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null Creating an ethical education ecosystem: Academy Information Session 2022


On Tuesday 22 February 2022, the Academy team set the tone for what will be an enriching season of learning with an Information Session presenting’s Ethical Education Ecosystem.

The webinar, which was simultaneously interpreted into Spanish as part of’s continuous efforts to make our ‘education ecosystem’ more inclusive and diverse, deepened the focus on the relationship between nature and education by examining how trees in different regions of the world narrate the stories of ethical educational ecosystems.

As Academic Dean Amélé Ekué explained in her welcome address, trees are living symbols for growth, life and interconnectedness. They are a metaphor for what we want to achieve at, that is, to create unique spaces of learning, to empower people and transform their lives in a holistic way, and to build their competencies so that together we can build a sustainable world.

Our Academic Office Manager emphasised the importance of creating connections in order to empower people, and invited all, including the almost 80 attendees of the Information Session, to participate in’s academic ecosystem. Not just to take part in courses, but to enjoy the stimulating conversations of the Blue Table Webinars, and draw on the knowledge of the Pool of Experts. Anja Andriamasy encouraged attendees to make the most of the Library’s wealth of open-access resources, while Jakob Bühlmann Quero presented Publications and invited those interested to consider publishing their own work with us.

Equally as important as’s resources are in the ethical education ecosystem are our students. In Amélé’s words, as she introduced Lani M Ayana Jimenez to give her testimony as a learner, there is nothing more rewarding for an educator than seeing how a student implements the knowledge they have acquired.

Lani is a social activist and qualified consultant in peacebuilding and sustainability who came to know through the Academy’s Interreligious Cooperation for Peace course and was later invited to join the Blue Table Webinars in 2021. It was fantastic to hear her voice as a young person dedicated to implementing ethics in a tangible way in the context of her life, work, and commitment to societal change.

Education changes the way we perceive ourselves, the planet and our whole ecosystem, began Lani. The different features of education - reading, writing, the arts, the digital world, building relationships - not only serve us with opportunities to learn, but also with responsibilities as to how we use these educational skills and resources. She gave an example: attending a Muslim university abroad as a Christian from Mexico, Lani discovered a different perspective of Islam, seeing those with different beliefs to her own not as the Other but as people she could learn from. On her return to her home country, she embraced the opportunity and responsibility to share her transformative learning experience and this new perspective with those around her. She has since echoed these learnings in her work with migrant communities, bridging the theory and application of ethics.

The interconnectedness of theory and practice, and this continuous cycle of learning, is something that drives Academy in its ongoing work to improve its offering. On those lines, Lidia gave an update on the new features for our online courses this year. Not only do we celebrate having been officially given institutional accreditation in December 2021, but we also have new interactive content and a new pricing structure for our courses, and a new course in Spanish. In recognition of the success of the course trialled in 2021 in collaboration with Universidad de Los Andes of the importance of multilingual education, Como incluir la etica en la formación universtaria will be launched this semester. Academy has also shown that it “walks the talk” in its fight for climate justice too, as Lidia shared that a donation had been made to conservation organisation Almighty Tree to plant trees in the Peruvian Amazon, Indonesia and Kenya, as a living symbol for peace and hope. Reminding attendees of the theme of the Information Session, Amélé explained that the Academy chose to mark the date, 22/2/22, by presenting 22 trees from around the world that represented educational stories of transformation and growth.

Not only do these trees provide nutrition, but they also stand for enrichment, endurance, diversity, and remind us how rich an ecosystem is, how dependant we are on it and on one another, calling on the importance to protect it and help it thrive. Trees symbolise the way we continue to be interconnected through the Global Ethics Network, both during the course programmes and long afterwards, thanks to the opportunities for learning, networking and further exchange.

These opportunities were highlighted by three of the Academy’s course instructors, who gave their perspectives on the ethical education ecosystem, and on sharing knowledge, thinking and acting together to create a better world. Meera Baindur, instructor on the Interreligious Cooperation for Peace course series, emphasised the accessibility of Academy, both in terms of cost and in terms of language, even for those whose mother tongue is not English.

Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development course instructor José Antonio David and Gilles Bach, instructor on the Cyber Ethics and Ethics in Higher Education for Administrative Professionals courses, both commented on the unique opportunity to interact and share learning with people from all over the world through Academy. The topics covered in our courses - religion, ethics, climate change, and so on - are centered around pressing issues that can be the beginning of conflicts. The importance of having this space to access good knowledge and content, and exchange across different contexts, experiences, cultures and professions, is undeniable.

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