7.1.8 | Eolas Comhroinnte Obair le cheile / Shared Knowledge Working Together (ECOLC/SKWT) ECOLC/SKWT is the collective regional approach to development of a competitive knowledge-based society where a framework of the four pillars of higher education, industry, government and civic society work together to harness their collective resources, knowledge and skills. Drawing from experience across the EU 25 , ECOLC/SKWT can accelerate the transfer of research and innovation into effective actions supporting regional growth and overall regional innovation performance.
It is estimated that 65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately work in jobs that do not yet exist 24 . Given this, the Region’s ability to develop, nurture, retain and attract talent has never been more critical than it is in today’s dramatically changing world. The RSES recognises that the establishment of a Learning Region can build pillars of inclusive and sustainable development that will benefit all. Promoting this culture of learning will assist in the continued success of all education and learning provisions and enhance the skills and employment opportunities for our Region’s population, through initiatives such as the Regional Skills Fora. While the RSES can provide the strategic support for building a Learning Region, lasting change requires commitment and partnership at the local level. A learning society must be built county-by-county, city-by-city, and community-by-community involving partners in education and beyond, in formal, non-formal and informal learning. 7.1.7 | UNESCO and the Southern Region The RSES responds to UNESCO’s work on Learning Cities and Regions, recognising that responsive solutions are required for a complex, fast-changing world, where social, economic and political norms are constantly redefined. UNESCO defines a Learning City as one which mobilizes its resources across all sectors to maximise the opportunities for lifelong learning for all its citizens. In 2017, Limerick joined Cork to be among only 28 cities worldwide to be awarded the UNESCO Learning City Award. Limerick and Cork also form part of the Irish Learning City Network and it is an objective of the RSES for Waterford to join this network. The UNESCO approach to lifelong learning is intentionally city focused. By establishing Learning City structures, these centres of population can act as hubs of development supporting replication of this approach in the surrounding region. By firstly establishing and integrating Learning City principles in all our three cities, this approach can be adopted across the Region.
24. McLeod, Scott and Karl Fisch, “Shift Happens”, https://shifthappens.wikispaces.com. 25. In the EU, the collective regional approach ECOLC/SKWT is known as the Quadruple Helix.
Southern Regional Assembly | RSES
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