The ‘Educating Planetary Champions’ session during the ChangeNOW summit in Paris was a poignant introduction to the role and status of the education system today. Put bluntly, the moderator and speakers argued that the education system is broken, and urged us to critically rethink education and the important role of planetary champions for the 21st century.

Here are some inspiring words and key takeaways from the ChangeNOW speakers themselves:

Rebecca Nkunde speaks at ChangeNOW.

“Education is for everybody. It is supposed to be an umbrella that brings a lot of people together. People must have equal opportunities to be able to participate for a better tomorrow.”

Rebecca Nkunde, Climate Change Ambassador

“Education is a lifelong process. You are a lot more impactful when you try and act as an educator yourself with your own knowledge. We are all educators and we are all learners as well, and it doesn’t have to be within a classroom.”

Laeticia Langlois, Professor in Management and Sustainability, ESCP Business School

“Find an organisation that is working with genuinely different values. They are the pioneers that are experimenting, from which a transformed economy would emerge.”

Tom Rippen, CEO and Founder, On Purpose

“The future is co-created every day because it’s true acts of individual courage, creativity and care when changes happen.”

Stefania Giannini, Assistant Director General for Education, UNESCO

“We need a new kind of education, which is human-centered and nature-centered; we need an evolution in our education system. We need to change the education system now!”

Satish Kumar, Co-Founder, Schumacher College

About the session

At every stage of our life, education is a vital tool to face and solve the major environmental and social issues the world faces. We need to rethink education and teach people in new ways to face the challenges ahead. It’s a life journey: from early childhood to higher education and throughout our lives, it is never too late to be a Planetary Champion.

About ChangeNOW 2022

ChangeNOW is the world’s largest gathering of innovations for the planet. Over 3 days, the summit puts the spotlight on the most concrete and innovative solutions to face the world’s biggest challenges.