Dream, steal and dance your way through adult education — EPALE Launch Conference

I was invited to deliver a keynote to a large gathering of adult learners during the launch conference of the EPALE network in Brussels. EPALE is the European Platform for Adult Learning, commissioned by the EC (and of course I was following the tendering proceedure also very closely because the work is very much in my field.) Now, being not part of the implementing consortium, I am very interested to support the project from as many other ways  as possible. So I was happy about the invitation and to bring to the colleagues my vision of how technology is influencing adult education, going through the BIG issues of the moment … the biggest driver of new and expanding learning scenarioes being for sure … OPENNESS.

Before me, Alan tucket was speaking. He made a remarkable claim and said in his wonderful way: “Early in my career I came to the conclusion that adult educators needed four key skills, Dreaming (imagining other ways of doing things); stealing (borrowing and adapting others’ ideas); dancing (because as Emma Goldman is believed to have said, If I can’t dance I don’t want to join your revolution), and showing off – so others can steal, or borrow your ideas.” Isn’ t that great…? It was immediatelly becomeing one of my favourite quotes and I adopted it to my portfolio of stories to tell from European learning festivals.

Delegates from across Europe came together on 15 April to celebrate the launch of the multilingual community platform. Over 220 stakeholders, Commission officials and The meeting was really cool. Members of the national teams of EPALE attended in Brussels, with 5000 people joining the conference online in real time., translated simultaneously into 5 languages. On the podium I was  joining the  President of the International Council for Adult Education Alan Tuckett in delivering a keynote speech at the event.

I staretd by saying that the  adult learning community in Europe can treat EPALE as a stage for dancing and showing off projects and new initiatives. In my talk I was stressing that Ideas can be shared and resources can be shared, so that a network is created across Europe, fed by national initiatives, leading to a European era of adult learning.

My talk will be online, but I haven’t yet found out when…


About Ulf-Daniel Ehlers

Prof. Dr. phil. habil. Ulf-Daniel Ehlers is Vicepresident for Quality and Academic Affairs at the Baden Wurttemberg-State University in Stuttgart, Germany. He has been appointed Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the same university. Before he has held positions as Associate Professor in the University Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Professor for Technology Enhanced Learning in the University Augsburg (Germany) and Associate Professor of the Graduate School for Management and Technology of the University of Maryland University College (USA). Ulf is an educational scientist and holds degrees in English Language, Social Sciences and Educational Sciences from the University of Bielefeld, where he finished his Ph.D. with honors in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning in 2003, and was awarded his habilitation in 2008 from the University of Duisburg-Essen. He has created many international, European and national projects and was involved in founding the European Foundation for Quality in E-Learning, in which he served as Vicepresident and President for several terms. He has also served as President and Vicepresident of the of the largest german speaking e-learning Association, the Society for Media in Science (GMW e.V.) as well as serving on advisory boards to several professional associations in the field. Before his career in academia he has been a successful and award winning entrepreneur in the field of webbased IT Technologies and founder of several companies.
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