Author: Nikola Benin
The fifth annual global celebration of Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week will take place from 31 October to 6 November, 2016. The Global MIL Week 2016 highlights include the Sixth Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conferenceand the First General Assembly of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL), taking place November 2-5, 2016 in São Paulo, Brazil.
Individuals, communities, and societies are connected today through networks that are both physical and digital. However, across the globe, participation in these “ecosystems of communication” is limited and unequal: not everyone is able to participate in ways that promote intercultural dialogue, inclusion, and social development, nor in ways that enhance democratic processes and peace. MIL (Media and Information Literacy) provides citizens with essential competencies for life and work in the 21st century. In line with this understanding, UNESCO, Global Alliance for Partnerships on MIL (GAPMIL) and UNAOC believe in the importance of ongoing education and debate about MIL as a means to open, rights-based, secure and inclusive development. Several questions emerge which underpin this debate: How can alliances among all MIL stakeholders improve and enhance the development of global citizenship, human rights and education? How can MIL work to address such issues as poverty, countering hate speech and preventing violent extremism within societies? What is the role of the public policy in this regard? Can a media and information literate citizenry help to create equitable, inclusive societies? What role can the media, technology and information industries play in achieving these goals? The Global MIL Week 2016 and its feature event, UNESCO – UNAOC UNITWIN Universities Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conference and the first General Assembly of the Global Alliance for Partnerships on Media and Information Literacy will respond to these questions. The event will explore the great potential of MIL to enhance new, trans-disciplinary paradigms for intercultural dialogue, human rights, social inclusion, and countering hate speech.