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Professor Charles Hopkins

UNESCO Chair at York University
Member, High Level Advisory Council, SDG Academy

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Charles Hopkins holds the UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards
Sustainability at York University in Toronto, Canada. This Chair, established in
1999, was the first to focus on Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) as
a central concept to quality education and to position sustainability as a purpose
of education.
Today, ESD is recognized as a key enabler in the pursuit of sustainable
development. Hopkins coordinates two global ESD research networks, the
International Network of Teacher Education Institutions and the
#IndigenousESD. The first network is comprised of teacher education institutions
spanning 50 countries and focuses on enhancing ESD in pre-service and in service teacher training. The second network covering 40 countries aims to
embed sustainability in curricula to improve the education of Indigenous youth.
Internationally, Hopkins has a long relationship with education and
sustainability, chairing the writing and adoption processes of several UNESCO
ESD Declarations. As part of the UN preparation for the Earth Summit in Rio de
Janeiro in 1992, Hopkins was one of the drafters of Chapter 36 of Agenda 21:
Education, Public Awareness and Training. Hopkins has been a part of UNESCO's
efforts to develop education for sustainable development and also chaired the
writing process of the Bonn Declaration on ESD (2009) and the Aichi-Nagoya
Declaration on ESD (2014).
An awarded education leader with three honorary doctorates for his
achievements, Hopkins has lectured and presented papers more than 75
countries. His leadership experience includes positions as a regional school
superintendent and as superintendent of curriculum with Canada’s largest
school board as well as leadership roles in the not-for-profit sector. Hopkins also
serves as Co-Director of the Asia-Pacific Institute on ESD in Beijing, China.

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