A Youth-led Advocacy Initiative for Global Citizenship

October 27, 2022

Columbia Global Centers | Istanbul, in collaboration with Columbia Global Centers | Tunis, Columbia University’s Center for Sustainable Development and its School of International and Public Affairs, Boğaziçi University, Anadolu University, South Mediterranean University, and Global Master’s in Development Practice, have kicked off their project titled “Youth-led Advocacy Initiative for Global Citizenship, Responsibility, and Cooperation,” supported by the President’s Global Innovation Fund, on October 27, 2022, in Istanbul, Turkey.

With a youth-led, bottom-up approach, the main goal of this project is to create a network of university students, who will be advocating for a curriculum update in their universities to have a multidisciplinary and required course on global citizenship including topics such as sustainable development, climate change, international migration, one health, health equity, social inclusion, prevention of stigma, racism, and discrimination, in addition to global diplomacy and cooperation.

The program is led by Yanis Ben Amor, Assistant Professor of Global Health, Özge Karadağ, Senior Staff Associate, Center for Sustainable Development and Daniel Naujoks, lecturer at SIPA. Columbia Global Centers in Istanbul and Tunis are working together in this project.

Education for global citizenship is necessary as an empowering tool for “learners of all ages to assume active roles, both locally and globally, in building more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive and secure societies,” as defined by UNESCO and outlined in the target 4.7 of the Sustainable Development Goals. However, examples of specific educational programs or curricula on global citizenship and sustainable development framework are few. This project seeks to bridge this gap, starting with selected universities in Türkiye and Tunisia for reviewing, developing and disseminating the best educational practices and curricula on global citizenship and sustainable development framework via established national and international networks.

The project started with a consultation meeting in Istanbul that brought together researchers and students from many local universities, in addition to the experts in the project team from Columbia University, Boğaziçi University, Anadolu University, South Mediterranean University, Sustainable Development Solutions Network (SDSN), and Global Master’s in Development Practice (MDP) Program.