The foundation éducation21 coordinates and promotes Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) in Switzerland. It acts on behalf of the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Education (EDK), the federal government and civil society as a national competence centre for primary and upper secondary education.
As of January 1st 2013 Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) has an identity in Switzerland: éducation21. On behalf of the cantons, the federal government and civil society éducation21 supports the implementation and consolidation of ESD. It takes over from the Foundation for Education and Development and the Foundation for Environmental Education, which focussed on global and environmental education respectively. In addition, éducation21 concerns itself with health and political education including human rights and economics. éducation21 aims to help prepare children and adolescents for their future in an increasingly complex world. It achieves this by linking in to curriculum development, which, due to the integration of ESD, shares the same goals.
As a national service centre the new foundation is active on national, language region, cantonal and educational levels. éducation21 can provide teachers, school boards and other involved parties with pedagogically tested teaching media, information and advice as well as financial support for school and class projects. As far as teacher training and further education is concerned, éducation21 works with higher education centres as well as training and further education colleges for teaching staff.
The foundation employs about forty members of staff. The structure of the teams at éducation21 is interdisciplinary and the teams link up with ESD figures on all levels of the education system and in civil society. Financing is guaranteed by contributions from the federal government, the cantons and civil society as well as funds generated by the foundation itself.