The overall theme of the fourth International Conference on Learning Cities is:
Inclusion – A Principle for Lifelong Learning and Sustainable Cities
The following sub-themes will be discussed in pursuit of the objectives of the conference:
(1) Policy: Underlying concepts and key principles of lifelong learning policies for inclusion at the city level.
(2) Governance: Structures and frameworks to support cities’ policies for inclusion.
What legal frameworks at the national level support inclusion in the context of lifelong learning?
How are cities collaborating with national authorities to develop inclusive policies that have an impact on the delivery of basic services (e.g. education) at the local level? Are there multilevel governance frameworks in place that strengthen this collaboration?
Which other stakeholders are participating in the development of inclusive policies?
(3) Monitoring: Data and financing arrangements to keep track of and improve inclusion at the city level.
Are sufficient and sustainable financing arrangements in place at the local level for initiatives geared towards inclusion?
How do we know that lifelong learning is contributing to making cities more inclusive and sustainable?
What information, knowledge and evidence are needed to improve inclusion in lifelong learning policies and practices? In addition, participants will also discuss the following topics:
(4) Local actions: Lifelong learning policy implementation and practices at the city level to address the needs of vulnerable groups.
Which institutions and sectors participate in the planning and implementation of inclusive lifelong learning at the city level? What mechanisms need to be in place to ensure the participation of vulnerable groups in this process?
How can employers from the public and private sectors and civil society collaborate at the city level to further enhance lifelong learning opportunities for vulnerable groups?
How are flexible learning pathways between formal, non-formal and informal learning created in ways that respond to, value and recognise the knowledge and skills of vulnerable groups in cities?
What is the impact of local actions on specific groups, including youth at risk (NEETs), migrants and refugees, digitally excluded populations, and people living in slums and deprived neighbourhoods?
(5) New work plan for GNLC members – session for mayors and their representatives only
To advance knowledge and practice in specific policy areas, the coordination team of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities (GNLC) will, based on the results of a survey conducted in April 2019 among GNLC Members, identify areas of priority, and organize a Information Package 2019 9 special session at the conference to define a two-year work plan for GNLC members (2020– 2021). 4. Place and date of the conference The conference will be held in Medellín, Colombia, from 1 to 3 October 2019. 5. Participants The conference will bring together some 650 participants from around the world. The UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) is inviting member cities of the UNESCO GNLC to form a two- or three-member delegation to participate in the conference, comprising mayors, city education executives and experts who are specialists and stakeholders in developing learning cities. UIL will also invite Member States to select participants from the following groups: national educational executives; experts; and representatives of cities interested in the UNESCO GNLC.
In addition, UIL is inviting representatives of international organizations, non-governmental organizations and private-sector partners, as well as experts in the field of education and lifelong learning, to participate in the conference. The Medellín Council is inviting mayors, city education executives and experts from Colombia, as well as partner cities, to join the conference.