Education is the only solution to our world’s challenges. Education is the only answer to the crime of war. Education is the only light in the darkness.

Oscar Arias,
Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Costa Rica,
in his keynote address


We are pleased to share with you the AFS Symposiums Proceedings report, which captures the essence of two important events, Learning to Live Together—From Ideas to Action: The AFS Global Intercultural Education Symposium and 100 Years Young! The AFS Youth Workshop & Symposium. Both symposiums were convened by AFS Intercultural Programs and held at the UNESCO Headquarters in Paris to make a bold statement about the importance of global citizenship education—and the role that AFS has taken to advance the movement.

These milestone education events were part of the Centennial Celebration of the American Field Service, the founding organization of AFS. 

The AFS Symposium Proceedings report reflects the recommendations and outcomes of these two events, which brought together more than 1,200 representatives of the AFS global community and luminaries from the world of peace and education. It also provides an overview of AFS’s ongoing work as an intercultural education organization dedicated to preparing global citizens and advancing this movement.

The symposiums report underscores AFS’s ongoing, unwavering commitment to foster meaningful intercultural dialogue and prepare people of all ages to participate and lead as active global citizens in our diverse, interconnected world, with all its present challenges and turmoils. In the AFS Symposiums Proceedings you will find a compelling agenda for global citizenship education in AFS today, supported by the actionable recommendations from key figures and youth representatives.

We encourage you to use this report to support and promote collaboration, diversity and inclusion within your programs, organizations and outreach efforts, as well as to foster meaningful discussions around sensitive and urgent issues that threaten learning to live together, whether locally or globally.

Among other highlights, this report contains:

  • a summary of insights from our high-level panelists,
  • the full keynote speech of Oscar Arias, Nobel Peace Prize Laureate and former President of Costa Rica,
  • an engaging interview with Irina Bokova, Director-General of UNESCO,
  • thoughtful comments and a very special poem by Roberto Ruffino, Secretary-General of Fondazione Intercultura, and
  • recommendations by the AFS Youth Symposium & Workshop participants, representing fresh perspectives on global citizenship education and the roles of key stakeholder groups in both the public and private sectors.

Watch the video which beautifully recaps the two educational Symposiums below.