Building a planet at peace with nature: UNESCO joins Minecraft’s latest challenge

UNESCO is joining Minecraft on the ‘Global Build Challenge 2021: Making Peace with Nature’, as part of its programme to engage students worldwide to address the urgent environmental crisis through education for sustainable development.

The Global Build Challenge 2021 will run from 27 September to 19 November 2021 through the videogame Minecraft: Education Edition and allow students to learn about the Sustainable Development Goals, chat with different creatures living on our planet and explore how to shift lifestyles to start living sustainably. The challenge aims to trigger creative ideas on how to change our habits and participate in designing more sustainable, fairer, and healthier societies, in harmony with nature. 

This collaboration is an initiative of UNESCO’s Global Education Coalition and its launch coincides with a Pre-COP26 Youth4Climate event that will take place in Milan, Italy, from 28 to 30 September 2021.

Education is key to empower the generations in charge of our future to take informed decisions and change habits so as to ensure a sustainable world. We need the engagement of youth to explore alternative ways to tackle today’s dramatic environmental challenges.
Stefania Giannini, UNESCO’s Assistant Director-General of Education

Minecraft is one of the world’s most popular video games, where players build and interact in virtual worlds. The 2021 challenge starts inside the virtual building of UNESCO’s Headquarters in Paris, where delegates represented by different interactive animals will speak about the Sustainable Development Goals related to the environment. After that, players will start building their own worlds, imagining spaces to learn and live in peace with nature. While playing, students will explore, learn, reflect and build solutions to global issues that are local to their own communities. The various “worlds” submitted by players will be visited by Minecraft and UNESCO, and the most creative and innovative ideas will be awarded before the end of the year.

Minecraft: Education Edition is available in Bulgarian, Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Slovak, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish and Ukrainian.

We see great potential among young people to design creative solutions that help us live more sustainably. Minecraft is a fun way to help them bring these ideas to life. We are excited to see how students address the Global Goals in this year’s challenge with UNESCO.
Allison Matthews, Head of Minecraft Education

This collaboration is an initiative of the Global Education Coalition, a UNESCO-led platform for collaboration and exchange to protect the right to education during COVID-19 learning disruption and build more resilient education systems. Microsoft, which owns Minecraft, is one of almost 200 global members working to ensure that #learningneverstops for millions of students around the world. 

The Global Build Challenge 2021 is part of Minecraft’s Education Edition and comes with a game and teacher’s guide that are designed for classroom or remote learning, as school closures continue in many parts of the world. 

The following challenge, beginning in March 2022, will focus on UNESCO World Heritage sites and Global Citizenship Education to build more peaceful, tolerant, inclusive, secure and sustainable societies.

The Challenge is open for submissions from 27 September to 19 November here

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