Taking Steps towards a Sustainable Future
“The role that global organizations—such as Oxford University Press—play is increasingly important in this context; we share diverse voices and perspectives; we create valuable content that can advance thinking and inform society; and we develop tools that enable people to learn and think critically.”
At the beginning of the year, I discussed our individual and collective responsibility to live more sustainably and the new opportunities and challenges that present themselves every day. The role that global organizations—such as Oxford University Press—play is increasingly important in this context; we share diverse voices and perspectives; we create valuable content that can advance thinking and inform society; and we develop tools that enable people to learn and think critically.
To that end, this month sees the Oxford Forum 2023, a virtual event that brings together a global community of teachers, learners, and researchers to explore how we can all be taking Steps to a Sustainable Future.
The Oxford Forum marks a further step in our commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) Publisher’s Compact, as we facilitate dialogue on subjects at the heart of our mission, to build a more sustainable future in education and research. Building on 2021’s Forum for Educators, we are delighted to welcome industry experts and experienced practitioners from across the world for online panel discussions to address three of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals: Quality Education, Reduced Inequalities, and Climate Action.
SDG 4: Quality Education
Recently, we’ve seen artificial intelligence (AI) dominate news headlines globally, with much debate over how technological advancements will shape education and research. Almost every industry is contemplating what the popularization of AI tools will mean for its future and for education and research, a key concern is the quality of data and information driving the technology. The first session at the Oxford Forum will assess how best to embrace AI and digital technology, without sacrificing the rigor needed to deliver quality education.
SDG 10: Reduced Inequalities
The Oxford Forum’s second session will take a particular focus on the digital divide—the gap between those who have access to devices and connectivity, and those who do not—within education, continuing our exploration of the topic at the 2021 event. In our previous research into the digital divide, 68% of teachers said the biggest barrier to digital learning was poor digital access, while 70% said that the most disadvantaged students lost learning due to limited or no access to digital devices. This year’s panel will explore the impact that a lack of access to digital products and services can have on learning progress, and the practical steps we can take to ensure digital technology in education and research works for the whole world.
SDG 13: Climate Action
For the third and final session, our expert speakers will consider how content providers can do more to support climate action, as well as combat misinformation and climate fatigue. Social media can often be a place where ideas and information of varying accuracy can spread quickly and gain momentum, with the ability for anyone to position themselves as an expert. However, according to research from Advance Democracy, tweets containing “climate scam” or other terms linked to climate change denial rose 300% last year. Therefore, it is more important than ever to help future generations—many of whom rely on these platforms as a source of information—to distinguish fact from fiction and empower them to make real, long-lasting change for the planet.
The event is freely accessible to all and registration is now open. I look forward to welcoming you to this unique opportunity to connect and contribute ideas with Oxford.