EBD2021 Speakers & Presentations Saturday

Saturday May 8th Keynotes 13:00-15:00


Dr. Zachary Stein, USA

Zak Stein studied philosophy and religion at Hampshire College, and then educational neuroscience, human development, and the philosophy of education at Harvard University. He has published two books. Social Justice and Educational Measurement traces the history of standardized testing and its ethical implications. His second book, Education in a Time Between Worlds, expands the philosophical work to include grappling with the relations between schooling and technology more broadly.

Comenius — the Father of Modern Pedagogy

John Amos Comenius is a monumental figure in the history of education, and perhaps the root of the modern notion of *bildung.* There are important parallels between the period in which Comenius lived and our own, in so far as both historical epochs involve total world-system transformations and major epistemological crises. Essential and inspiring lessons informing the historical self-understanding of today’s educators can be gleaned from Comenius’ vision, properly understood in light of contemporary scholarship.

Biblioteksforbundets generalforsamling 2012. Døssingprismodtager Lene Andersen. Billedet må udelukkende bruges i private sammenhænge, al anden anvendelse skal aftales med ophavsrettighedshaver Jakob Boserup

Lene Rachel Andersen, DK

Lene Rachel Andersen has written The Nordic Secret about the history of folk-bildung in the Nordics (book co-created by Tomas Björkman), she is one of the co-founders of the European Bildung Network, she is the President of Nordic Bildung, and she is a member of the Club of Rome.

Bourgeoisie Bildung vs. Folk-Bildung

Denmark imported the concept of Bildung from the German Idealists in Jena and Weimar, but a pastor and a stubborn teacher turned it into folk-bildung for the peasants rather than just something for the bourgeoisie.


Gretchen Colon, USA

Gretchen Colon worked for more than 12 years at Lakeside Chautauqua in Ohio as the Senior V.P. of Advancement and Communications, spreading the ideals of Chautauqua, spurring generosity for the community and growing up her entire life with Chautauqua rooted deeply in her soul. Get ready for a powerful introduction to the most American thing in America that is still vibrant today…

The Chautauqua Movement

Chautauqua “is the most American thing in America,” President Theodore Roosevelt once said. The Chautauqua Movement spread across the United States in the 1870s as an adult education movement. It brought communities together to grow spiritually, intellectually, culturally, and physically. Generation after generation of Americans have experienced Chautauqua through the circuit and sister Chautauquas. At the height of the movement, the Chautauqua experience could be found in just about every rural community. Today, 19 Chautauquas remain, and humanities councils are hosting Chautauquas in large and small cities.

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Sturla Bjerkaker

Sturla Bjerkaker is a long standing and experienced adult educator with engagements both in Norway and abroad. His present activities are project management, project evaluation, teaching and training adults. For almost 20 years he was the secretary general of the Norwegian Association for Adult Learning. He has also been principal and director for the Nordic Folk Academy run by the Nordic Council of Ministers. He has university degrees in pedagogy/adult education, sociology and social science and has written several books and articles about adult learning. He has been board member of the European Association for the Education of Adults and the International Council for Adult Education. He is a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame. He is the vice chair of Seniornet Norway and chair of the Senior Council of Oslo Municipality.

Study Circles: the Norwegian Way

In Norway and Sweden, workers self-organized study circles more than 100 years ago. Through the “Nordic Study Circle Method,” some of the least educated provided for themselves studies and learning sites and they fostered local development, citizenship, democracy, further learning opportunities, experiential learning, self-directed learning, and learning for participating in society. In my presentation, I will describe how one organizes a study circle.


Michiel Tolman, NL

Michiel Tolman has dedicated the past 6 years of his life to initiating and expanding the Bildung Academy in Amsterdam. He serves as a director, consultant, educational developer, teacher and coach, and the job includes developing Bildung programs under difficult circumstances, integrating different stakeholders in that process and reaching collectively defined goals in an effective and efficient way. His dream? Any willing individual, community and organization will have access to Bildung in the future. How? By scaling up Bildung programs and the accessibility of them and by creating a Europe broad network of Bildung stakeholders and alumni. The Bildung Academy is based in Amsterdam as is Michiel where he lives with his girlfriend.

De Bildung Academie, Amsterdam

Parallel to the 2015 student protest in Amsterdam, a number of teachers and students together with Michiel created the Bildung Academie: a bottom-up movement advocating for Bildung through consulting universities, schools, governments and business in how to operationalize 21st century Bildung in lifelong learning trajectories and by developing programmes which realizes personal and societal transformation.

Kuva: Miikka Pirinen / Sitra

Vesa-Matti Lahti, FI

Vesa-Matti Lahti (D.Soc.Sc.) is a Senior Expert in the foresight team of Sitra (Finland’s fund for the future). He leads Sitra’s Bildung+ project. In addition to writing and editing several books, he has worked, for example, in the European Commission, Academy of Finland, and as a journalist for Helsingin Sanomat (the leading newspaper in Finland). He is one of the authors of Maailman Tila ja Suomi (‘State of the World and Finland’), which won the Tieto Finlandia Prize in 2000. His most recent book Siperia kutsuu! (‘Siberia calling!’) is about an international colony in Siberia in the 1920s.

Bildung and sustainability i Finland

Sitra is an internationally unique public future fund, which works under the Finnish Parliament. Sitra is an independent future house: a futurologist, visionary, developer, experimentalist, financier, partner, trainer, and networker.

Now Sitra has a project focused on Bildung, because our approach to Bildung – in Finnish: sivistys (which is an even broader concept) – must be updated to match today’s challenges. The social transformation that we face will take Bildung that gives us the capacity to reform and the wherewithal to respond to today’s wicked problems. The project initiates societal discussions about Bildung and supports new kinds of folk-Bildung activities.


Elena Tochilina, UA

Elena is contributing to the Bildung group of Ukraine framing the promotion of this social innovation in Ukraine. She is a communication strategies expert, facilitator of group dynamics, and business development consultant and has contributed to a number of Ukraine-wide projects including promotion of sustainable energy sources, reforms in the municipal sector, social business uptake. She also facilitates group dialogue for companies and organisations, and advices businesses on sustainable growth strategies.

Start-up Bildung in Ukraine

The Ukrainian bildung initiative started about 4 years ago with research into the non-formal education in Scandinavia in order to find ways for a peaceful evolution of the Ukrainian society. Now the initiative is taking off with the purchase of a building for the first pilot folk-bildung school and a concept of bildung for Ukraine about to be published.

Elena Tochilina will explore the major historical foundations for developing a modern bildung approach for Ukraine as well as the parts of the current Ukrainian culture rooted in the Soviet past and the post collapse period when the collective narrative was fragmented.

Based on the Ukrainian people and local mentality the goal is to reach deep social transformation in the coming 10-30 years through education rather than violence. Elena will also address why it is important to keep the bildung based network of folk-bildung separate from the government.


Moderator: Nadjeschda Taranczewski

Nadja Taranczewski as a Master of Psychology, is a Master Certified Coach and has worked as a coach, author, and keynote speaker since 2001. Nadjeschda works with CEOs and founders who want to re-invent how they lead themselves, their team and their organisation. Nadjeschda is the author of the book Conscious You: Become the Hero of Your Own Story and is currently working on her forthcoming book The Conscious Tribe Playbook. Nadjeschda’s company ConsciousU facilitates collective transformation.

To participate, please do the following:

  1. join the network for free here: https://europeanbildung.net/membership-account/membership-levels/ (unless you are already a member)

  2. stay logged in and buy your early bird 29 € ticket (normal price: 49 €) here: https://europeanbildung.net/events/european-bildung-day-2021-tickets/