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Global Schools Program

Supporting schools and educators in creating a more sustainable world

Global Schools (GS) is a flagship program of the United Nations Sustainable Development Solutions Network, in support of UNESCO’s Roadmap for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). The mission of Global Schools is to create a world where every primary and secondary student is equipped with the knowledge, skills, and values to tackle the problems of the 21st century.

HundrED 2024


HundrED has selected this innovation to

HundrED Global Collection 2024

HundrED Global Collection 2023

Web presence






Target group
August 2023
"Global Schools provides free training and resources to hundreds of teachers and thousands of students, building a global community that shares best practices and fosters sustainable development."

About the innovation

Why did you create this innovation?

Research shows that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), and its pedagogical features, are highly effective tools for enhancing educational outcomes, while supporting social and environmental objectives. ESD increases pro-environmental behaviors, academic skills, and civic engagement; ESD improves socio-emotional skills such as collaboration, critical thinking and problem-solving.

What does your innovation look like in practice?

Global Schools' flagship initiative is the Global Schools Advocates Program, a training program for teachers to improve ESD delivery and increase sustainability literacy in classrooms. The training program was developed after surveying 220 local ESD champions and 40 educators. The training includes 30+ lectures, original readings, and comprehensive assessments. 17 supporting documents assist teachers in ESD implementation via a specific action-research methodology to incorporate ESD in schools. Survey data from Global Schools-trained teachers reveals the program’s long-term, positive impact extends to school-wide practices and students’ perceptions of climate and sustainable development. On average, teachers report that students showed increased abilities to: apply critical thinking to understand global issues; reflect on their role in their local community; propose, develop, and implement solutions for sustainable development.

How has it been spreading?

In 2021 alone, Global Schools trained 504 teachers through its comprehensive training program, which spanned 90+ countries, with a specific focus on the developing world and under-resourced schools. Within one year, teachers and school leaders collectively engaged nearly 108,112 students in 9,300+ classroom lessons and activities on ESD and trained 12,300+ additional teachers via the program’s trainers-of-trainers model. Teachers have extended their work into local communities, engaging and training over 30,000 community members; admins, and parents on sustainable development. For example, a teacher from Pakistan reported that “Health Awareness” lessons made many parents quit smoking; a teacher from Kenya scaled up their community garden program to three additional schools.

If I want to try it, what should I do?

Schools and teachers can view the resources and lesson plans on the Global School website, as well as sign up for the training program. They can also join the Global Schools network. Ministries, schools, government, and NGOs are also welcome to reach out to the Global Schools team about local implementation: globalschools@unsdsn.org

Impact & scalability

HundrED Academy Reviews

The program's comprehensive training for teachers has been shown to increase sustainability literacy and promote pro-environmental behaviours, academic skills, and civic engagement, with reported positive changes in behaviour and practices.

Already spread across the globe with data driven policies, workshops, missions, this is what every school needs to adapt to bring about a uniform change through education in sustainable development.

- Academy member
Academy review results
High Impact
Low Scalability
High Impact
High Scalability
Low Impact
Low Scalability
Low Impact
High Scalability
Read more about our selection process

Spread of the innovation

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