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…

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About Ulf-Daniel Ehlers

Ulf is a learning innovation expert and has been appointed Professor for Educational Management and Lifelong Learning at the Baden-Wurttemberg Cooperative State University in Karlsruhe in 2011. From 2011-2016 he held the position of Vicepresident at the same university and has been responsible for Quality and Academic Affairs. He held positions as Associate Professor of University Duisburg-Essen (Germany), Professor for Technology Enhanced Learning of University Augsburg (Germany) and Associate Professor of the Graduate School for Management and Technology of the University of Maryland University College (USA). Ulf is a featured keynote-speaker and speaker to audiences in more than 45 countries and is author of more than 150 scholarly articles with over 3000 academic citations. Ulf holds degrees in English Language, Social Sciences and Education Sciences from the University of Bielefeld, where he finished his Ph.D. with honors in the field of Technology Enhanced Learning in 2003. He was awarded his habilitation in 2008 from the University of Duisburg-Essen.
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