Education And Sustainability
Regarding our social capital, we believe in education as a tool to transform realities, with the possibility of impacting people’s ways of thinking and acting. Therefore, we develop and disseminate educational content with socio-environmental topics.
The main actions include:
- Educational courses and trails in the Corporate University for suppliers and partners, open courses for the community in general, as well as for public school teachers and students.
- Aligned with Brazil’s National Curricular Parameters (PCNs or Parâmetros Curriculares Nacionais) and the National Common Curricular Base (BNCC or Base Nacional Curricular Comum), we include sustainability in the development of our educational materials for K-9 education.
- Our complementary solution STEM Connect – Discovery Education promotes discussion around the 17 UN SDGs and society’s socio-environmental demands.
- We offer more than 170 environment-related graduate and postgraduate courses, such as a degree in environmental management and an MBA in environmental assessment, verification and audit.
- We have two postgraduate programs directly related to this topic: the Postgraduate Program in Environmental Sciences; and the Postgraduate Program in Environment and Regional Development. The programs maintain nine lines of research.
To guide our actions we have the Cogna Social Impact Platform, divided into priority fronts to enhance the power and reach of our initiatives:
Our programs are aligned with at least one of the three three pillars in our Social Impact Platform:
Contribute to public education in the country.
Change people’s lives through access to employment, helping them in their professional journey and in building their career.
Promote economic and social development in the areas surrounding the teaching units.
These are transversal activity fronts that go beyond the pillars:
Innovation And Technology: To use new technologies to minimize negative impact and to leverage the positive impact of the businesses.
Diversity And Inclusion: To respect and value disabled persons; and promote equality in gender, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation and gender identity.
We believe in education as an instrument of social transformation, enabling people to achieve greater quality of life and to generate income in the places where they live. This is why it is our understanding that our presence in all the Brazilian states is a driver that boosts the positive impacts our activity has on society.
Given our capillarity, Cogna social measures are undertaken by means of community actions, projects and services offered by its higher education institutions and its three social arms: the Instituto SOMOS, the Fundação Pitágoras and the Aliança Brasileira pela Educação.
We have a Donations and Private Social Investment Policy that governs Cogna direct sponsorship and donation processes, formalizing the flows based on transparency and compliance requirements.
We see the potential of the actions of the teachers and students in our higher education institutions as an important element in transforming realities. This is why we have adopted service learning, experiential education to involve students in activities that fulfill human and community needs, together with structured opportunities for reflection to achieve the desired learning results.
We encourage the promotion of structured actions that serve the communities surrounding our campi. This involves the teachers and students dedicating hours of voluntary work to assist those who need it most.
There are two modes of activity:
- Social projects, which are initiatives undertaken for communities, aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. They may be ongoing or isolated and may also be part of academic extension projects;
- Community services: these are undertaken systematically and continuously in social assistance spaces in our higher education institutions, with the Cogna graduate students providing specialized services in their areas of professional activity.
Created in 2017, Instituto SOMOS is the social arm of SOMOS Educação, the company through which we work in K-9 education. The institute is focused on democratizing access to education, to literacy, and to technology and innovation for underprivileged youngsters all over Brazil. The chair of the body is the SOMOS CEO, and the institute is managed by the Cogna Sustainability and Social Impact area.
The Institute runs Somos Futuro, an acceleration program for children from public schools that improves their educational opportunities. Somos Futuro is the anchor of our Corporate Volunteer Work Program: our employees participate as interviewers in the candidate selection phase – with responsibility for finding out about the lives of each individual. Later, they may accompany the education of the students working as mentors, supporting their adaptation to the new reality, their new colleagues and school routines, as well as helping them to develop socio-emotional competencies and plan their future and their career.
Somos Futuro beneficiaries
- 689 students since the beginning, in 2017
- 194 partnering schools
- 134 municipalities, in 18 states and the Distrito Federal
- 46% approval rate in public universities
- Profile of participants:
- 64% female
- 36% male
- Per capita income: up to 2 minimum salaries
- 13% are beneficiaries of social programs, such as the Bolsa Família
- From those approved in university entrance, 67% are the first generation of the family to study in higher education
With a proprietary model developed for the public school networks, the Fundação Pitágoras seeks to drive improvements in learning by working with the entire school community. For around two years the Integrated Management System (IMS) accompanies the agents involved in schools, encompassing education departments, principals, educational coordinators, supervisors and teachers, who undergo training while incorporating the elements of school administration into their daily routines. Created 20 years ago, social technology underwent a digital transformation in 2021 with the adoption of a hybrid format: a major part of the program will be offered via distance learning while maintaining a number of strategic on-site meetings. The new model will enable the extension of this benefit to more schools in less time. The initiative was introduced in the city of Breves, on Ilha do Marajó (PA), in 2021.
The teaching quality indicators demonstrate the positive results of the program in the participating schools, as shown by the evolution in the IDEB primary and secondary education development index (Índice de Desenvolvimento da Educação Básica) both in the initial and final years of primary and secondary education. Data from the last evaluation available, disclosed in 2022 and referring to 2021, indicate that the results can be up to 0.5 point higher compared with the average for schools that do not have the integrated management system.
The foundation also offers education to prisoners and ex-prisoners through study scholarships. One of the partnerships is with the female prisoners’ association Apac Feminina (Associação de Proteção e Assistência aos Condenados) in Belo Horizonte (MG), in which 110 prisoners take distance learning courses ranging from literacy to entrepreneurship and preparation for entry to higher education.
The Aliança Brasileira pela Educação is a Cogna movement in conjunction with the Fundação Pitágoras. The initiative is aimed at building a cross sector movement to develop measures to promote public education, employability and enterprise, as well as local development. With this focus, we undertake initiatives in partnership with public authorities, companies, third sector institutions and private institutions.
In public education, the alliance offers a virtual learning environment with more than 60 free courses and contents for training managers and teachers. To boost employability, we provide training courses aimed at developing entrepreneurial skills and organize the Global Enterprise Week.
In the local development area, the alliance consolidates the organization’s social projects, community actions and the best practices of the higher education units in service learning.