Program & Recordings

20 January to 22 January, 2021

The 3-day conference brought together 500+ participants from about 60 countries and contributed to the success of this conference with their ideas, perspectives, energy and enthusiasm. 

Poster and Creative Arts Presentations were also available throughout the conference. Please refer to the Posters and Culture Page for more details. 

Click on the date to view the program and recordings of the sessions scheduled for each day.

Session Recordings
Meet and Greet with the Conference Organizers
A Warm-up for the Sustainable & Inclusive Internationalization Virtual Conference

Click to read description

The Conference Organizers welcome more than 600 participants from 60+ countries on the virtual conference venue! Would you like to know more about the conference background and the Sustainable On The Go Initiative at York University? What is to be expected from an international conference held in a virtual space? Use this opportunity to meet the team behind this conference and ask your questions before the official start of the event.

Recording not available
Opening Ceremony

  • Land Acknowledgement
  • Greetings from Conference Partner: Dr. Hilligje van't Land, Secretary-General, International Association of Universities, France
  • Welcome Remarks by Prof. Rhonda Lenton, President and Vice-Chancellor, York University 
  • Remarks from Humayra Safa, SDSN SDG Hub York Education Officer, York University

Master of Ceremony: Prof. Theodoros Peridis, Director of Global Relations, Schulich School of Business

Plenary 1:  Mobility in higher education: a new vision, pressures and opportunities for enhanced programs

If we look into the future of internationalization within higher education with inclusivity and sustainability at the core, how can we responsibly include mobility in higher education? How can mobility programs, international research and conferencing (both virtual and in person) in academia be designed to contribute to such new vision of international education?

Click to view Keynote Speakers
Prof. Hans De Wit, Professor Emeritus and Distinguished Fellow, Lynch School of Education and Human Development, Boston College, USA
Dr. Francisco Marmolejo, Education Advisor, Qatar Foundation and Former Global Lead of Tertiary Education, World Bank, Qatar
Dr. Lorna Jean Edmonds, former Vice Provost of Global Affairs and Assistant Vice President of  International Relations, Ohio University, USA
Vinitha Gengatharan, Executive Director, York International, York University, Canada
Cultural contribution
Music with Ears on the Future: The Piano Lunaire and creating an inclusive community 

Pianist and composer Adam 
Sherkin performs a selection of works from recent livestream events, as presented by his newly founded company, The Piano Luanire. The Piano Lunaire (created in 2018), is a new gen organization that produces contemporary performances, houses a record label andcollaborates with the international musical community at large.  Adam and his team evolved the conception of a brand that represents innovation, artistic integrity and inclusiveness. In January 2020, The Piano Lunaire inaugurated a workshop for emerging composers. By Spring 2020, facing challenges of COVID-19, music communities around the world pivoted online. The Piano Lunaire followed suit, originating a new virtual concert series: “LUNAIRE LIVE.”  

Click to View Video Credits
Performer: Adam Sherkin, pianist, composer founder and artistic director of The Piano Lunaire, Canada
Additional pianist: Stephen Runge Videographer: Varey
Paintings/video sets: Gail Williams
Parallel Session 1: International mobility in practice: institutional, national, and regional responses
What are successful examples for mobility programs for students and academics and what are potentially replicable aspects? How can such programs enhance the implementation of the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)? What are policies and frameworks that foster a more sustainable approach to mobility and where are the current gaps? What are the drivers and barriers for students and academics in participating in and benefitting from international education? What has changed through COVID-19? What lessons can be learned from diverse international mobility models and experiences?

Click to View Speakers

Prof. Aaron Benavot, Professor, SUNY-Albany and former Director, UNESCO Global Education Monitoring Report
Prof. Alessandra Scagliarini, Vice Rector for International Relations, Università di Bolongna, Italy
Dr. Barnabas Nawangne, Vice-Chancellor, Member, Council of the Association of Commonwealth Universities, University of Makerere, Uganda
Giorgio Marinoni, Manager, HE and Internationalization, International Association of Universities (IAU), France
Sandra GuarÍn, Director, Office for International Relations, Universidad Antoinio Nariño, Colombia

Dr. Adel El Zaim, Chief Internationalization Officer, University of Ottawa, Canada


Parallel Session 2: Greening student and scholar exchange: concrete ideas and practices

The international education community has been critiqued for its lack of recognition and action in relation to the environmental carbon footprint of its mobility programs. What are some current and/or future frameworks and practices that address this concern? How do exchange and internationalization activities align with the pursuit towards sustainability? What are the unspoken of (mental, emotional, and psychological) burdens that need to be addressed? 

Click to View Speakers

Jana Dlouhá, Second Vice-Chairman of the Czech Commission for UNESCO, Charles University, Czech Republic
Dr. Judith Naidorf, Independent Researcher of CONICET, Institute of Research in Educational Sciences, Universidad de Buenos Aires, Argentina
Dr. Mark Terry, Director Youth Climate Report, UNESCO Chair Associate, York University, Canada
Dr. Tyrone Hall, Head of Communications NDC Partnership, World Resource Institute, USA

Dr. Ravi de Costa, Chair of the President's Sustainability Council, York University, Canada

Cultural Contributions
"We Shall Remain (It Wasn't Taken Away)" performed by lead vocalist Kalolin Johnson

"We Shall Remain" is the second installment of the "ABMHS Song Project" from "Allison Bernard Memorial High School" in Eskasoni, Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada.The song was written by ABMHS music teacher, Carter Chiasson, grade 12 student and lead vocalist, Kalolin Johnson and her father, Tom Johnson. “We Shall Remain” is a tribute to elders and ancestors of all First Nations. The song echoes the voices of a strong and resilient people through times of innocence and harmony with the earth, through centuries of struggle, oppression and hardship and onwards into a time of rebirth and reconciliation through education and the empowerment of youth.



Session Recordings

Networking Session Hosted by the International Association of Universities

Click to read description

The International Association of Universities (IAU) is the global voice of higher education and represents over 640 Members from more than 120 countries. IAU provides a platform for reflection and action on common priorities, including Sustainable Development and Internationalization. This networking session is open to all conference participants and will give a brief introduction to IAU’s work on Internationalization and HESD (Higher education and research for sustainable development),including the IAU HESD Global Cluster, a network with over 80 universities applying the SDGs in teaching, research and the whole institution. Furthermore, IAU advocates for the role of higher education for Agenda 2030 at the UN level. The session will provide an opportunity for participants to virtually exchange with IAU and Cluster representatives, and ask questions. Moderated by Isabel Toman, Programme Officer for Sustainable Development at IAU.

Short interventions by IAU Cluster representatives

Recording Not Available
Opening Ceremony

  • Land Acknowledgement 
  • Greetings from Conference Partner: Sébastien Goupil, Secretary-General of the Canadian Commission for UNESCO
  • Remarks: Bushra Ebadi, CCU Youth Council Representative and Global Advisor to Aya Chebbi (African Union Youth Envoy)
  • Wrap-up of Day 1 by Prof. Charles Hopkins, York UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability (Conference Co-Chair)

Plenary 2:  Student & professional mobility 2030 and beyond: transferability of degrees, credit transfer, refugees and immigrants

What are the grand challenges for higher education having a mobile student community and workforce today and in the future? How can universities/colleges help create welcoming structures in receiving societies? Who is winning and who is losing through this global mobility?

Click to view Keynote Speakers

Dr. Ethel Valenzuela,
Director, Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization (SEAMEO) Secretariat, Thailand 
Fabio Nascimbeni, Senior Expert, UNIMED - Mediterranean Universities Union, Italy
Sjur Bergan, Head of Education Department, Council of Europe, Belgium

Dr. Liette Vasseur, President, Canadian Commission for UNESCO and UNESCO Chair on Community Sustainability: From Local to Global at Brock University, Canada

Cultural contributions
"Philippine Dance As An International Pedagogical Tool" by Paulo Alcedo and Dr. Patrick Alcedo
Philippine dance does not only mirror the complexities of Filipino identity. It also shapes the ways in which Filipinos have determined to define who they are whether in the Philippines or in diasporic spaces like Toronto, Canada. Interspersing lecture with dance performances, Professor Alcedo will share his years of research on and teaching Philippine dance at York University that are predicated on issues of colonialism, post-coloniality, transnationalism and inclusive teaching.


Parallel Session 3: Assessment of intercultural development in mobility programs

Can we assess the short and long-term intercultural learning and development stemming from mobility programs? How do we design learning outcomes and assessment tools that are credible and fit within the mission and vision of the postsecondary education institutions?

Click to view Speakers

Alex Rendon, Director of Operations for the Office of International Programs, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador.

  • David Huerta Harris, Director, Short-Term Mobility Programs, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico and Dr. Dominique Scheffel-Dunand, Academic Lead, Globally Networked Learning Initiative, York University, Canada

Dr. Darla K. Deardorff, Executive Director, Association of International Education Administrators (AIEA), USA
Heather Williams, Work Integrated Learning: Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Project Manager, Simon Fraser University, Canada
Dr. Peter Wells, Chief, Higher Education, UNESCO, France


Prof. Matthias Barth, Co-Director, Institute for Sustainable Development and Learning (ISDL), Leuphana University, Germany

Parallel Session 4: Mobility programs beyond academics: global and community engagement 


How can mobility programs contribute to the higher education institution's third mission, community service? Do we have a responsibility to bring back knowledge, innovative practices, and international contacts to our own and host communities? Is there a threshold between post-colonialization and global community service?

Click to view Speakers

Dr, Addise Amado Dube, Head of Development and Communications, Ethiopian Graduate School of Theology (EGST), Ethiopia
Dr. Ana Maria Martinez, Research Associate, Las Nubes Project, York University Las Nubes Programme, Canada
Prof. Don Dippo, Professor, Faculty of Education, Co-Director of Borderless Higher Education for Refugees (BHER), York University, Canada
Nidhu Jagoda, Youth Coordinator, SDSN Youth, Sustainable Development Solutions Network, Canada

M. Nobuyuki Kambara,
Vice Director of the Institute of Global Human Resource Development, Okayama University, Japan

Cultural contributions
Cebu Normal University Choir

The Cebu Normal University Chorale is the lead student Cultural Organization that serves as the singing ambassadors of one of the leading teacher-training institutions in the Philippines. This group aims to promote cultural awareness through its various range of music repertoire which caters diverse genre in the appreciation of culture and the arts. They have performed numerously across the metropolis and beyond as a way of giving out their God-given talents as well as upholding the name of the university. Through their suppleness in different genus of choral music, countless invitations and infinite event productions have come their way to the pedestal as they have performed and brought the sweet rewards in various competitions and made cordial marks to the hearts of the adjudicators and spectators of different grandiose events.



Sessions Recordings
Networking Session Hosted by Okayama University, Japan
Human and Planetary Health: Toward a Common Language for HEIs

Click to read description

Okayama University, as the first UNESCO Chair in ESD across Asia, will host a virtual networking coffee event to discuss the human and planetary health with the audiences. As the focus shifts to how we build education back better after COVID-19 pandemic, this event will explore what lessons we can learn in the pursuit of a whole institution’s approach to the SDGs at HEIs by integrating ESD with science, technology and innovation (STI) under the ethical framework of the Earth Charter. It will also share the latest activities of Okayama University in partnership with UNESCO, UNCTAD and the Earth Charter International.
8:15 am EST / 10:15 pm JST

  • Opening Remarks: ESD, Earth Charter, and STI for SDGs at Okayama University to Achieve the Human and Planetary Health
  • Atsufumi Yokoi, Vice President for Global Engagement Strategy, UNESCO Chairholder in Research and Education for Sustainable Development, Okayama University
8:20 am EST / 10:20 pm JST

  •  ESD at Okayama University Partnering with York University: Toward Achieving the SDG Target 4.7
  • Charles A. Hopkins, UNESCO Chairholder in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability, York University, Canada
8:25 am EST / 10:25 pm JST

  • Earth Charter at Okayama University Partnering with Earth Charter: The Ethical Flamework for Sustainable Development

  • Mirian Vilela, Director at Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development, UNESCO Chairholder on Education for Sustainable Development with the Earth Charter, University for Peace

8:30 am EST / 10:30 pm JST

  • STI for SDGs at Okayama University Partnering with UNCTAD: Foster Young Scientific Talents in Developing Countries

  • Kunio Kimura, Vice President for International Affairs, Okayama University

8:35 am EST / 10:45 pm JST

  • Discussion & Networking
Recording not available.
Opening Ceremony

  • Land Acknowledgement
  • Greetings from Conference Partner: Prof. Hirofumi Makino, M.D, Ph.D, President of Okayama University 
  • Intervention/remarks from Risa Akiyama and Sota Matsumoto, Okayama student representatives 
  • Wrap-up of Day 2 by Prof. Charles Hopkins, York UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability (Conference Co-Chair)

Plenary 3:  The Futures of Education

UNESCO’s Futures of Education global initiative aims to reimagine how knowledge and learning can shape the future of humanity and the planet. The initiative is designed as a co-construction process that activates broad public engagement, expert inputs, as well as the work of the International Commission on the Futures of Education. Based on the results from the first round of results and discussion – what are the implication for higher education in the 21st century in a post-pandemic world.

Click to view Keynote Speakers

Dzulkifli bin Abdul Razak, Rector and Past President of the International Association of Universities, International Islamic University, Malaysia
Larissa Bezo, President and Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Bureau for International Education, CBIE, Canada
Dr. Noah Sobe, Senior Project Officer for the Futures of Education Global Initiative, UNESCO, France

Dr. Hilligje Van't Land, Secretary-General, International Association of Universities, France

Cultural Contributions
AI, Japanese R&B Singer 

Japanese R&B star AI moves freely between pop, hip hop and dance, combining American soul with the deep emotion of Japanese ballads. Her international r eputation has grown with exciting collaborations with Snoop Dogg, Chris Brow n, Jim Jones, Trey Songz, Lloyd, Jeremih, Boyz II Men, K’Naan, Judith Hill, Namie Amuro, Atsushi(EXILE), Rain, The Jacksons and Chaka Khan.
With her trademark husky voice, she instills soulful undertones into everything from inspirational ballads to upbeat dance numbers. Especially in Japan, her music is known for its strength and substance. Despite the fame she’s achieved, her down-to- earth personality shines during every performance. As AI will tell you, she’ll do anything to get a smile from her fans.
Parallel Session 5: Inclusive student exchanges and experiences


How can we enhance and systemically embed the internationalization of higher education in sync with calls for indigeneity, anti-coloniality, anti-racism and anti-imperiality? Increasing participation and creating equitable access are priorities in many institutions. Yet, to date, outgoing numbers in many countries are low and students with disabilities, students from lower socio-economic backgrounds, mature students and other groups have been less represented. How do we ensure broader participation and a more inclusive exchange experience?

Click to view Speakers

Anna Veigel, Head, Kulturweit – International Volunteer’s Service, German Commission for UNESCO and the Federal Foreign Office, Berlin, Germany
Dr. Diane Barbaric, Higher Education Public Policy Researcher, University of Toronto, Canada
Heila Lotz-Sisika, Environmental Learning Research Centre (ELRC), Rhodes University, South Africa
Dr. Kao-Cheng Wang, Vice President, International Affairs, Tamkang University, Taiwan

Wagaye Johannes,
Director of Operations & Organizational Development, Diversity Abroad, USA



Parallel Session 6: Leveraging technology and digital learning: can we experience “abroad online?

What are the opportunities and limitations of the online experience? What are the implications in terms of quality, standards, and professional development? How can we create online experiences that further identify and connecting beyond one's own community?

Click to View Speakers

Della Burke, Coordinator of Campus Internationalization, ITESO, Jesuit University of Guadalajara, Mexico

Dr. James C. Simeon, Associate Professor, Faculty of Liberal Arts and Professional Studies, York University, Canada

  • Prof. Itzel Barrera de Diego, Professor, Law and International Relations, Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico; Prof. Hugo Cahueñas, Professor, Law and International Relations, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Ecuador; and Vania Ramírez-Camacho, Associate Regional Director, Political Science and International Relations Department, School of Social Science and Government, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico

Dr. Mirian Vilela, Director, Earth Charter Center on Education for Sustainable Development at University for Peace, Costa Rica
Dr. Pankaj Mittal, Secretary-General, Association of Indian Universities, India

Isabelle LeVert-Chiasson, Education Programme Officer, CCUNESCO, Canada

Closing Keynote and Adoption of the 2021 Toronto Declaration

  • Closing Keynote from ​Prof. Lisa Philipps, Provost and Vice-President Academic, York University
  • Wrap up of Day 3 by Prof. Charles Hopkins, York UNESCO Chair in Reorienting Education towards Sustainability (Conference Co-Chair)
  • Adoption of the Declaration
  • Next Steps for Sustainable on the Go by Vinitha Gengatharan, Executive Director, York International, York University

Master of Ceremony: Dr. Andrew Maxwell, Bergeron Chair In Technology Entrepreneurship, and Director Bergeron Entrepreneurs in Science and Technology (BEST), Lassonde School of Engineering