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Sacru webinar series: Catholic universities explore the future in the face of the climate crisis

Higher education around the world is at an inflection point. The pandemic indeed invites us to rethink education. Still, the role and nature of universities are issues that go beyond the current situation. In addition, revolutionary technological advances, political and demographic changes, and above all, the relentless climate crisis are shaping our future. In this context, what are we doing?

an aerial view of a river in the middle of a forest

photo_camera Catholic universities are concerned about the Common Home and the well-being of people. Based on the principles proposed by the encyclical Laudato Si', they are working on "integral ecology" to find systemic solutions to the ecological crisis.

The answer to this question is not only behavioral or operational. Higher Education institutions are called to review and rethink their curricula, the focus of their teaching, and their lines of research.

So that was the goal of the series of webinars organized by the SACRU Alliance and the Office of the Vice President for International Affairs of UC Chile.

The initiative arose from one of its research groups dedicated to Catholic Universities, concerned about the Common Home and the well-being of people. It is based on the principles proposed by the encyclical Laudato Si'. This text popularized the notion of "integral ecology" to find systemic solutions to the ecological crisis.

The series entitled "Integral Ecology and the Working Future: Re-imagining University Education" convened six professors to inspire the conversation:

"We know that to have a global impact in favor of humanity and the world, international collaboration is essential. The Sacru Alliance is committed to creating solutions to growing global problems," said Lilian Ferrer, Vice President of International Affairs at UC Chile, and host of the conversations.

For these webinars, speakers considered how universities are preparing students for the future, delving into the transformations required in universities to make that future possible.

Joshtrom Kureethadam, Vatican Dicastery for Promoting Integral Human Development, affirmed that "every crisis is also an opportunity to regenerate. In important moments, humanity was led by academics. Today, many universities have lost this role because of too much specialization. Laudato Si's vision of integral ecology can be of very much help".

Román Guridi is the scholar in charge of International Relations at the UC Chile Faculty of Theology. He emphasized, "this is a conversation in motion in which different actors are still reflecting on the questions posed. In fact, for this second semester, we hope to expand this dialogue towards Asia by inviting universities from Japan, the Philippines, and other countries".

Check out the previous webinars:

  • First webinar:
    • On May 18, we talked with David Orr, professor at Oberlin College, and Óscar Mateos, professor at Universidad Ramon Llull.
  • Second webinar:
    • On June 17, we talked with Mary Evelyn Tucker, faculty at Yale University, and Juan Carlos Muñoz, professor at UC Chile.
  • Third webinar:
    • On July 2, we talked with Tara Pisana, an academic at Boston College, and Joshtrom Kureethadam, representative of the Vatican Dicastery for the Service of Integral Human Development.

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