UN Sustainable Development Goals

Imagining and co-creating lead impact campus for peace

Prof. Colette Mazzucelli

2nd VP (NYU/NY) ACT-UAW Local 7902; President (Academia), 2020-2022, Global Listening Centre; Series Editor, Anthem Press; Research Mentor (Europe), Pioneer Academics; Founder & Principal, LEAD IMPACT

February 22nd 2022 - United States

Imagining and Co-Creating a Campus for Peace: Harnessing Technology for Global Education

In this compelling video, Prof. Colette Mazzucelli from New York University delves into the profound significance of imagining and co-creating a campus for peace in today's turbulent times. She emphasizes the critical role of educators worldwide in harnessing the power of technology for peace.

With over 30 years of experience in technology-mediated learning, Prof. Colette Mazzucelli's insights are invaluable. Her illustrious background, including work with various non-governmental organizations, establishes her as a key figure in the field of international relations.

The video discusses the WHERS Conference and its focus on promoting a student-centric approach to education, with Prof. Mazzucelli expressing her gratitude to Touch Cast for enabling this session and roundtable discussions.

"Technology & Peace" is a central theme, exploring how technology can aid countries like Ukraine and others suffering from the chaos of war. Prof. Mazzucelli's unwavering commitment to peace and the desire to empower students to use technology for learning and understanding the world's challenges shine through.

The video highlights the early days of technology-mediated learning, with a particular focus on Prof. Mazzucelli's experiences in Europe during the 1990s conflict in Yugoslavia and her work in Hungary. These experiences led to a determination to use technology to connect students worldwide.

Prof. Mazzucelli's journey in technology-mediated learning and global educational initiatives is outlined, emphasizing her commitment to reaching vulnerable and fragile areas where conventional education is often inaccessible. Her collaborations extended from former Yugoslavia to Costa Rica and China, demonstrating the importance of inclusive learning.

The video underscores the significance of freedom from exclusion as a fundamental human right, with a focus on providing accurate knowledge to counter misinformation in vulnerable areas.

Lessons learned from various initiatives, including technology-mediated dialogues in the former Yugoslavia and the American Academy in Berlin, highlight the transformative potential of technology in education and diplomacy.

Prof. Mazzucelli's geographical areas of focus for Lead Impact are discussed, with a spotlight on initiatives in East Jerusalem, Northeast Syria, and Afghanistan. The importance of sustainable development goals (SDGs) in these areas, such as quality education and gender equality, is emphasized.

The video concludes by reflecting on the vision of a "Campus for Peace," inspired by authors Anne-Marie Slaughter and John Sexton, where interconnectedness and technology play pivotal roles in advancing global education and fostering peace.

This enlightening video serves as a powerful call to action for educators, innovators, and change-makers to embrace technology, promote peace, and create a brighter future through collaborative learning and understanding.

Speakers Info


Prof. Colette Mazzucelli 2nd Vice President and Steward at New York University

Prof. Colette Mazzucelli is a distinguished professional with a remarkable career spanning various roles and achievements. Currently serving as the 2nd Vice President of ACT-UAW Local 7902, she represents New York University in this influential union, advocating for the rights and interests of part-time faculty, student workers, and health service employees from The New School, as well as adjunct faculty at New York University, a role she has held since 2023.

Session Script: Imagining and co-creating lead impact campus for peace

This topic is extremely important for exclusion in the design of campus for peace pulling in the turbulent times, where peace is something that we pray for and we hope for, and it's exceptionally important and imperative for every educator around the world to know how to harness the power of technology for peace.

Prof. Colette Mazzucelli from New York University is one of the most important personalities who shared their bright ideas regarding the concept of Imagining and co-creating lead impact campus for peace.
She is a university educator with more than 30 years of experience in technology, mediated learning. She has the experience, of working with a variety, of non-governmental organizations, and her background is truly inspiring. Dr. Colette is the founder and principal of lead in that reconciliation Institute. She's also appointed President of the global listening center and has created numerous initiatives, apart from all this Prof. Colette has a recognized voice in international relations teaching at the graduate level at New York University.

As an educator who is focused on technology-mediated learning, Dr. Collete thinks the WHERS conference is a revolutionary concept where all the significant bodies involved in the Higher education sector can interact and find solutions.

WHERS Conference: Promoting Student Centric Approach

Thank you so much, Angelika. it's truly a pleasure and an honor for me to participate in the WHERS. 2022 conference as an educator who is focused on technology mediated learning. I would like to thank Touch Cast in particular, for making this session. Our session yesterday, and our roundtable discussion yesterday are possible. The immersive technologies of Touch Cast are something I've been familiar with for quite some time through a member of our International Advisory Board. Professor Michael Davis, who visited NYU, and who has been very involved in his own initiative. Parallel histories with Touch Cast for me the where's 2022 conference is an essential one, because in my experience and my understanding we must develop a student-centric approach to learning, to teaching in this century, and I believe that WHERS 2022 has this student-centric approach, which I think inspires us as educators in our work. So, this is why I attach such a great importance to this session and to the time with you today, Angelica, and with Touch Cast.  I believe that we are breaking new ground in higher education with WHERS and Touch Cast

Technology & Peace:
The topic is very significant because Ukrainian & all those countries suffering chaos by war know exactly what it means to hope for peace!

How can technology help?

Prof. has an undeniable aspiration for peace and the desire to try through our work together to address this need. The most important concern is to help others in our classrooms without borders.
Students must join us to become more aware of the possibilities of working with tech technology to enhance our learning.
“Our teaching and our understanding from the inside out, from these areas upward, from the grounds up to try to understand what is happening on the ground.
This is both a challenge and an opportunity before learning. At the start of this millennium. And indeed, this was the aspiration we had when we began over 20 years ago with the creation of an initial seminar in technology.”

Mediated learning that was hosted at that time at sea also Paris. This was the very beginning in 2000, with our experience of technology, mediated learning to understand the meaning of technology we need and learning. In her own career and own life, she begins to describe Europe. It begins with the experiences in Europe, and tragically with the experiences in the 1990s, of conflict in the form of Yugoslavia and that's really where it began.

The colleagues she had the privilege to work at that time in technology were themselves, innovators, and media learning. I think that for me the pivotal experience was my time as a Bosch Foundation fellow in Germany in Bond. At that time the capital was still in bond, assisting with the ratification of the Treaty on the European Union, also known as the Master Treaty, which eventually created the euro and my work inside the German Federal Farm office as a Bosch Fellow gave me a deep understanding of the need to experience to learn about what was happening in Germany.

In the former Yugoslavia in the European integration process from the inside out. So, I became determined as an educator to make that possible for others, and that was the real motivation for me to begin my career long, shall we say journey because it has been a journey, a process of innovating on experimenting, using every possible type of technology in order to reach the most fragile areas and we started, of course, with the former Yugoslavia, because in the 1990 s. That was the defining challenge in terms of interesting conflict inside of states. That was a defining challenge of my time working in Germany. And then, a few years later, in Hungary, I was assigned you at the fringes of the Soros network to lecture and to teach at the then?

What if the diversity of economic sciences, the former Karl Marx University, and Budapest, which was a regionally known university, and I was assigned there both to the University and to a small postgraduate Institute, founded by Rustlevani Jolt, who later became rector of the entire Corvinus University of Budapest. Rustlevani Jolt was a visionary as an educator, and right away he asked me to serve as director of international programs at what became the biggest Test Universities Institute for graduate international and diplomatic studies and there. he asked me to work with all types of technologies and policies, and different types of video conferencing systems to bring the Hungarians closer into contact with Western Europeans, with Americans, and with different students around the world. And that was really the beginning of my experience working in higher education from Budapest, using these technologies to connect students all over the world. We worked with the United States Information Service. We worked with various partners in Western Europe and in the United States, and of course, Rustlevani Jolt was a colleague of Yzenski gaze of who really assumed responsibilities in Academia from Gaza because Gaza was appointed Hungarian Farm Minister under the central government. So essentially. Gaza retained a position on faculty as a history professor, and Rustlevani Jolt was responsible for the Department of International Relations. and then I became a director in that department that was responsible for the technology-mediated learning portfolio, and that was really the beginning.

Global Revolution of long-standing involvement in Technology, Mediate Learning

I think, if you understand that the last years of the twentieth century and the early years of this century are truly marked by conflict inside of States, and this is first and foremost a human tragedy. Whether we were talking earlier about former Yugoslavia whether you were like talking about Syria, Afghanistan, and Ukraine. There are millions and millions of displaced persons, forcibly displaced persons, refugees, stateless peoples, who continue to migrate in a world in motion and indeed, if you think about Secretary-General Antonio Gutierrez and his background, working with refugees, you understand that this is perhaps the challenge of our time, and in in this sense these are people who are vulnerable. They are vulnerable to extremism; they are vulnerable to poverty; they are vulnerable to human trafficking, and they are trapped literally in spaces for which few states take responsibility, these refugee camps that have sprung up.

These are spaces that, in a sense, are lost to us unless we can use the technologies at our disposal to be able to reach out and create e-learning initiatives that make it possible for us to connect with them. That is really the motivation, In service, above all, that I have, and I think this is shared with the fellow educators working with me and this is why we truly seized upon the occasion to participate in wares, because we believe that inquiry with WHERS, and in with Touch Cast, we can realize some of these goals that we have had for so many years, and goals which we believe are increasingly important as the tragedy in Ukraine continues, This is a responsibility that we have, and that we share. and it's one that I believe is that before higher education because technologies offer us so much more in terms of the ways we can innovate, the ways we can collaborate, the ways we can think about classrooms without borders. This, I believe, is the challenge of our time. It is the opportunity we share, the responsibility that we aspire to fulfil.

Areas of Global Educational initiatives

The areas that we sought to reach were the most vulnerable areas, and we purposefully chose the hardest test cases, because we knew that if we wanted to experiment with a range of technologies and at the time we were looking at modem speed type of collaborations, working with pal talk and simply sometimes audio connections before we even thought about bringing in video connections, because we had to be concerned with bandwidth and how could we actually sustain  2 & half-hour sessions continuously without falling off the connection. and in this respect the more continents we sought to bring in the simpler the technologies because we really want it to be inclusive and from the start, this was about inclusive learning. So, we reached a number of the areas.

Christina, In the former Yugoslavia we brought in Costa Rica because the Costa Ricans were very, very interested in learning how we were innovating with the technologies. We sometimes would bring in China, because my colleague at the time Roger Boston, who was at the time already widely recognized as a pioneer in this space, he would often simply travel with a laptop throughout China, and wherever he was he would reach us with whatever technologies he wanted to. Experiment with, and in this way, our sessions were created. They were always innovative, and they were always far-reaching in terms of the geographical areas. We were able to dial-up, and I was always grateful for that opportunity to have a worldwide reach because that taught me early on that the purpose of using the technology is to reach into these most fragile areas, and to reach those areas where the vulnerability was a vulnerability owing to a lack of resources, resources the areas where the brutality of the violence, was that the people were traumatizing.

And in order to be able to reach these areas where we want to consult frequently on which technology was appropriate. for which type of area connection for which type of dialogue so in other words, did we simply want to have an audio dialogue? And we didn't want to have audio plus video. I mean 20 years ago we were in a different place, in terms of the tools with which we have work. So it was always a weekly conversation and it weekly experimentation, Roger would suggest I would say, Okay, let's try this one. Maybe you would try that tool. It would work, it would not work, and then we would go on to the next level. So it became a constant excuse and as we experimented with tools, we brought in more areas So, starting with Costa Rica to Munich China, and we would just continue right along and that gave me an idea over time to always be aware that there were going to be certain areas that we could develop relationships with and this is where the resources the human resources of our colleagues all around the world have been particularly helpful because they've advised us from the ground as to how we potentially could cooperate. I've always relied on those colleagues to be the eyes and ears of our collaborations. These really are the areas we began with and then we've continued. Today with areas we'll talk about in a few minutes

Significance of Freedom from Exclusion

I have to credit my colleague at the United Nations. Ramu, the motor on who was involved in his career for many, many years with the United Nations academic impact, and Ramu asked me in 2001 to write a keynote essay for the United nations chronicle, the UN Chronicle, and I decided that I was going to aim to define freedom from exclusion which was the concept in my mind. Freedom from exclusion is a human right. At the time we were thinking about the basic human needs we were thinking about. How do you fulfil the basic human needs of the most vulnerable? How do you facilitate what John Burton in the literature terms prevention?
So in other words, you really lay the foundation, so that conflict is not happening in a particular area, and that foundation is a development foundation in that respect. What we were aiming to do was really to prevent of making gender empowerment possible, Regenerative urbanism. I think that I went through the universal Declaration of Human Rights thinking about the fundamental right to education, and its role to promote understanding, tolerance, friendship among all nations, racial and religious groups, and really to further the activities of the Un.

For the maintenance of peace, where freedom from exclusion in my mind really resonated, was establishing the principle that we could define in terms of thinking about how everyone has the right to freedom of opinion, freedom of expression, the right to hold paid without interference to seek, receive, and part information.
Ideas through any media, regardless of frontiers. and of course, the people, because that was all of this misinformation. It's very clear that there are different messages that are being received by different people. To include, to be inclusive means to provide accurate knowledge and the most up-to-date awareness for those in the most vulnerable areas, and the accuracy of what we are sharing, the reliability of knowledge that we share that is critical and that is why we are trying to share knowledge to disseminate information as widely as possible as a way of countering the misinformation that is being shared, and that is, being disseminated, and I think that that is critical. When we think about inclusion, we think about bringing people into our learning endeavors. We also think about those who are truly excluded, because the information that they are receiving is inaccurate, because the information they are receiving gives them a false impression of what is happening on the ground, and that is something that we must strive to address.

Lessons Learned out of Propagandas!

It was my good fortune to be appointed as a Bosch public policy fellow at the American Academy in Berlin, and through that experience I was able to craft a type of project, educational diplomacy via the Internet, defining the American interest within a transatlantic policy dialogue on Kosovo. And here we had at the Academy a session a multimedia session, a technology, mediated dialogue, where we brought in some of the speakers and the speakers in that seminar were at the highest levels, there were policymakers, there were academics involved in Think tanks. Everyone who really had an awareness of what was happening on the ground in the former Yugoslavia.

We're colleagues, we tried to integrate into that experience, and you know it was a pleasure for me to be able to teach and to share that seminar in Paris because I had been a Fulbright scholar. There through really the intervention and the and the commitment to knowledge of a mentor of mine, Professor Stanley Hoffman, who founded the Center for European studies at Harvard University. We were able, as a group of persons, together to create with Science PO Paris: The first technology-mediated seminar for its students in the history of Science PO, and in that respect, I was always very, very grateful to Sioux Paris because they took a chance on a type of initiative which was really unheard of at the time, and of course, so for them to give me the opportunity is something I will always remember and be grateful for. Take that study about France and he was the professor who, in my eyes, would help me to understand again French civilization and the history and the culture and the language. So, even though I decided to pursue my doctorate at Georgetown and not at Harvard. He still wrote a letter for me for the full bride, and he was very instrumental in everything that I would go on to do in France.

And this seminar, what we learned from it from a technological standpoint, from a community-building standpoint, from a policy-making standpoint is just so foundational. to this day. Everything I would say that I draw upon in lead impact goes back to those early learning experiences with the seminar for southeastern Europe because those experiences first and foremost showed me the ways in which it was possible to reach across continents, and to connect communities across continents in ways that I think we didn't even imagine we were learning every day from those experiences, from the technologies that didn't work which taught us more I think than the technologies that did work, and from the willingness of colleagues to be involved in the dialogues we were creating.

It was a new frontier, and I smile when I think about those early experiences because they gave us hope in very dark times, and they gave us the aspiration to continue to forge ahead and to lay a foundation for the future and I think that's what we continue to do today. I think we're looking at the present hyphen future because everything that we do today allows us to take one step further into the future, and to imagine worlds that we create, worlds that we take responsibility for. This is something where I thank the American Academy in Berlin for the occasion to be in residence there again to the Bosch Foundation for making it possible to be in residence, there, and to work with those technologies in so many different ways, for which today, we continue to be grateful as we look ahead to the next steps in our work.

Geographically Key Areas of Focus for Lead Impact

1Again drawing on the experience with the former Yugoslavia, we identified 3 areas where we believed it would be possible, first, to collaborate with schools, and this is, of course, what we are doing in East Jerusalem, with a historic school for Palestinian girls, created in 1948 there it's our first partner and of course our longstanding dedication to peace in the Middle East, particularly peace in terms of thinking about the tragedies of the conflict between the Israelis and the Palestinians. We believe schools are an important collaborative partner for us, and our colleague, Jamal, has made it possible for us 2 to work with this historic school in East Jerusalem. So that is the first point of contact as a partner. The second is northeast Syria, because, again of the brutality of the violence in that country and in that area the ongoing human tragedy at the hands of the Assad regime. Our colleague, Omar Abelia is our eyes and ears on the ground from Germany. In other words, he, himself is a refuge, He fled all the violence, he established himself in Germany and from Germany, he continued to work very closely with colleagues in the area, and we continue to work very closely with him.

This connection underlines my longstanding commitment to a partnership with organizations and the Federal Republic of Germany. This is my way of saying thank you to the Robert Bosch Foundation for the extraordinary opportunity that they gave each and every one of us as Bosch fellows, and we continue throughout our lives to emphasize the importance of honoring that commitment that the Bosch Foundation has made to us, and honoring our purpose, cooperating with the Federal Republic of Germany and with partners there. The third area, of course, is Afghanistan, and this is really for me, personal as well as professional. One of my former students who are on the Zami at New York University, was someone who had to help her family leave Afghanistan, and this past summer I was involved with working and collaborating with her and another Alumnus of New York University, Thomas Herrera, to try every possible way to help her family leave Afghanistan, and they were able to leave, and we were committed to working with the Afghan Diaspora and possibly with those on the ground, and lead impact to promote women's empowerment and to promote regenerative urbanism in Afghanistan and that is our goal.

SDGs Focus Goals

We had a previous session for WHERS 2022, and we brought in speakers from each of our areas with which we are working in lead impact. Umer al-Khatib in East Jerusalem, Hiya Al-Haran in Northeast Syria and Afghan diaspora, and in a sense, we were really thinking about it. What are the primary responsibilities that we have? and how do we match the e-learning interventions with these responsibilities, to create vibrant social infrastructure and facilities with more sustainable and secure sources of energy of water, and of food. This is, of course, our faculty colleague, Dr Anna Britton. This is her whole focus and her whole purpose and passion in her intensive course for lead impact. We wanted to connect the different courses, including that of Dr Adam Brittan to the sustainable Development Goals in East Jerusalem, for example, supporting a sustainable development Goal for quality education is a primary focus, supporting sustainable development goal 5, gender equality figures highly in terms of our priorities and of course, SDGs 11 sustainable cities and communities figure prominently in the initiatives that we are designing and attempting to implement the school club activities in East Jerusalem is focused on raising awareness of the way in which girls' voices may be heard to resist oppression in society. How these girls can participate with the full support of their school. food-growing, initiatives, creating a sense of community. Making new skill acquisition, and know-how possible all of these things are critical. And then in northeast Syria we are looking at the main obstacle to Women's education, which is why our focus again is on SDGS 1, promoting. Do you know this idea? No poverty. SDG 4 for promoting education.

The need to develop infrastructure that is in line with assuring sustainability. Again SDG 11, involve the Afghan Diaspora. The focus is on women's empowerment through entrepreneurship, the making by these Afghan women of the fabric bags to address the tremendous challenges with waste and plastics that the country is experiencing. Taking the responsibility to be aware of the needs, to work with the environment in line with SDG 13.

And of course, first and foremost, SDGs 17 The partnerships, the strategic partnerships that we create for lead impact that make these field project initiatives possible, not only in our physical world, but also, now increasingly in what we call M.city in the metaverse, collaborating with Touch Cast with where's 2022 potentially in the future. We the Institute for Economics and Peace, I have a colleague there searching for bonds in the Brussels office. He's been varying instrumental in helping us understand more and more about positive peace in helping us understand the ways in which together we can design. We can implement modules, and training possibilities together. Using the latest technologies, we reach deep into the M city as well.

Today is particularly a day for us to reflect to think about this historic address, this virtual address by President Zelensky for Ukraine, and we think about the importance of the remembering slop? Are you planning Glory to Ukraine? Why is this so important? It's important because when we think about our role as educators, and we think about what is happening in our world, we must somehow think, How can I respond? How can the students I am responsible to learn with, how can they respond? How can they be change-makers? How can they make a difference in the world? How can technology support these types of undertakings? All of these things are so critical.

We must have a critical awareness of what is possible in our world of learning, teaching, and doing. It's a kinesthetic experience.
The concepts and the practice must be brought together and the bridge to bring the concepts and the practice together. That can be technology. and in our hands that is technology. This is what we mean when we say technology, medium learning. And this is what we mean when we say as educators are committed to technology, mediated learning. This is our vocation. This is our responsibility.

A Campus for Peace

You know, I'm inspired by so many who have helped me throughout the years, and over the decades, and I think about 2 books in particular, that I think to resonate with me in response to this question, The first one written by Anne Marie “The Chessboard and the Web: Strategies of Connection in a Networked World,” the Chessboard is really covered in terms of thinking about the vocabulary that has been an elaborated in the literature over time the vocabulary of those is a mere shimmer waltz or all of those thinkers who've helped us to understand international relations, of the importance of States, and the ways in which we must think about conflict, Warren Peace, which is fundamental in terms of our studies. But then Amory also talks about the web, and I think what we still have yet to do is to create a vocabulary, to create a language. It helps us think about the importance of the web, the importance of interconnectedness, and the importance of the ways in which technology can mediate to help us create an entirely new vocabulary. And I think that that new vocabulary is at the heart of our learning, and can truly be at the heart of our learning in what we call M.city, as well as in our world. And what I think about what Amory is most concerned with, it brings me very much to my own. Shall we say dedication to humanitarian concerns to reaching into fragile areas, and making those areas part of the learning that my students experience?

They then go on and work in those areas. and They draw on the learning experiences that they have in their graduate studies. and in so doing we've created a bridge for them.

The second book really is a book written by the former Emeritus John Sexton, “Standing for Reason: The University in a Dogmatic Age.”

In that book. what John is observing is that universities have always operated beyond sovereignty, and what I think is important to draw in here is that we have to listen. We have to listen closely to those in these fragile areas whose languages we strive to understand. And this is really the promise of technologies as well to things that you could have programs that are simultaneously translated into, I don't know how many languages, but languages including, of course, Ukrainian, that could help us understand better the context on the ground.

Words matter, language is something that is at the heart of culture the heart of history. And when we think about Ukraine we think about its history. What it, what it has been, but also what it strives to become, how it strives to actualize itself. Its identity in the Aristotelian sense, the process of becoming which is being brutally interrupted with dis-aggression. and I think that the learning that we strive to create because it's a process of creation of co-designing that we're involved with when we bring these technologies into our classrooms, what we are creating teachers us as much about what you train has been as about what it strives to become and in that sense, we fulfil our own purpose. we actualize our own.

Shall we say potential as educators as we strive to support Ukraine in every way possible, through learning as it aspires to continue to become not only to be but to evolve with its own identity, it's language, the awareness, the critical awareness of its history. Both of those things are so vital, and in that sense, I think M.city offers us the possibility to create and to co-design without the obstacles that we face In the physical world. M.city is an opportunity for us to seize the occasion, to bring together people who, for example, might not be able to meet in the physical world. I remember, years ago I did a crisis simulation about Nagorno-Karabakh, and the ambassadors of Armenia and Azerbaijan. They couldn't come together in the same room we had to have separate module sessions. Well, M.city gives those who cannot meet physically the possibility, perhaps, to meet in a different space, place, and time. And that is just one. I think of the prospects that we could think about in terms of M city and creating, learning experiences, collaborative rich learning experiences there,


Thank you. This has been an extraordinary interview because we've covered so many important topics, and as we see what's happening across the world today. We need to work together collectively and with academics across the globe, and I know that lots of prominent change-makers, academics, and innovators, are watching us right now. They need to make the change starting from their own classroom, and I do believe that with the opportunities that M.city presents, the conversation can take place between parties that would never talk otherwise, and only through a conversation and only through listening to each other we can conquer crisis of any shape and form.
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