PASCAL International Exchanges (PIE)
PASCAL International Exchanges (PIE) is a project, co-ordinated at our Melbourne Regional Office, which has evolved during 2010. It aims to broker and support exchange, on a bilateral or multilateral basis, between local, community and city agencies and organisations in different parts of the world. Its focus is connecting those with specific missions, including neighbourhood learning centres, libraries, and cultural and heritage institutes, that make a distinctive contribution to lifelong learning and building innovative learning communities that promote the well-being and quality of life of all citizens.
In January 2011, PIE is launched as a major PASCAL project, initially linking a number of cities from different countries, each of which has demonstrated particular interest in learning as a key element of its development strategy:
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In its developmental phase, PIE has begun with three strands:
- community-community linkages between municipal authorities and associated agencies, drawing on those designated as learning ‘towns’ or ‘communities’, in Australia, with those involved with community-based research in Canada, for example, or Learning Cities work in Europe. This might include both virtual and face-to-face interactions;
- more formal, larger institution initiatives which which might link city-wide art galleries, libraries and museums on different continents in shared initiatives which explore innovative ideas about how they contribute to lifelong learning. In this type of collaboration, we would hope to develop specific opportunities for collaboration in conjunction with key regional conferences which have relevance to the fields under discussion; and
- research projects, which might arise from either of the kinds of activities described above, and be funded either by independent funding sources, or indeed by regional governments.
In January 2011, PIE is launched as a major PASCAL project, initially linking a number of cities from different countries, each of which has demonstrated particular interest in learning as a key element of its developmental strategy. In the first phase of PIE as a formal project, the two key subjects of exchange are:
- strategies to build inclusive learning communities; and
- cultural institutions as arenas for lifelong learning.
Issues involving creativity, culture, and economic development have moved centre stage in many cities suggesting that a new development paradigm is emerging. Many cities have demonstrated a strong interest in knowledge learning as critical ingredients in their efforts to achieve economic and social development. As cities become increasingly diverse with ever increasing mobility of populations in this globalised world, cultural issues in the development of cities will become more important. Heritage learning must inevitably be combined with a vision of the future in new strategies for the revitalisation of the cultural heritage. As the Nobel Prize winner Amartya Sen has correctly observed “cultural issues may be critically important for development”.
PIE offers cities an opportunity to share their experience with others interested in similar issues, and to enhance their own capability of engaging with key opportunities in their own environments. As this first phase of the project develops, there will be an ongoing process of reflection, leading to opportunities for other cities to become involved.
To further develop the unique perspective that PASCAL International Exchanges (PIE) represents for its contributors and participants, the THEMES section highlights a number of major issues which have evolved since the inception of the project.
For a comprehensive review of the development of the PASCAL International Exchanges project, please see Building Inclusive and Sustainable Learning Cities by Peter Kearns, Michael Osborne and Denise Reghenzani-Kearns.