October and November was full of cross-sectoral collaboration on themes of sustainable development and planetary responsibility, for instance with global citizenship education (GCE), and envisioning the Agenda 2030’s target 4.7 as well as new edification movement.

Firstly, EquJust and SVV (Freedom & Responsibility of Popular Adult Education) collaborator FAEA (Vapaa Sivistystyö ry) celebrated its 50th anniversary organizing a seminar on GCE. The seminar was recorded, and the video will be available on FAEA’s website later this fall.

After toasting the 50-year-old, Fingo’s Rilli Lappalainen and Sanna Rekola opened the seminar by introducing recommendations for GCE and how to integrate it in the core of continuous learning based on the upcoming Unesco’s land report. Fingo is a Finnish platform organization for global development that represents 300 civil society organisations. The main themes of the recommendations were

  1. Integrating GCE to national reforms
  2. Establishing a multi-stakeholder forum for adult education actors
  3. Developing a national strategy
  4. Integrating GCE to study programmes
  5. Funding
  6. Support for teachers and educators
  7. Holistic recognition of skills and competences

The second keynote was held by ICAE’s (International Council for Adult Education) Katarina Popovic who laid out a big picture on social and ecological challenges and global power relations. She questioned the current policies, including Agenda 2030, for renewing the hegemonic structures and asked, how to shift from reactive action to solving the root problems by the means of adult education. Here, Fingo’s recommendations builds up an important foundation both nationally and internationally.

Secondly, Jenni and Golaleh participated in Envision 4.7 conference organized by Bridge 47, the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Ministry for Foreign Affairs as part of Finland’s Presidency of the EU Council. It gathered over 200 actors from 53 countries and different educational sectors to discuss and plan for the future and implementation of Agenda 2030’s Target 4.7.

The program consisted of lectures, panel discussions and workshops where we created a roadmap for the implementation of 4.7. The well-organised and facilitated conference opened up an interesting cross-sectoral and inclusive window to policy formation process and influencing it. Cross-sectoral collaboration and transformative learning were some of the hot words in implementing the target and promoting sustainable development.

I participated in the working group “Recognition of the value of lifelong and life-wide learning supported through formal, non-formal and informal education”. What surprised our thematic sub-group of adult education was that adult education (both popular/liberal and vocational) was so deeply in the margins of the discussion and conceptualisations of lifelong and life-wide learning. We worked stubbornly with this in our recommendation.

The draft version of our group’s recommendation for a more sustainable future where adult education plays a key role was as follows: As most of the SDGs [sustainable development goals] target formal and youth education, the inclusion of a comprehensive understanding of adult education is recommended especially focusing on citizenship education and sustainable culture besides upskilling and reskilling. Lifelong learning policies and competencies should acknowledge formal, non-formal and informal adult education and all member states shall produce and implement legislation, structures and finances for adult education. Promoting lifelong and life-wide learning is the basis to promote also intergenerational learning.

Thirdly, Jenni and Sini worked with similar themes in October at a workshop organised by Sitra and Demos Helsinki. The cross-sectoral workshop tackled edification and wicked problems as part of Sitra’s program for developing the policies of continuous learning and contemporary, yet visionary conceptions of edification.

Photos: Jenni Pätäri