A World Worth Living In – Adult Learning and Education for a Sustainable World

EAEA & ICAE conference, 15–16 June 2011, Malmö, Sweden

The Swedish National Council of Adult Education (Folkbildningsrådet) will host the World Assembly of the global adult education organisation, International Council of Adult Education (ICAE), entitled "A World Worth Living In - Adult Learning and Education for a Sustainable World" in Malmö, Sweden on 14–17 June 2011. Around 800 people are expected to attend the assembly, which will focus on the role of adult education and folkbildning in the world.

As the host organisation, the Swedish National Council of Adult Education wanted to offer a dynamic and inspiring meeting place for discussions and welcomed collaboration. They viewed the assembly as an opportunity to develop activities and international contacts in the education/folkbildning field and promote development cooperation in general. Cooperation was be established with organisations and institutions on national, Nordic, European and global levels. This made it possible to achieve a varied illustration of issues that are central to global development. This provided the participants a strong basis of discussion with regard to the role that folkbildning and adult education should play to contribute to sustainable development and global equity in interaction with other actors and individually.

Reflecting the European perspective during the assembly was regarded important. Several aspects were emphasized. The European Union is the world's largest donor of development assistance, which means that the EU policies are of particular importance. In this context, it was crucial to discuss the role of adult education in this assistance and how the skills and strength possessed by civil society's organisations can be better utilised as a strategic resource in sustainable development efforts. The International Programme Office for Education and Training was a co-organiser, focusing on contact-generating efforts, primarily within the EU Lifelong Learning Programme.

At the assembly, similarities and differences between countries and regions were discussed with regard to adult education/folkbildning. The conditions for active civic participation in social life and culturally and educationally formative activities were illustrated from several perspectives, as well as how adult learning can contribute to sustainable social development. What role can the organisations of civil society play and how does the interaction with public and private actors take place? What is the significance of the European cooperation on these issues and the cooperation with countries outside the Union?

One of the co-organisers of the assembly was the European organisation for adult education and folkbildning, the European Association for the Education of Adults (EAEA). EAEA and ICAE were holding their general assemblies in direct connection with the World Assembly. In addition, the Swedish National Council of Adult Education's National Folkbildning Conference was incorporated with the World Assembly, as well as events with the Nordic Folk High School Council, research networks and other groups.

The choice of Sweden as the host country was linked to the interest that exists around the world in the Swedish and Nordic folkbildning model and its relationship to civil society and public bodies. It was an opportunity for foreign visitors to meet people who are active within folk high schools, study associations and other parts of society to share ideas and activities.

The World Assembly "A World Worth Living In – Adult Learning and Education – the Key for Transformation" had general themes under which a large number of common and parallel activities will be offered. ICAE's organisation committee has established four main themes:

  • Literacy - and so what? International commitments for developing the possibilities of learning - follow-up of the UN International Conference on Adult Education, the UN Education and Millennium Development Goals, etc. The need for a strategy in order to utilise the resources of the organisations of civil society.
  • The future in whose hands? Sustainable development and climate change - what role does education and learning play?
  • Learning for what work? Meaningful work at meaningful workplaces - paid and unpaid work. What role does informal, non-formal and formal learning play in the development of the work?
  • The Northern Enlightenment. What can we learn from the Nordic folkbildning tradition and the role of folkbildning in society?

Text: Britten Månsson-Wallin

Schedule

June 15, 2011

ICAE World Assembly

"A World Worth Living In - Adult Learning and Education for a Sustainable World"

Joint global assembly with national, Nordic, European and global perspectives.

This includes the Swedish National Council of Adult Education's Folkbildning Conference, the Nordic Folk High School Council spring meeting, researcher meetings, etc.

June 16, 2011

ICAE World Assembly

"A World Worth Living In - Adult Learning and Education for a Sustainable World"

Joint global assembly with national, Nordic, European and global perspectives.

This includes the Swedish National Council of Adult Education's Folkbildning Conference, the Nordic Folk High School Council spring meeting, researcher meetings, etc.

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