Mapping Global Childhood & Youth Futures - Inaugural Lecture by Prof Michalis Kontopodis

You’re warmly invited to the inaugural lecture by Prof Michalis Kontopodis.

The lecture is organised as part of the School of Education conference Education for the Future: Local & Global Perspectives.


Since 1795 when philosopher Immanuel Kant published his essay on Perpetual Peace there has been much debate on cosmopolitanism i.e. the idea that all human beings to belong to a single “global” community, based on a shared morality that would apply to all people independently of their races, colours and ethnicities, local histories, gender, age or any other specific characteristics. This proposition has been much criticised by scholars emphasising Otherness – in its different facets: Otherness as a general principle (e.g. in phenomenology), Otherness as a concrete product of the history of colonialism, and Otherness in terms of intersecting age, gender, sexual orientation, class, race, colour, ethnicity and/or dis-/ability.

How do these debates play out in a world that is interconnected through the flows of capital, technologies, populations, media images and ideas as well as divided through nationalist movements, inequalities, and in-/ visible borders and walls?

In my inaugural lecture, I will explore this question by revisiting case studies from my research projects from the past ten years. I will invite you to participate in a virtual journey – all the way from (ancient and modern) Crete, where I was born, to urban spaces such as Berlin and Long Beach, California to the Brazilian Amazon and to; I will draw on research from these diverse contexts, in order to explore what global childhood and youth studies could entail and focus on in the contemporary frame, in two directions:

  • hyper-connecting youth & co-experiencing developmental crises in the context of global crisis
  • remembering common pasts & mapping yet unknown futures in urban and rural educational settings.

I will conclude my lecture with rethinking pedagogy and education while exploring how globalisation from above could be transformed into globalisation from below.

About the speaker

Professor Michalis Kontopodis is a Chair in Global Childhood and Youth Studies and Director of the Research Centre in Childhood, Education and Social Justice at the School of Education, University of Leeds. A first-generation student, he studied psychology at the University of Crete in Greece, accomplished his PhD in psychology and education with Magna Cum Laude at the Free University in Berlin and pursued post-doctoral studies in social anthropology at the Humboldt University in Berlin and at the University of Amsterdam. His professional history and visiting scholarships include the University of Roehampton and the University of Sheffield as well as a few of the most highly-ranked universities in the world such as: City University of New York; Pontíficia Universidade Católica de São Paulo in Brazil; Escuela Normal del Estado in Mexico; Jawaharlal Nehru University in India; and Moscow State University of Psychology & Education.

With his first peer-reviewed article published in 2005 and a total number of more than 60 publications in 6 different languages, Prof. Kontopodis is leading research at the frontier of the emerging field of Global Childhood and Youth Studies with three foci: (a) addressing challenges related to global debt, poverty and marginalisation; (b) innovating pedagogies with new media and digital technologies; (c) deciphering the multiple links between child health, ecology and body pedagogies.

Prof. Kontopodis has served as a Secretary of the International Society for Cultural-historical and Activity Research, an expert evaluator of the Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation Programme of the European Union, an expert evaluator of research proposals for the Danish Council for Independent Research and an advisor of the Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Científico e Tecnológico (National Council of Scientific and Technological Development) in Brazil. He is a member of the editorial board of Current Anthropology; the European Journal of Psychology & Education; Outlines: Critical Practice Studies and founding editor of the Peter Lang International Book Series: (Post-) Critical Global Studies.

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The lecture will be followed by a drinks reception 17:00 – 18:00 at the same venue.

Location details

The Studio
Riverside West, Whitehall Road, Leeds, LS1 4AW


To register please email  (please also indicate if you’d like to stay for the drinks reception).