LDI participated in and contributed to the International Symposium
on Learning Communities held on October 5 and 6, 2001, in Barcelona,
Spain. The symposium was one of the preparatory activities for
the Universal Forum of
Cultures - Barcelona 2004. The organizers of the symposium
noted in their invitation letter the importance of analyzing
the "learning community" concept from various angles.
"Learning communities and educational networks are some
of the most promising topics for 21st century education, which
is why they are the core theme of the education project of the
Universal Forum of Culture - Barcelona 2004." The symposium
thus aimed at preparing for two major education events: a World
Conference on Learning Communities and a Unesco Education Summit,
both of which are foreseen to take place in the context of the
2004 Universal Forum of Cultures. The International Symposium
on Learning Communities was an occasion to consider new trends,
challenges and scenarios, both locally and globally. Approximately
100 people from around the world participated in it.
The Universal Forum of Cultures is a new international event
focussing on the cultures of the world. The aim of the Universal
Forum of Cultures is to encourage dialogue on a world-wide scale.
Its ambition is to contribute to a discernible advancement of
civic and democratic values articulated around three major themes:
intercultural dialogue, peace construction and sustainable development.
To attain that objective, the Forum has started working on one
of the fields that it considers essential to the promotion of
those values: education.
The 186 Member States of UNESCO gave their unanimous support
to the Universal Forum of Cultures project at its 29th General
Conference. The project is a joint initiative of the Spanish
Government, the Catalan Autonomous Government, and the Barcelona
City Council, with Unesco as the main partner.
The Symposium on Learning Communities was organized around
four broad areas of thought:
1- The classroom as a Learning Community
2- The educational institution as a Learning Community
3- The territory as a Learning Community
4- Learning Communities in a virtual network
Workshops were organised for each of the four areas mentioned.
The presentations and conclusions of the Symposium will be published
in four languages (Spanish, English, French and Catalan) and
circulated widely. A preliminary
document is available on the Web site of the Universal