GCE Mindmap


  • Concept

    The Europe-wide Global Education Congress was held in the Netherlands in 2002 in the context of the Millennium Development Goals. It explored the contents and the roles of global education, and provided a space for sharing strategies for improving and increasing global education by the year 2015. The Congress developed the Maastricht Global Education Declaration, which defines Global Education like this:

    "Global Education is education that opens people's eyes and minds to the realities of the world, and awakens them to bring about a world of greater justice, equity and human rights for all. Global Education is understood to encompass Development Education, Human Rights Education, Education for Sustainability, Education for Peace and Conflict Prevention and Intercultural Education; being the global dimensions of Education for Citizenship."

    UNESCO defines Global Citizenship Education in the following way:

    "Global Citizenship Education (GCED) aims to empower learners of all ages to assume active roles, both locally and globally, in building more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure societies."

    The Johannesburg Compass stated the following about Global Citizenship:

    "...global citizenship means that all people have access to participate and influence in a world democracy. The essence of global citizenship is built upon the involvement of different groups within decision making. Global Citizenship means that rights should be the same for all peoples and responsibilities that are proportionate to their possibilities. The right of freedom of movement and settlement for everybody has to be respected."

  • Active citizens

    Active citizens make a better world.

    a world where individual citizens understand that they have active roles to play in changing big issues a world where people seek and find the things that connect them rather than divide them a world where they can do something to challenge the causes of injustice and inequality

    Global Citizenship Education explores a multitude of ways how active citizens can change the world.

  • Values

    Cosmopolitanism, transformation, proactive community membership and the belief that people can bring about change Self-respect, respect for others, self-confidence, sense of identity, solidarity and respect for human life Collaboration, participation, inclusivity, equality, sharing, teamwork, dialogue and open-mindedness Universal human rights women's rights, children's rights, labour rights LGBTQI rights, rights of people with disabilities and rights of indigenious people Sustainability, social responsibility, environmental responsibility, concern for the environment and preservation of the planet Democratic, non-hierarchical, dealing with complexity, dealing with contradiction, dealing with uncertainty, peaceful, non-violent and committed to social justice Pluralism, non-discrimination, visionary attitudes and understanding of interconnectedness Awareness, openness, tolerance, creativity, empathy, optimism, spirituality and understanding of the world.
  • History

    Year Content 1960s  Awareness raising - let us help poor people, colonial studies began 1970s Critical development 1980s Development Education 1990s Human education, education for sustainable development 2000s Global Education 2010s Global Citizenship Education


    Emerging social and political movements in reaction to international developments, such as the war in Vietnam, the student movement of the late 1960s, the Nigerian civil war and the anti-apartheid movement, played an important part in shaping the agenda of development education. It became clear that Third World problems were the natural consequences of the existing international economic order created for the rich world. Several countries and United Nations identified a need for education programmes that went beyond promotional and development advocacy work.


    Development education was shaped by a political and often radical agenda with strong links to the civil society sector. From the very beginning, a tension existed between awareness raising approaches that are framed by "development as charity" as opposed to "development as justice". Another conflict existed between providing information to generate resources for development work and the education to engage people in global issues.

    International bodies such as OECD and EEC endorsed a resolution made by the United Nations in 1970 that industrialised countries transfer 0.7 per cent of GNP to developing countries. The European Commission started supporting Development Education and Awareness Raising actions (see video below).


    While the concept of development education was quite loosely defined in this period it became more known in civil society and in national governments. Some degree of funding arose with the government agencies and grants and support structures were created.


    The idea of a Global Education Charter for Council of Europe member states emerged at the international workshop on Partnership on Global Education organised by the North- South Centre on March 1996. The Global Education Charter was delivered in 1997 as the first North-South Centre reference document on global education.

    The development education sector evolved becoming increasingly more professional and strategic.


    The Dare Forum created the DEEEP projects. There were four 3-year projects starting with DEEEP1 in 2003 and ending with DEEEP4 in 2015. These projects perceived development education as a key tool in gaining a critical understanding of the world and in creating an active global society for greater social justice. DEEEP aimed to create a global movement for change and to sharpen the identity and concepts of development education as well as to improve the quality and impact of development education.

    The Maastricht Global Education Declaration was an important paper from the Global Education Congress in 2002 to increase support to global education.

    The Development Education Research Centre (DERC) was founded in 2006.


    In 2013 and in 2014 DEEEP arranged two global conferences in South Africa. The Johannesburg Compass stated amongst other things that:

    We believe global citizenship means that all people have access to participate and influence in a world democracy. The essence of global citizenship is built upon the involvement of different groups within decision making. Global citizenship means that rights should be the same for all peoples and responsibilities that are proportionate to their possibilities. The right of freedom of movement and settlement for everybody has to be respected.

    The Sustainable Development Goals were adopted in 2015 and Global Citizenship Education is part of them as targets 4.7 and 12.8.

    The concept used in the European Union is Development Education Awareness Raising (DEAR). This video tells about the beginning of the work in EU.


  • Social context

    We live in a multi-cultural and globalised world. A world with growing inequality. Poverty is created and maintained through structural patterns of inequality and systematic extortion of the poorest in the world through unequal global trade and division of labour, as well as a long history of lack of investment in the areas, where the poorest live.

    Global Citizenship Education deals with creating active and engaged citizens making democratic and informed choices and hence creating the conditions for sustainable development and a more equal world.

    In many countries around the globe, we are seeing similar trends. The rise of far-right politics, toxic nationalism, defunct and non-responsive public institutions and rapid deterioration of the environment are some of the most striking problems we are currently facing.

    Global Citizenship Education provides us with new possibilities to envision a world, where such problems are systematically resolved and transformed into new possibilities for reaching humanity's potential.

  • Environmental context

    Climate change today is an unquestionable scientifically proven fact. It is a phenomenon that has the potential to rapidly change the way life on earth is lived in the near future.

    Today we are one of the last generations that can do something about climate change - through political action and consumption choices that take the planetary boundaries of Earth into account.

    Global Citizenship Education strengthens our capacity to fight for our climate at home and globally.


  • Methods

    Global Citizenship Education methods are always related to the realities of the world. The methods must be based on the reality, contexts and needs of the learners, the reality of the local community and the realities of the global society influencing our local realities. Our realities change constantly and uncertainty is very much a part of our world.

    Understanding the learners in question is important for all educators but even more so when dealing with global education. Who are the learners? From which cultural backgrounds? Why are they here to learn?

    Enjoyable methods

    The methods of Global Citizenship Education are based on personal experience and involve cognition, emotion and action as well as reflection. In general GCE is optimistic and brings hope, so the methods should also help to create a happy atmosphere through enjoyable methods.


  • Civil society

    Civil society has a crucial role in Global Citizenship Education, especially when it comes to non-formal and informal education and lifelong learning.

    It is within the space of civil society organisations, individuals working in/with them and their projects that we can speak of active global citizenship.

    Civil society organisations across the world have done a lot of work on different types of value-based education, and this work and experience is something we should value and learn from.


    CONCORD is a European confederation of national NGDO platforms based in the EU.

    Through its four hubs, it works mainly in EU level policy on the field of global citizenship education, policy coherence for development and the space of civil society. It also undertakes research and monitoring in the above mentioned areas. It also publishes an annual aid watch report that looks at the Official Development Assistance and development cooperation policies of member states for the previous year. More information about CONCORD is available here.


  • Governments

    Governments are involved in Global Citizenship Education for example through the strategies of national Ministries of Education. These strategies correspond to the educational system and also technical and adult education.

    Countries may have different terminologies under the umbrella of Global Citizenship Education, such as Education for Sustainable Development, Development Education, Human Rights Education, etc. Due to membership in the EU, the UN, OECD, the Council of Europe, GENE or other bodies, countries have certain obligations that they need to fulfill to incorporate Global Citizenship Education in their strategies. Similarly some countries have a focus on Global Citizenship Education for the Development Cooperation policies in third countries.


    GENE is a body of European Union national agencies and other bodies that coordinates policies and research on the topic of global education with the aim of incorporating it in national policies and educational curriculum. Each country is represented by personnel from its Ministry of Education and/or Foreign Affairs. One of its main activities is the publication of national peer reviews on global education that examine how global education is& practiced. The peer reviews can be found here.

    North-South Centre

    The North South Centre is a body of the Council of Europe with a mission to empower civil society through intercultural dialogue and GCE. It does that through the development of educational resources and educational programmes for CSOs as well as advocating for the sector. More information about the work of the North South Centre is available here.

  • European Union

    The European Union works on Global Citizenship Education through funding for EU member states as part of its Development Education and Awareness Raising (DEAR) programme coordinated by Directorate-General for International Cooperation and Development. These projects have a strong focus on global education and other types of value based education with the aim of increasing awareness of EU citizens about global issues.

  • United Nations

    In 2015, during the General Assembly of the United Nations, the 193 member states signed a new agenda on sustainable development called ‘Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development’, which includes 17 Sustainable Development Goals that target the eradication of a number of things for sustainable growth and life globally.

    Education is a field that is recognised as crucial for sustainability and more importantly Global Citizenship Education. The 2030 Agenda refers not only to quality education but has specific targets for reaching it through Global Citizenship Education (target 4.7, 12.8 ). Through Agenda 2030, the UN recognised Global Citizenship Education as a key tool for empowering citizens and communities for a better world and through its agencies and collaboration with other international organisations, it is striving to achieve it through its member states.


    UNESCO, the United Nations Educational and Scientific Organization is involved in Global Citizenship Education in a number of ways. It is directly involved in the promotion of peace through education. UNESCO has specific programmes focused on Global Citizenship Education and Education for Sustainable Development, with a specific recognition of the importance of non-formal education and life-long learning.

    UNESCO publishes resources on Global Citizenship Education for different audiences and also monitors educational indicators in member countries.

    As a UN agency it is the body responsible for monitoring the implementation of Sustainable Development Goal 4, Quality Education for All, and for identifying the indicators of all the targets under Goal 4.

  • Companies

    Due to the impact of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals sustainability has become a market condition. In the years to come the true story behind how the product was produced, how the producer is living, how the product creates equality, etc, will be of increasing importance for private companies.

    While larger transnational and global companies yield more power than ever before, some of them are also aware of their social responsibility. Many companies have understood that sustainability is the way forward. The UN Global Compact attracts a large amount of companies that experience that modern customers make demands for their purchases.

    Bridge 47 and Global Citizenship Education aim to support the private sector in creating a sustainable future for humanity.