-2014. More specifically, a number of researchers from Pskov State University are now contemplating the possibility of acting upon this professed commitment in the very nearest future through participation in the 11th JTEFS/BBCC conference “Sustainable Development. Culture. Education” which is scheduled to take place in Saint-Petersburg on 4-7 June 2013.