Universities have a responsibility to look after the well-being of the planet
"It is time to decolonise our universities and learn from the diverse ecologies of knowledge about how to live sustainably", notes Dr. Rajesh Tandon from India, a UNESCO Chair in Community Based Research and Social Responsibility in Higher Education from India. As a contribution to the RIO + 20 United Nations and Global Civil Society conference Sustainability taking place in June in Rio de Janeiro, the Higher Education Treaty Circle and the Horizon 2020 process in Europe, the "Big Tent" Group of regional and global networks of civil society and higher education networks with a total membership of over 5,000 universities and civil society research organizations have released a global communique which states that among other things "Universities have a responsibility to look after the well-being of the planet, not as stand-alone beacons of knowledge, but as places where wisdom of communities, eco-systems and the academy work together in partnerships for a world that is more sustainable and just". Facilitated the the Global Alliance on Community Engaged Research and facilitated by the Living Knowledge Network of Science Shops, the focus of the communique is on how civil society and universities can co-create radically new knowledge together..
Canada's Budd Hall from the University of Victoria says, "This is the first statement agreed upon by so many higher education networks calling for a deep examination of the need to re-examine whose knowledge counts and how we can co-construct new disciplines for a new world"