London RCE News

Archive for October 2013

By Professor Ros Wade (London South Bank University and Chair London RCE)

On September 20th, London RCE in association with the Weeks Centre for Social and Policy Research at London South Bank University presented the first in a London wide discussion series on Political Action and Education for Sustainability.

Around forty participants heard key speaker, Dr Roberto ‘Robbie’ Guevara, talk on the subject of ‘Working with Grassroots movements: Popular Education for Sustainability’. A lively discussion followed, with a number of very interesting contributions from the floor  – a key question from members of RUSS highlighted the dilemma for politicians to engage with long term issues within in the context of short term electoral cycles.

Robbie has a wide range of experience working with communities across the Asia Pacific region. He is Senior Lecturer at the School of Global, Urban and Social Studies, RMIT, University of Melbourne;  President, Asian South Pacific Association of Basic and Adult Education (ASPBAE) (2009-present) ; Vice –President (Asia), International Council of Adult Education (ASPBAE) (2011-present).

Robbie pointed out that as educators we have had to respond to a series of global crises like the global financial crisis and climate change. One would think that in such a context of crises, Education for Sustainability (EFS) would play a more significant role in developing relevant and urgent responses, especially given the UN Decade of EFS. However, Robbie felt that these programs have often focused on disaster management, and climate change adaptation and mitigation, rather than the more holistic approach of EFS. In particular, Robbie warned against the focus on ‘resilience’, amongst those who have been identified as the most vulnerable communities to the impacts of climate change. In his view this needs to be accompanied by critical questioning on the causes of and reasons for disasters and the effects of climate change. Above all we need to address issues of power, otherwise there is a danger that there may be a ‘re-silencing’ of the  poorest and most vulnerable rather than a strengthening of their voices and their rights.

Despite these critical reflections, Robbie  still felt that as educators we are in a very fertile period of transformation of both our educational practice and the very context that drives the need for relevant educational responses in a context of crises.  He invited us all to become part of this global movement towards a more sustainable future.

For more information about the London RCE or to join a working group please check out our web site on or email Lynn Vickery or Ros Wade at, marking the subject ‘London RCE’.


Watch this space for the next event in this discussion series on Political Action and Education for Sustainability .


Professor Ros Wade Lynn Vickery


RCE London, London South Bank University (LSBU), 103 Borough Road, London SE1 0AA

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