Empowering people to become agents of change through Bildung

With sustainability being one of the most crucial topics of this century, the new paper “Sustainability and Bildung” reflects on how we can make use of approaches that are already available. With the Bildung concept aiming at a holistic view of people as well as education, it offers a unique, yet multifaceted albeit wholesome approach.

In the Erasmus+ project “Building inclusive lifelong learning systems by developing a European Understanding of Bildung for the Next Generations”, the concept of Bildung is defined as “An individual maturing process connecting education, upbringing, knowledge, culture, and personal responsibilities towards humans and our globe.”

The new paper puts the Bildung concept in the frame of sustainability and the possibilities it offers within the green transition:

ESD for adults aims to sensitize learners to act on their responsibility and to question critically in the sense of transformative education. People are enabled to better understand the connections and effects of their current lifestyle on climate and environment and to draw conclusions for their future (political) actions and consumption.

The four best practice examples illustrate how projects succeeded in reducing their individual climate footprint, showing how they are safeguarding, conserving, protecting and including cultural heritage as well as supporting underprivileged women to increase their household income through sustainable livelihood enhancements.

The concept paper also includes recommendations for policymakers and stakeholders aiming to support ALE activities to bring together people from various backgrounds and build bridges between concrete actions on the different levels and provide more spaces for citizens to engage.

The paper is written by Uwe Gartenschlaeger (DVV International) and Viorica Goras-Postica (ProDidactica), as well as the co-authors Lidwien Vos de Wal, Geetanjali Baswani, Christoph Jost, and Anja Thöne.


Bildung project (Building inclusive lifelong learning systems by developing a European Understanding of Bildung for the Next Generations) contributes to the innovation of the European adult education sector by adopting the holistic concept of ‘Bildung’ and exploring its political and practical potential for adult learning and education. Follow the project on social media: #BildungALE