AFS convenes more than 450 leading educators, researchers, business leaders and policymakers to push for more global competence education at a time when “globalism” is under attack, and nationalism is on the rise.

AFS Intercultural Programs, a leading nonprofit international education organization, launched the inaugural AFS Global Conference in Budapest (26-28 September) to explore the theme “Global Competence: Our Future, Our  Responsibility.” This first-of-its-kind event reflects AFS’ commitment to bring prominent educators and researchers together with social entrepreneurs, policymakers, business leaders and funders to make global competence an integral part of school curricula, youth activities and workplace professional development programs worldwide. More than 450 conference participants from 70 countries joined this groundbreaking global conversation, hosted by AFS Hungary.  

AFS Board Chair, Dr. Vishakha Desai leading a panel on “Why Global Competence?” with Clive Lee of Yidan Prize Foundation, Simona-Mirela Miculescu of the UN, Peter Mather of BP and Larisa Hovannisian of Teach For Armenia

“Preparing young minds and people of all ages to learn, live and work together is more important than ever, explains Melissa Liles, Chief Global Engagement Officer at AFS Intercultural Programs.

“AFS and our distinguished partners organized the 2018 AFS Global Conference to build active partnerships and coalitions that will transform how we educate people to successfully navigate, collaborate and thrive in a complex diverse world. Our goal was to showcase promising and practical evidence-based solutions and strategies—and connect the innovators and implementers behind them with the resources needed to bring their visions to scale.”

Key Takeaways from the AFS Global Conference on Global Competence

  • Amplify the urgent call to action: At a time when globalism is under attack and nationalism is on the rise, we need more active global citizens who believe that a just and peaceful world is only possible when the global community respects diversity, embraces inclusiveness and works together to address the world’s most pressing challenges.
  • Empower the education community to integrate global competence education into school curriculums worldwide and prepare students to navigate an increasing diverse world.
  • Build stronger coalitions with policymakers, businesses, social entrepreneurs and funders to make global competence education a reality in schools, youth groups, NGos and workplace professional development programs.
  • Collaborate with young people, our most important stakeholders, to ensure global competence education supports and strengthens their determination to make a meaningful impact on the world.