UNESCO Tehran Cluster Office participated in the “Second International Conference on the Future of the Islamic World in the Horizon of 2035”, organized by Tehran University on 28 and 29 April 2019. Mr. Cvetan Cvetkovski, Officer-in-Charge of the UNESCO Office delivered his speech and participated in the discussions in the Panel “Future of Civilizations, Cultures and Values” moderated by Dr. Hojatollah Ayoubi, Secretary General of the Iranian National Commission for UNESCO.
Mr. Cvetkovski presented UNESCO work on futures studies and futures literacy and explored prospects for cooperation in this field between UNESCO and the Iranian government, academia and civil society, as well as with other partners from Iran and from the region.
In his discussion, he highlighted the UNESCO approach in mainstreaming anticipatory systems and processes in all its programmes and initiatives. By connecting complex theories with more pragmatic designs of practical modules, this approach contributes to enhancing human capacities for anticipating and discerning different kinds of futures as part of the decision-making processes in all fields of UNESCO competence. In particular, he presented UNESCO Futures Literacy Project as a global laboratory of ideas of great interest to scholars, researchers, students, policy-makers and activists working on sustainability issues and innovation.
He emphasized the potentials of the Futures Literacy Project in the context of the future of civilizations, cultures and values, whose assumptions could be used as an active ingredient of the individual and collective capacity for intercultural and inter-religious dialogue. In this sense, it could also be used as vehicle for promotion and dissemination of values, attitudes and behaviours conducive to dialogue, non-violence and rapprochement of cultures and religions.
The cooperation in this field with Iran is more than ever meaningful - at times when challenges, including these emanating from recent floods and other natural disasters, most negatively affect the macro and micro economy of the country and the wellbeing of the Iranian people. Within this context, the biggest challenge for the international development cooperation is related to the extremely high level of uncertainty and unpredictability of many variables - most of them totally or partially out of control of the decision-makers. All of this further emphasizes the need for cooperation for development of the institutional capacities for foresight as part of the decision-making process, supporting knowledge generation and sharing best practices.