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  -  Education   -  Featured Education   -  Step up to the World | Tu māia ki te Ao: A Forum on Global Citizenship Education
Nanaia Mahuta

Step up to the World | Tu māia ki te Ao
A Forum on Global Citizenship Education

11 September – 13 September 2023
▸ Auckland University of Technology
▸ Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence, Waikato Education Team

How should we live in a global society? What makes someone a global citizen anyway? How do we move to long term transformation when we are stuck in short term response thinking? Can we overcome cultural isolation, intolerance, and develop effective global linkages? Will we really achieve the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030?

Step up to the World: Tū māia ki te Ao, the forum on global citizenship education (GCED) – addressed these critical questions and more. The forum was hosted by the Centres of Asia Pacific Excellence, in association with ENZ and SIEBA, at the Auckland University of Technology, 11-13 September. The 400 plus online and in person registrations from a diverse range of people across sectors, is testament to the groundswell of interest in and demand for transformative education.

Opened by Foreign Minister, the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, the forum underscored the significance of global citizenship education (GCED) for navigating and addressing complex global issues, as a nation and as individuals. The idea is to inspire and empower New Zealanders to think critically, transform their teaching methodologies, and equip them with practical tools and strategies to address the challenges of a rapidly changing world. We live in an increasingly connected world and to operate effectively we need a country that understands that world and can operate effectively at the business, local and global levels.

Economist Shamubeel Eaqub’s keynote speech delved into the rapid global changes and their impact on New Zealand. “The world is moving to a new normal that will be uncertain and more complex. Climate change, ageing, changing globalisation and a return of geopolitical tensions mean the last 50 years is no guide to the next 50 years. How will New Zealand shape its unique place in this changing world?” says Eaqub.

Three days of incredible keynotes, moderated conversations and workshops ran over the three big ideas that underpin the CAPEs Education Team’s framework on GCED, tuakiritanga – identity, hononga – connections, and kaitiakitanga – responsibility.

Sustainable development sits at the heart of GCED and Bridget Williams brought the SDGs to life in her keynote and a creative interactive workstation where a taonga was created.

Global citizenship education isn’t a passing fad or just a nice-to-have.  It has deep roots and reaches far; it is a requirement. There are clear signposts for our country to deliver on, including the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals, UNESCO recommendations, Te Mātaiaho – the New Zealand Curriculum, and the International Education Strategy.  The implementation of global citizenship education offers actionable solutions. Partners and collaborators in the forum included, the University of Waikato, Te Whai Toi Tangata, The New Zealand National Commission for UNESCO, the UNESCO Asia-Pacific GCED Network, the Global Education Network of Europe, and the New Zealand Centre for Global Studies.


Libby Giles
Director | Education
Centres of Asia-Pacific Excellence