„Culture is who we are and what shapes our identities” (https://en.unesco.org/themes/culture-sustainable-development). In this sense it can be taken into account as “both an enabler and a driver […] of sustainable development.” (ibid.) What and how we see, perceive, and know, as well as how we relate to the world and ourselves vastly depends on cultural framings. Action towards a sustainable future,be it on an individual, collective, or institutional basis, can only be taken within these cultural framings of perception. Thus, culture itself is not static, but in a perpetual process of development. It is oriented towards enabling a future based on a past; the past, serving as heritage. Cultural change that is not disruptive, a change from within the cultural resources and values themselves is in and of itself a form of “cultural sustainability”. There can be no environmental, ecological, social or economic sustainability without forms of ‘cultural sustainability’. Thus, the change towards sustainability has to be a change that starts with perception, knowledge, and our ways of seeing and relating to the world, and consequently has to find a way that is based in cultural expression of any form.
Following these basic assumptions, the UNESCO Chair in Arts and Culture in Education aims to achieve and work towards two main strategic goals:
Deepening and further developing research in the field of education, including the field of aesthetic and arts education, and
Promoting the global research polylogue and cooperation in order to contribute to the improvement of the quality of research in the field of aesthetic, arts, and cultural education worldwide.