Communicating educational innovation projects in Latin America mediated by the scaling of complex thinking: Contribution of the UNESCO-ICDE Chair in Mexico

Carlos Enrique George-Reyes 1 2 * , Edgar Omar López-Caudana 1, Víctor Gustavo Gómez-Rodríguez 3
More Detail
1 Institute for the Future of Education, Tecnologico de Monterrey, Monterrey, MEXICO
2 Universidad Politecnica Metropolitana de Hidalgo, Hidalgo, MEXICO
3 Universidad Bolivariana del Ecuador, Durán Canton, ECUADOR
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 14, Issue 3, Article No: e202434.
OPEN ACCESS   484 Views   273 Downloads   Published online: 17 May 2024
Download Full Text (PDF)


The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Chair in the open educational movement for Latin America aims to promote scientific, technological, entrepreneurial, and innovative development. In Mexico, face-to-face bootcamps occur every two years, where prototypes of high-value solutions for education are developed using design and active learning methodologies, with the aim of scaling complex thinking and sustainable development. In the 2023 edition, 94 academicians from 12 countries participated (Argentina, Bolivia, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Germany, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Spain, the Dominican Republic, and the United Kingdom). Experts from Tecnológico de Monterrey, the Open University, the University of Leeds, and Siemens Stiftung supervised the process. This article presents the prototyped proposals and the results of applying the Play2Train4C methodology, enabling participants to develop educational innovation projects under the paradigm of complex thinking. The results indicate that (1) the participants managed to prototype ten proposals validated by experts and (2) their perceptions of their systemic, critical, scientific, and innovative thinking (sub-competencies of complex thinking) improved by the end of the bootcamp. The conclusion was that the UNESCO Chair boosted solution-building skills for the complex problems arising in Latin America and enabled key agents in education to improve their complex thinking skills for quality education, as promulgated by sustainable development goal 4.


George-Reyes, C. E., López-Caudana, E. O., & Gómez-Rodríguez, V. G. (2024). Communicating educational innovation projects in Latin America mediated by the scaling of complex thinking: Contribution of the UNESCO-ICDE Chair in Mexico. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 14(3), e202434.


  • Alfaro, B., Patiño, A., & Sanabria-Z, J. (2023). Components of computational thinking in citizen science games and its contribution to reasoning for complexity through digital game based learning: A framework proposal. Cogent Education, 10(1), 2191751.
  • Barabesi, L., Cerioli, A., & García-Escudero, L. A. (2023). Consistency factor for the MCD estimator at the Student-t distribution. Statistics and Computing, 33, 132.
  • Buenestado, M., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., Ibarra, G., & Patiño, A. (2023). Digital competency as a key to the financial inclusion of young people in complex scenarios: A focus groups study. Citizenship, Social and Economics Education, 22(1), 48-62.
  • Castillo-Martínez, I. M., & Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2022). Instrumento eComplexity: Medición de la percepción de estudiantes de educación superior acerca de su competencia de razonamiento para la complejidad [eComplexity instrument: Measuring the perception of higher education students about their reasoning competence for complexity].
  • Castillo-Martínez, I. M., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., Glasserman-Morales, L, D., & Millán-Arellano, A. (2023). eComplex: Validity and reliability of rubric for assessing reasoning for complexity competence. Quality & Quantity.
  • Chen, H., & Yang, J. (2021). Application of IT-integrated project-based learning in the teaching reform of undergraduate education. International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning, 16(05), 248-260.
  • Contreras, Y., George-Reyes, C., Polo, R, Fernández, K., & Jerónimo, J. (2023). Laboratorios de innovación social y educativa sobre vulnerabilidad con enfoque de género a través de SIGLISE-open source [Social and educational innovation laboratories on vulnerability with a gender focus through SIGLISE-open source].
  • Cruz-Sandoval, M., Vázquez-Parra, J. C., & Alonso-Galicia, P. (2022). Student perception of competencies and skills for social entrepreneurship in complex environments: An approach with Mexican university students. Social Sciences, 11(7), 314.
  • Cruz-Sandoval, M., Vázquez-Parra, J. C., Carlos-Arroyo, M., & Amézquita-Zamora, J. (2023) Student perception of the level of development of complex thinking: An approach involving university women in Mexico, Journal of Latinos and Education. https://10.1080/15348431.2023.2180370
  • de Melo, A. (2022). Conceptualizing and designing (co)augmented intelligence(s) enacting complex thinking: Morphological constraints, challenges, and implications. Proceedings, 81(1), 85.
  • Eidous, O. (2022). New tightness lower and upper bounds for the standard normal distribution function and related functions. Authorea, 14, 15011-15019.
  • Farías-Gaytan, S., Aguaded, I., & Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2023). Digital transformation and digital literacy in the context of complexity within higher education institutions: A systematic literature review. Humanities & Social Sciences Communications, 10, 386.
  • Fidalgo-Blanco, Á., Sein-Echaluce, M. L., & García-Peñalvo, F. J. (2022). Método basado en Educación 4.0 para mejorar el aprendizaje: Lecciones aprendidas de la COVID-19 [Method based on Education 4.0 to improve learning: Lessons learned from COVID-19]. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia [Ibero-American Journal of Distance Education], 25(2), 49-72.
  • Francom, G. M. (2020). Barriers to technology integration: A time-series survey study. Journal of Research on Technology in Education, 52(1), 1-16.
  • Gallardo-Córdova, K. E., Lozano Rodríguez, A., & Elizondo García, J. (2019). Innovación educativa en estudios de psicología educativa: Un mapeo sistemático [Educational innovation in educational psychology studies: A systematic mapping]. In M. S. Ramírez-Montoya, & J. R. Valenzuela González (Eds.), Innovación educativa: Tendencias globales de investigación e implicaciones practices [Educational innovation: Global research trends and practical implications]. Octaedro.
  • Gautam, D. K., & Basnet, D. (2020). Organizational culture for training transfer: The mediating role of motivation. International Journal of Organizational Analysis, 29(3), 769-787.
  • George-Reyes, C. E., & Glasserman, L. (2021). Research competencies mediated by technologies: A systematic mapping of the literature. Education in the Knowledge Society, 22, e23897.
  • George-Reyes, C. E., & Glasserman, L. (2022). Elaboración y análisis de confiabilidad de un cuestionario para medir desde la perspectiva del estudiante las competencias digitales del docente en entornos no presenciales de enseñanza [Development and reliability analysis of a questionnaire to measure, from the student’s perspective, the teacher’s digital competencies in non-face-to-face teaching environments]. Revista Complutense de Educación [Complutense Education Magazine], 3(33).
  • George-Reyes, C. E., López-Caudana, E. O., & Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2023a). Research competencies in university students: Intertwining complex thinking and Education 4.0. Contemporary Educational Technology, 15(4), ep478.
  • George-Reyes, C. E., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., & López-Caudana, E. O. (2023b). Imbricación del Metaverso en la complejidad de la educación 4.0: Aproximación desde un análisis de la literatura [Interweaving of the Metaverse in the complexity of education 4.0: Approach from an analysis of the literature]. Pixel-Bit. Revista de Medios y Educación [Media and Education Magazine], 66, 199-237.
  • Gilbert, A., Tait-McCutcheon, S., & Knewstubb, B. (2021) Innovative teaching in higher education: Teachers’ perceptions of support and constraint. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, 58(2), 123-134.
  • González, C., Ponce, D., & Fernandez, V. (2023). Teachers’ experiences of teaching online during COVID-19: Implications for post-pandemic professional development. Educational Technology Research and Development, 71, 55-78.
  • González-Pérez, L., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., & García-Peñalvo, F. J. (2022). Habilitadores tecnológicos 4.0 para impulsar la educación abierta: Aportaciones para las recomendaciones de la UNESCO [4.0 technological enablers to promote open education: Contributions to UNESCO recommendations]. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación a Distancia [Ibero-American Journal of Distance Education], 25(2).
  • Harremoës, P. (2023). Rate distortion theory for descriptive statistics. Entropy, 25(3), 456.
  • Howard, S., Schrum, L., Voogt, J., & Sligte, H. (2021). Designing research to inform sustainability and scalability of digital technology innovations. Educational Technology Research and Development, 69(4), 2309-2329.
  • Ibarra-Vazquez, G., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., & Terashima, H. (2023). Gender prediction based on university students’ complex thinking competency: An analysis from machine learning approaches. Education and Information Technologies.
  • IEEE Standards Association. (2020). IEEE standard for digital intelligence (DQ)–Framework for digital literacy, skills, and readiness. IEEE SA.
  • Jesionkowska, J., Wild, F., & Deval, Y. (2020). Active learning augmented reality for STEAM education–A case study. Education Sciences, 10(8), 198.
  • Jevsikova, T., Stupurienė, G., Stumbrienė, G., Juškevičienė, A., & Dagienė, V. (2021). Acceptance of distance learning technologies by teachers: Determining factors and emergency state influence. Informatica, 32(3), 517-542.
  • Lavidas, K., Apostolou, Z., & Papadakis, S. (2022). Challenges and opportunities of mathematics in digital times: Preschool teachers’ views. Education Sciences, 12(7), 459.
  • Leoste, J., Heidmets, M., Ley, T., & Stepanova, J. (2021). Classroom innovation becoming sustainable: A study of technological innovation adoption by Estonian primary school teachers. Interaction Design and Architecture(S), 47, 144-166.
  • Letseka, M. (2020). Stimulating ODL research at UNISA: Exploring the role and potential impact of the UNESCO Chair. Open Learning: The Journal of Open Distance and e-Learning, 36(2), 133-148.
  • López-Larios, C., Estévez-Nénninger, E.-H., & González-Bello, E.-O. (2022). Cambio e innovación educativa en la teoría y la práctica de la formación inicial docente [Educational change and innovation in the theory and practice of initial teacher training]. Revista Iberoamericana de Educación Superior [Ibero-American Journal of Higher Education], 13(37), 155-174.
  • Marujo, H., & Casais, M. (2021). Educating for public happiness & global peace: Contributions from a Portuguese UNESCO Chair towards the sustainable development goals. Sustainability, 13, 9418.
  • Michelsen, G., & Wells, P. J. (2017). A decade of progress on education for sustainable development: Reflections from the UNESCO Chairs program. UNESCO.
  • Morin, E. (1994). Introducción al pensamiento complejo [Introduction to complex thinking]. GEDISA.
  • Noor, M., & Crossley, M. (2013). Educational innovation and the knowledge society: Development and issues of the clusters of excellence initiative in Malaysia. Asia Pacific Journal of Education, 33(2), 156-169.
  • Oliveira, K., & de Souza, R. (2022). Digital transformation towards Education 4.0. Informatics in Education, 21(2), 283-309.
  • Parada, J., Aguillón, M. A., & Zambrano, S. M. (2023). Emprendimiento y educación: Un enfoque desde el pensamiento complejo. Un enfoque de género [Entrepreneurship and education: An approach from complex thinking. A gender approach]. Revista Venezolana de Gerencia [Venezuelan Management Magazine], 28(9), 757-776.
  • Parejo, J., Revuelta-Domínguez, F., Guerra-Antequera, J., & Ocaña-Fernández, A. (2022). An analysis of educational innovation culture by a Delphi expert panel. Frontiers in Education, 7, 991263.
  • Patiño, A., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., & Buenestado-Fernández, M. (2023). Active learning and education 4.0 for complex thinking training: Analysis of two case studies in open education. Smart Learning Environments, 10(8).
  • Portuguez, M., & Gómez-Zermeño, M. (2021). Educational innovation supported by ICT to identify entrepreneurial skills in students in higher education. In Proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Technological Ecosystems for Enhancing Multiculturality (pp. 977-984). ACM.
  • Punie, Y., & Redecker, C. (2017). European framework for the digital competency of educators: DigCompEdu. Publications Office of the European Union.
  • Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2019). Informe técnico de los proyectos de la estancia internacional UNESCO 2019 [Technical report of the UNESCO international stay projects 2019].
  • Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2020). Challenges for open education with educational innovation: A systematic literature review. Sustainability, 12(17), 7053.
  • Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2021). Informe técnico de los proyectos de la estancia internacional UNESCO 2021 [Technical report of the projects of the UNESCO 2021 international stay].
  • Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2023). Estancia internacional 2023 Cátedra UNESCO/ICDE movimiento educativo abierto para América Latina [International stay 2023 UNESCO/ICDE Chair open educational movement for Latin America].
  • Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., Castillo-Martínez, I.M., Sanabria-Zepeda, J.C., & Miranda, J. (2022). Complex thinking in the framework of Education 4.0 and open innovation–A systematic literature review. Journal of Open Innovation: Technology, Market, and Complexity, 8(4).
  • Romero-Rodríguez, J. M., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., Buenestado-Fernández, M., & Lara, F. (2023). Use of ChatGPT at university as a tool for complex thinking: Students’ perceived usefulness. Journal of New Approaches in Educational Research, 12(2), 323-339.
  • Romero-Rodríguez, J. M., Ramirez-Montoya, M. S., Glasserman-Morales, L., & Ramos Navas-Parejo, M. (2022). Collaborative online international learning between Spain and Mexico: A microlearning experience to enhance creativity in complexity. Education + Training, 7.
  • Sanabria, J. C., Castillo-Martínez, I. M., González-Pérez, L. I., & Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2023). Complex thinking through a transition design-guided Ideathon: Testing an AI platform on the topic of sharing economy. Frontiers in Education, 8, 1186731.
  • Scherer, R., Howard, K. S., Tondeur, J., & Siddiq, F. (2021). Profiling teachers’ readiness for online teaching and learning in higher education: Who’s ready? Computers in Human Behavior, 118.
  • Silva, C., & Iturra, C. (2023). Development and validation of the complex thinking assessment instrument (CTAI). Thinking Skills and Creativity, 48, 101305.
  • Sotelo, D., Vázquez-Parra, J. C., Cruz-Sandoval, M., & Sotelo, C. (2023). Lab-Tec@Home: Technological innovation in control engineering education with impact on complex thinking competency. Sustainability, 15(9), 7598.
  • Stumbrienė, D., Jevsikova, T., & Kontvainė, V. (2023). Key factors influencing teachers’ motivation to transfer technology-enabled educational innovation. Education and Information Technologies, 29, 1697-1731.
  • Suárez-Brito, P., López-Caudana, E. O., Baena-Rojas, J. J., & Ramírez-Montoya, M. S. (2022). Eliciting complex thinking through open educational resource projects. Journal of Social Studies Education Research, 13(4), 56-77.
  • Suárez-Morales, L. X., Rojas-Torres, D., Paredes-Parada, W., & Rodríguez, M. (2022). Innovation competencies in higher education institutions (HEIs) students: A systematic literature review. In M. Zambrano Vizuete, M. Botto-Tobar, A. Diaz Cadena, & B. Durakovic, B. (Eds.), Innovation and research–A driving force for socio-econo-technological development. Springer.
  • Sun, H., Xie, Y., & Lavonen, J. (2022). Exploring the structure of students scientific higher-order thinking in science education. Thinking Skills and Creativity, 43.
  • Tecnológico de Monterrey. (2022). Cátedra UNESCO-ICDE movimiento educativo abierto para América Latina [UNESCO-ICDE Chair open educational movement for Latin America].
  • Trust, T., & Whalen, J. (2021). Emergency remote teaching with technology during the COVID-19 pandemic: Using the whole teacher lens to examine educator’s experiences and insights. Educational Media International, 58(2), 145-160.
  • UNESCO (2017). UNITWIN/UNESCO Chairs program: Guidelines and procedures. UNESCO.
  • United Nations. (2015). United Nations sustainable development goals document. Sustainable Development Goals.
  • UNITWIN/UNESCO. (2017). Chairs program: Brilliant minds for sustainable solutions, 25th anniversary. UNESCO.
  • Vázquez-Parra, J. C., Carlos-Arroyo, M., & Cruz-Sandoval, M. (2023). Social entrepreneurship and complex thinking. Validation of methodology for the scaling of the perception of competency achievement. Education Sciences, 13(2), 186.
  • Vázquez-Parra, J. C., Castillo-Martínez, I. M., Ramírez-Montoya, M. S., & Millán, A. (2022). Development of the perception of achievement of complex thinking: A disciplinary approach in a Latin American student population. Education Sciences, 12, 289.
  • Wang, Y., Tang, M., Wang, P. Liu, B., & Tian, R. (2022). The Levene test based-leakage assessment. Integration, 87, 182-193.
  • Wetzel, E., & Farrow, B. (2023). Active learning in construction management education: Faculty perceptions of engagement and learning. International Journal of Construction Management, 23(8), 1417-1425.