Tony Blair at Tecnológico de Monterrey
21 Sep 2012
Friday, 21 September, Tony Blair spoke to over 700 alumni from Tecnológico de Monterrey as part of the Global Forum on Citizenship in Mexico City. He discussed the changing nature of citizenship in the 21st Century, its impact on faith and globalisation, and the importance of education.
Tony Blair also signed an agreement to strengthen the partnership between his Faith Foundation and the University. Tecnológico de Monterrey is one of the core universities in the Faith and Globalisation Initiative(FGI), the Foundation's global network of universities seeking to expand their research and teaching in the field of religion and globalisation.
Tony Blair said, "I am immensely proud of the contribution of Tecnológico de Monterrey to our University Initiative. They have agreed to design and deliver a professional diplomatic training course to educate about faith in the modern world."
The development of this course is a significant step toward ensuring leaders and policy makers are more informed about the issues facing our increasingly interconnected world.
Tecnológico de Monterrey is at the forefront of using technology to bring education to more people. Through its Virtual University, Tecnológico de Monterrey has been able to expand its academic coverage to students on 31 campuses around Mexico and to 30 countries.
"The world works through connectivity," said Tony Blair. "Society works best when there is connectivity between citizens. What's also crucial is how education systems teach - not just the elite but the bigger mass of people. Tecnológico de Monterrey is one of the most innovative areas in education today".
Tecnológico de Monterrey will help create a distance learning version of the faith and globalisation course. This will allow students to access the course remotely through videoconferences and podcasts, helping broaden the reach of the course throughout the country.
The agreement also means Tecnológico de Monterrey will support the expansion of the Foundation's schools programme, Face to Faith, which provides high school teachers with the tools they need to teach their students to be religiously literate and understand the role of religion in today's world.
Face to Faith brings students from 19 different countries and different faiths together in dialogue, through videoconference.
Speaking about the importance of religious literacy, Tony Blair said:
"If we are to resolve types of religious extremism, we need to replace ignorance with understanding. Religious literacy is necessary to be able to deal with the world today".
Religion can be used as a force for division and conflict but also has the potential to be a force for good. Through partnerships like the one with Tecnológico de Monterrey, the Foundation aims to create a more open minded society.