United Nations

Literacy in a Digital World: How Technology is Transforming Lives

As the internet transforms our lives and the way we interact with media, those who are unable to access technology can be left out of important conversations. Data from the International Telecommunications Union shows that computer and internet usage amongst youth varies radically around the world and unsurprisingly, lower income nations tend to see much lower rates of access. When at least a trillion dollars of our global economy relies on the internet, this lack of equal access means a lack of equal participation in the world.

Celebrating UN Day

Since 1948, October 24 has been celebrated as United Nations Day, a chance to focus on global cooperation, peace and now, sustainability. For this anniversary, the UN is focusing on “concrete actions people can take to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), an ambitious set of 17 goals adopted last year to improve the lives of people around the globe and protect our shared ecosystems. 

A Lesson Plan for the Climate Summit

The Climate Summit (COP21), now underway in Paris, presents a fantastic teachable moment for engaging students on the science, math and social studies behind climate issues. In his news conference today, President Obama referred to climate change as a “generational issue” and your students comprise the generation that will be most affected by the decisions made over the next two weeks.

Beyond 400 ppm – A New Reality for a Warming Planet

There was bleak, though not unexpected, news coming out of the World Meteorological Organization yesterday. Average levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere had reached 400 parts per million (ppm) in the early months of 2015, a rise of 43 percent over pre-Industrial levels (when we were at 278 ppm). While the atmospheric concentration ebbs and flows with the seasons, WMO officials say the planetary average is expected to remain above 400 ppm beginning in 2016.

How do the 2015 Population Projections differ from the 2012 Projections?

Last week we posted an overview of the 7 Things to Know About the 2015 Population Projections. The post has brought up some interesting questions about how these 2015 projections differ from the projections made by the UN in 2012. The following are some of the more dramatic, interesting, or unexpected changes that came about over the past 3 years:

Conflict-driven refugee population nears 60 million worldwide

According to the latest United Nations report, World at War, globally, one in every 122 humans is now either a refugee, internally displaced, or seeking asylum.  The report released by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) explains that the world’s refugee population has hit an all-time high with nearly 60 million people (up from 37.5 million a decade ago) displaced by war, persecution, and conflict.

Sustainable Development Goals vs. Millennium Development Goals: What You Need To Know

Time is almost up for the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). With the 2015 deadline fast approaching, the United Nations looks to build upon MDG progress by crafting an updated and inclusive post 2015 agenda. Enter the Sustainable Development Goals (or SDGs). The goals will frame the next 15 years of international development by creating a focused and coherent plan of action toward a sustainable future.

How to Involve Students in This Year’s International Women’s Day

This Saturday, March 8th, the world will celebrate the 106th International Women’s Day. Since 1911, this day has served as a time to reflect on the economic, social, and political progress made in gender equality and to raise awareness of the challenges that remain.

This year’s theme is “Equality for women is progress for all,” and looking back on 2013, we have much to applaud. Here’s a glance:


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