Recap on “Crossing Boundaries” conference in Netherlands (education for sustainable development)

CROSSING BOUNDARIES in Netherlands (put on by Dutch UNESCO Chairs for Education for Sustainable Development)

This was a very interesting and fruitful conference for gaining a better understanding of sustainable development in higher education. The conference was done in a participatory style (World Cafe, Fishbowl, Open Space, etc.), so I had a chance to gauge the interest in some of my ideas and hear from many leading academics in the field, educators, and international org representatives.


(Brace yourself… this is academic jargon… but very useful for those who are studying in this field!)

Transition management –  (a concept I’ve worked with before in my papers) the idea that we must transition our society and technical systems towards sustainable development

  • All relevant stakeholders needed
  • Macro-meso-micro level
  • Long term vision with short term action
  • Learning and adaptation

Social learning the process in which we can learn from our experience to be more sustainable (can we unlearn our way out of unsustainability?) What are the appropriate learning and instruction theories, methods and techniques for enabling learners to contribute to sustainability-oriented social learning?

Transdisciplinaryscience with a purpose”, unity of knowledge beyond disciplines


UNESCO (ESD) it is currently the decade for Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) 2005-2014

GUNI – Global University Network for Innovation – conference on how to transition universities towards sustainability 2010  Nov. 23-26 in barcelona

AASHE (Association for the advancement of sustainability in higher education)

Key Discussions:

–        “Minding the gap” (Glasser) – of where we currently are (and our associated behaviours, lifestyles) and to where we need to be in order to be sustainable

–        ICT as an enabler

–        Sustainability in Africa and including the developing countries into the process of SD

–        Reflections – how to do it? (method used in Action Research), intervisions

–        Social entrepreneurship  (putting SE into the curriculum in developing countries, linking it with the trades to stimulate sustainable development)

–        Innovation for sustainability

I have a longer debrief that I have shared with my colleagues so if this interests you, contact me directly.

LOTS AND LOTS OF INTEREST IN ART OF HOSTING (conference i attended in Feb in Sweden)!  As there were some challenges in the world cafe, fishbowl .. many wanted to know how to improve the method – I sent them to Art of Hosting pages. It’s amazing how powerful these methods can be when done properly.

On a personal note, I leave Finland soon… but that on its own deserves a new post 🙂

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One thought on “Recap on “Crossing Boundaries” conference in Netherlands (education for sustainable development)

  1. Bill French says:

    Hi Jane:
    I think of you lots. don’t have your regular e-mail. Going fishing tomorow for three days..Love it here. I want you to come and see what we created. Where are you now.

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