Founding Document

Founding Document of the Global Citizenship Education Network

December 19, 2016




The Global Citizenship Education Network (GCEN) is a joint venture between the UNESCO-UCLA Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education and the Boston Global Forum. GCEN is envisioned as a network of networks with the purpose of disseminating knowledge, skills and research on global citizenship as well as to inform policy makers on pressing global issues. Founded upon the philosophy of global citizenship, this network has been created to build North-South, South-South and South-North dialogue and collaborations on global citizenship education.



The UNESCO-UCLA Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education is the first UNESCO Chair appointed within the University of California system. The Chair is envisioned to be a “pole of excellence and innovation” supporting research, teaching, policy recommendation, and further dialogue on global citizenship education. The UNESCO-UCLA Chair is housed in the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies (GSE&IS), University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). GSE&IS is one of the premier graduate schools of education in the United States, situated in one of the most prominent public universities in the world system. GSE&IS is dedicated to inquiry, the advancement of knowledge, the improvement of professional practice, and service to the education and information professions. Our work is guided by the principles of individual responsibility and social justice, an ethics of caring, and commitment to the communities we serve. We are home to sixteen nationally renowned research centers, two groundbreaking partnership schools, and two departments with some of the world’s premiere education and information experts. GSE&IS is an institution where UCLA and its strategic partners transform the most pressing issues in education and information into opportunity and real-world solutions.


Boston Global Forum (BGF), based in Boston, Massachusetts, was founded to bring together thought leaders and experts from around the globe to participate in open public forums to discuss and illuminate the most critical issues affecting the world at large. BGF’s principle mission is to provide an interactive and collaborative world forum for identifying and developing action-based solutions to our most profound problems. BGF’s method is to host gatherings of leading thinkers and experts to identify and dissect the most pressing societal concerns. And to then propose creative, and practical solutions.



Growing recognition of Global Citizenship Education: The concept of ‘global citizenship’ has gained recognition and prominence within international development discourse through the adopted United Nations Secretary-General’s Global Education First Initiative or GEFI. The third pillar of the GEFI is ‘to “foster global citizenship.” Our network understands that global citizenship is a contested concept, but all notions of citizenship are contested. There are a number of tensions in citizenship, some associated to definitions tied to territory and hegemony, others to definitions which are post-national in nature. UNESCO has defined the concept as a Framing Category.  UNESCO (2014) provides the following definition of global citizenship: “Global citizenship refers to a sense of belonging to a broader community and common humanity. It emphasizes political, economic, social and cultural interdependency and interconnectedness between the local, the national and the global” (p.14). It is in the context of this philosophy of GCE that the GCEN has been created to participate in the conversation on GCE.

Vision and Importance of Global Citizenship Education: Citizenship education has been traditionally associated  with ‘civic education’, that is the teaching of constitutional democracy and obedience to the nation-state. Three categories are linked to civics education. The first one is civic knowledge, which in the context of constitutional democracy entails the knowledge of basic concepts informing the practice of democracy such as public elections, majority rule, citizenship rights and obligations, constitutional separation of power, and the placement of democracy in a market economy that is used as the basic premises of civil society. The second category associated with citizenship building is civic skills, which usually mean the intellectual and participatory skills that facilitate citizenship’s judgment and actions. The last category is civic virtues, usually defined around principles such as self-discipline, compassion, civility, tolerance, solidarity, listening, and respect. The GCEN will help to refine and expand these principles across cultures through a variety of online and face-to-face forums. In doing so, we hope that GCEN will be a place where research meets practice, addressing a number of questions. For instance, how will citizenship building be included and defined within global citizenship education? How has the concept of GCE been incorporated in the contemporary discourses circulating and competing in the international system, governments, civil society, academia, and schools? What are the roles and impacts of UNESCO and the UNITED NATIONS on promoting GCE and Education for Sustainable Development?

These themes are connected with the dominant agendas in the multiple globalizations that we are experiencing and slowly but surely are altering the way we understand education and learning in the 21st century. Thematic foci include themes that are also connected to the controversies around citizenship building, including diversity and the dilemmas of multiculturalism. GCEN will investigate and gain insight into challenges and reactions of educators and citizens of goodwill who are confronted with episodes and systems of violence, brutal intolerance, social alienation, ethnic-nationalism, tribalism, and violent fundamentalism of all stripes. Additional themes will interact with the responsibilities of universities and adult learning systems in promoting citizenship building, but also with the responsibilities of governments, corporations, institutions of civil society, and institutions of the global system in securing a more peaceful and sustainable world based on equity, liberty and democracy.

UNESCO Mandate: In the establishment of the UNESCO UCLA Chair in Global Learning and Global Citizenship Education, the agreement signed between UNESCO General Director and UCLA chancellor states in Article 2, “The purpose of the Chair shall be to promote an integrated system of research, training, information and documentation on global learning and global citizenship education, as well as to construct a pole of excellence and innovation in global learning and global citizenship education. The Chair will facilitate collaboration between high-level, internationally-recognized researchers and teaching staff on the University and of other institutions in the United States of America, Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and other regions of the world.” The agreement grants the UNESCO UCLA Chair a mandate to establish collaborative quality projects on global citizenship education such as the GCEN.



  1. Set up GCEN as a platform for disseminating teaching, theories, research, policies, dialogue and practices of global citizenship education.
  2. Educate global citizens in cyber security.




1.Curriculum: Courses, lectures, and workshops on global citizenship. This will include building a database with key documents.


  1. Signing the Global Citizen Pledge: The pledge is a commitment by participants who wish to pursue and live ideals and values of global citizenship.


  1. Global Citizen Quiz (GCQ) and Global Leadership Scorecard: A unique feature of GCEN, the Quiz and Scorecard are designed as soft learning tools based on questions that assess the extent to which citizens perceive and practice values consistent with global citizenship. There will be several question panels to choose from, and translated into different languages. Participants will receive a global citizen certificate and become a member of the Global Citizens Network.


The proposed process: After receiving a global citizen certificate, a global citizen will get a Global Leader Scorecard. Then, every achievement and good work of a global citizen will be recorded in his/her Global Leader Scorecard.

  • Expanding Global Citizens’ contributions to goals and values of global citizenship
  • Ways to activate, e.g.,
    • Instructional materials that suggest ways a global citizen “can make a difference”
    • The Global Leader Scorecard is a “Point system” that recognizes good work.
  • The “Point system” recognizes achievement
  • Personal achievement will enable individuals to progress through the tier levels
    • Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum

Each level will get high respect, including positive treatment from society, governments, companies, organizations, etc. The concept of the Global Leader Scorecard is similar to the Baseball Scorecard.


  1. Global Citizenship Educators: The goal of this recognition is to assemble great professors, experts, and eminent figures who contribute their knowledge and research to help enhance the abilities of global citizens of GCEN through the GCEN platform.


  1. Global Commons Review: A regular publication on topics related to global citizenship.


  1. Workshops on Cyber Security: Online workshops dedicated to practicing ideas and values of global citizenship and cyber security.


  1. Forums: Dialogue and interaction among members through conferences, online discussions, and other platforms of communication and collaboration, local and international.


  1. Initiatives and Movements: Nurturing practices of global citizenship education through future additional activities.





Board of Directors

Governor Michael Dukakis (Chairman)

Professor Carlos Torres (Co-Chairman )

Nguyen Anh Tuan

Prof. Thomas Patterson (CEO & Chief of Global Citizen Development)


Global Citizen Development Board

Professor Thomas Patterson (Chair)

Nguyen Anh Tuan, BGF

Professor Carlos Torres, UCLA

Professor Daniel Schugurensky, ASU

Professor Nazli Choucri, MIT

Professor David Silbersweig, Harvard

Professor Patrick Weston, MIT

Deborah Hurley, Brown

Ramu Damodaran, United Nations

Professor, Ambassador Ichiro Fujisaki

Professor Ana Elvira Steinbach Torres

Bill Ottman

Hoang Trong Ton

Nguyen Thi Lan Anh



Academic Board:

Professor Carlos Torres (Chair), UCLA

Professor Daniel Schugurensky, Arizona State University

Postdoctoral Scholar Jason Dorio, UCLA

Professor Hyungryeol Kim, Seoul National University

Professor James Williams, George Washington University

Professor Lynette Shultz, University of Alberta

Professor Laura Engel, George Washington University

Professor Utak Chung, UNESCO APCEIU

Professor Sung-Sang Yoo, Seoul National University

Nguyen Anh Tuan

Professor David Silbersweig, Harvard

Professor James D. Bindenagel, Bonn

Professor Robert Levin, Harvard

Vanessa Holroyd

Dr. Elliot Salloway


Communications and Public Relationship Board:

Nguyen Anh Tuan (Chair)

Professor John Quelch, Harvard

Professor Nazli Choucri, MIT

Nguyen Anh Tuan

Richard Pirozzolo

Llewelyn King


Global Citizenship Teacher Education Board:

Professor Michael Dukakis (Chair)

Nguyen Anh Tuan

Professor James Bindenagel , Bonn University

Pham Trong Nghia, Oxford University



GCE in Cyber Defense Board:

Professor John Savage, Brown (Chair)

Professor Derek Reveron, NWC

Allan Cytryn

Deborah Hurley, Brown University

Virgilio Almeida, Harvard

Kim Taipale

Professor Seny Kamara, Brown University

Ryan Maness

Scott Charney, Microsoft