[Foundation-l] Kronberg Declaration on the Future of Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing (DRAFT)

Florence Devouard anthere at anthere.org
Tue Jul 3 02:23:51 UTC 2007

Dear all,

June has been a difficult month for me. Lot's to do :-) Too much actually.

Amongst the several travels I did, I participated to a working session 
organised by Unesco, in Germany. This session was attended by about 25 
people, many from open universities, but also with a Microsoft and an 
Intel representant, or someone from the Human Genome Project (in public 

A first draft of the Declaration was sent to me a few days ago, on which 
I just send my comments.

You may find below the Declaration I received. Note that it is a draft 
and will probably undergo many many more changes before being somehow 
included in a final official statement. Still, I believe it stands as a 
relevant document, and even though it does not contain all what we wish 
to see, it certainly recognises a great deal of the things which are so 
important to us, as wikimedians.

I was very proud to participate to the session, where I met an amazing 
set of highly culturally diverse and interesting people. This said, I 
still wonder over this "high level group etc...". Seems boasting to me. 
But maybe is that a cultural requirement...

Anyway. Being on the board is sometimes about doing pretty boring 
things. But I'd say this is one of the events making the boring things 
worth it ;-)

Incidently, it also gave me the opportunity to have a beer with Arne, at 
the top of a big german castle (I was hosted in the highest room of the 

UNESCO High Level Group
on Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing
Kronberg Germany
June 2007

Kronberg Declaration on the Future of Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing

We, the members of a high level group of experts met on the 22nd and 
23rd of June 2007 in Kronberg, Germany under the auspices of UNESCO and 
the German Commission for UNESCO, with the generous sponsorship of BASF 
to discuss the future of Knowledge Acquisition and Sharing within a 
perspective of 25 years:

Recognizing that:
Knowledge is the key to social and economic development;

Acquisition and sharing of knowledge have been going through dramatic 
changes because of rapidly emerging new information and communication 
technologies (ICT) and the societal transformations that they generate 
and that new approaches are needed to narrow international knowledge 
gaps while ensuring cultural and linguistic diversity;

The Internet provides numerous opportunities for young people;
There is a need to continuously harness new technologies and processes 
to develop knowledge societies that are people-centred, inclusive and 
development oriented;
The continued value of many findings included in the report of the 
International Commission on Education for the Twenty-first Century 
“Learning: The Treasure Within” (1996);

Referring in particular to the observation contained in the Report that 
“the progress of the new information and communication technologies 
should give rise to a general deliberation on access to knowledge in the 
world of tomorrow”, which has continued to nourish international debate 
not the least by the recent meetings of the World Summit on the 
Information Society (WSIS);

Having identified the major strategic areas, which should be addressed 
to shape the political and structural changes that are needed to improve 
knowledge acquisition and sharing including:
* The impact of technology on the evolution of knowledge societies;
* The concept of universal "knowledge norms”;
* The impact of emerging technology on models of learning;
* The future role of classical educational structures including those of 
* The role of private sector in knowledge acquisition and sharing;

Anticipating that in the next twenty-five years:

* Knowledge acquisition and sharing, which will increasingly take place 
online, will trigger a profound revolution of traditional educational 
* Leaders in public and private sectors must embrace change in 
organizations and people by providing incentives to create motivation 
and to overcome systemic barriers in knowledge acquisition and sharing;
* Learning institutions will have to focus much more on the learner’s 
social and emotional skills and to come to a wider, value-based concept 
of education;
* The importance of acquisition of factual knowledge will decrease 
whereas the ability to find one’s way in complex systems and to find, 
judge and creatively use relevant information will become crucially 
* The importance of the role of teachers as instructors will decrease 
while their role as facilitators for learners, role models and 
validators/interpreters of knowledge will increase;
* Learners will play an ever more active role in learning, including the 
creation of content;
* A mix of social spaces including (a) traditional schools for providing 
core values and social competencies and (b) learning communities of 
practices to address more specific challenges will remain important.
Classroom-like structures will remain vital as socializing environments 
in early childhood and in primary and secondary education; and ICT 
enabled learning will become more relevant in post-secondary and higher 
education settings;
* The private sector will play an increasingly important role as an 
accelerator of technology development in the area of knowledge 
acquisition and sharing and as a partner in standard setting for content 
creation, packaging, dissemination and utilization tools;
* Knowledge acquisition and sharing will be increasingly tailor-made, 
including the liberalization of certification processes taking 
individual needs into consideration by applying ICTs;
Open access to and free flow of content will be of crucial importance 
for equitable knowledge acquisition and sharing.

Stress the need to:
c)Develop long-term strategies to efficiently harness the enormous 
potential of new communication and information processes and 
technologies for developing new approaches to knowledge acquisition and 
d)Integrate these strategies into forward looking and sustainable 
e)Involve the private sector and user communities from various age 
groups and cultural backgrounds in the development of these strategies;
f)Establish efficient public-private partnerships to provide sustained, 
long-term real solutions for ICT application in knowledge acquisition 
and sharing;
g)Provide opportunity to all people to participate in networked social 
learning, which is locally relevant and which values tacit knowledge and 
enhances informal learning;
h)Increasingly use ICT to make knowledge acquisition and sharing 
available to anybody, not just for the privileged;
k)Develop culturally sensitive content;
l)Develop flexible knowledge norms (e.g. dynamic knowledge/skills profile);
m)Preserve mother-tongue languages while encouraging competencies in one 
or more global languages;
o)Develop creative business models to support the sustained creation and 
dissemination of high quality content;
p)Adapt educational assessment to the requirements of a globalized 
world, taking into account migration and brain-drain issues;
r)Redefine mechanisms and goals of assessment, including the four 
pillars of learning “learning to know, learning to do, learning to live 
together and learning to be“;
s)Support open access to and free flow of content by the development of 
open standards, open data structures, and standardized info-structures;
t)Ensure Long-term and sustained availability of digital content and 
interoperability of e-education systems on the global level as crucial 
elements of knowledge acquisition and sharing;

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