‘A year to show what science can do and must do’ – latest from the International Year of Global Understanding


The International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU) 2016 was officially inaugurated in a public opening ceremony at the Volkshaus in Jena, Germany on the 2nd February.

Prior to the Opening Ceremony, a press conference took place with representatives of TV, radio and print media. The opening keynote was delivered by Prof. Klaus Töpfer and welcome speeches were given by representatives of the three science councils (ICSU; ISSC and CIPSH), including Dr Mathieu Denis, Executive Director of the ISSC. The President of the Friedrich-Schiller University, the Executive Director of Future Earth, and the Minister for Science and Education of the Federal State of Thuringia also spoke. Keynote presentations covered topics from the tyranny of pedagogies, our challenging world, watching the Earth breathe and governing a warmer planet, social acceleration and de-synchronization; and the IYGU publications and the roles and potential of the IYGU Regional Action Centers.

The event was well attended and received, with participants travelling from countries as far away and as diverse as Australia, Mali, India and the USA. Attendees were able to witness first-hand this declaration of cooperation from the three umbrella organizations backing the IGYU. Photos and videos of the keynote presentations and welcoming speeches have been uploaded to the IYGU website.

A newsletter detailing the present and upcoming IYGU activities will be published quarterly, with the first edition published in March 2016. To subscribe, email IYGU@uni-jena.de

More information can be found online via http://www.global-understanding.info

The international year is based on an initiative by the International Geographical Union (IGU) and proclaimed by the ISSC, ICSU (International Council for Science) and CIPSH (International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences).