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2016 International Year of Global Understanding:Building Bridges between Global Thinking and Local Actions


  • Friedrich-Schiller- University of Jena, Germany
  • Geosciences Centre and Instituto Politécnico de Tomar, Secretary General of the International Council for Philosophy and Human Sciences and Scientific Board of the IYGU, Portugal
  • Geosciences Centre and Department of Earth Sciences, University of Coimbra (Polo II), President of the Executive Board of the IYGU, Reference Action Centre in Portugal, Portugal


2016 is the International Year of Global Understanding (IYGU). The IYGU declared by the three leading global sciences organizations of the natural, social, and human sciences recognizes that global social, cultural and climate changes require a global level of understanding. In this paper the basic IYGU guidelines are discussed, as well as the goals and action areas of this ambitious initiative. The topical framework and the outreach program are also described, as well as coordination, partners and organizational structure. The IYGU aims to bridge the gap in awareness between local actions and global effects, and will provide information on culturally differentiated ways to achieve global sustainability. By doing so, the IYGU will help in developing a new geographical imagination for a radically changing world.

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