(Bea Udvari, 2019. október 04.)
Good generation project by Simon Anholt (Helsinki, 24 September 2019)
With Ildikó Pusztai-Varga we participated in the annual conference and exhibition of EAIE (European Association of International Education) in Helsinki, September 2019. Finland is the second home for Ildikó owing to her studies and the adventurous months she spent here; besides the weird experience that we had to put on winter coat in the Finnish autumn, we arrived home with inspiring experiences. In the interactive sessions, we could learn about how to handle the challenges of teaching in English as a mean of instruction. I could participate in the best conference of my life!
Besides teaching methodologies, both of us – and the other 6,000 participants of the conference – were inspired by the opening plenary session and the keynote speaker. Simon Anholt was speaking about the necessity of change and making a change. Why was this keynote speech so inspiring for us? Simon Anholt had a very impressive presentation: within 25 minutes he could talk to us in a way what all participants could feel the responsibility and all of us wanted to do something immediately. In the 21st century, we have to face several global challenges (poverty, inequality, climate change, child mortality, etc.), and the national problems have become global issues. Even though the problems have become globalized, the solutions have not, yet. Simon Anholt emphasized that we need to face two issues: the behavior of the countries; and the behavior of people. The countries and their leaders need to recognize that instead of clear competition, competition mixed with collaboration would be much more effective. Maybe the most significant sentence of his presentation – that has been occurring to me every day since then – was:The global challenges were caused by us with our own behavior.
As a result, education plays a crucial role in solving global challenges. As Simon Anholt mentioned: “The way we bring up our children determines tomorrow’s world”. Children can still be raised and disciplined, so our (the adults’) responsibility is to bring up a generation that is capable of facing global challenges instead of running away. Simon Anholt announced his good generation project with this keynote speech. Simon Anholt’s presentation is totally in line with the aims of EKO that we as members are really committed to. With Ildikó we felt as if Simon Anholt had been the spokesman of EKO. Thank you for this experience! We deeply recommend for everybody to watch the presentation: this 25 minutes will be an unforgettable experience.