Speakers at the Global Bildung Festival 2021

September 21st at 5:00 – 10:00 am & 5:00-10:00 pm
London time (UTC+1)

Full program here: https://www.globalbildung.net/festival-2021/

Opening Keynotes at the 5 am Event

Why do we educate?

My identifiers as one of Maori descent/ heritage are of the environment into which i was born.
I am the mountain. The mountain is me.
I am the river (or lake, or ocean, or swamp). The river (or lake, or ocean, or swamp) is me.

The connection (whanaungatanga: relationships) to others with the same environmental identifiers is immediate. Naturally, one is also identified as a visitor. It is the first speech (mihi/ korero) one utters at a traditional meeting place (marae).

Paulo Friere wrote, “read the word, read the world”. Maori people read the environment, Culture embraces such things as art, songs, food, medicine, lore, histories etc. and conveyed by the language of the culture. #saythewordsavethelanguage

Dr. Noema Williams, New Zealand

I am a sister, aunt, grandaunt, great grandaunt. I am known by my extended family as Nana – the most treasured title in the world. I earned my PhD at the University of Auckland, New Zealand, which means little to a child who has fallen and is hurting!

My contribution to education in Aotearoa, New Zealand has been through my work as: a student and a teacher/educator of Maori descent in various educational contexts (pre-school, primary, secondary, and tertiary).

My early experience and academic qualifications were earned in English language contexts. My latter contribution has been to education and learning in te reo Maori (the Maori language) in Kohanga Reo (Maori language nests for pre-school children), kura kaupapa (Maori language immersion primary schools), Wharekura (Maori language secondary schools) and Whare Wananga (Maori language Tertiary institutions). Culture and language matter, particularly, when a language is bordering on extinction as is the case with te reo Maori.

The Cultivated Person: What Confucius and Chinese Tradition Say About Bildung

Traditional Chinese “bildung” is a combination of Confucianism, Taoism and Buddhism. Dr. Yi Heng Cheng will introduce us to 3,000 years of Chinese civilization.

Dr. Yi Heng Cheng, China & Singapore

Yi Heng Cheng is Fellow at the World Academy of Art and Science, full member of the Club of Rome and an engineer by training. His work has taken him around the globe and he has translated several books, such as “Factor 5” and “The Blue Economy” into Chinese. He co-founded the “Institute of EcoNovation” in Shanghai, using projects to assist social innovators becoming social entrepreneurs.

Opening Keynotes at the 5 pm Event

Ubuntu and Bildung: Similarities and Differences from an African Perspective

The entire human species has its roots in Africa. Dr. Mamphela Ramphele will be talking about community and how to become a whole human being from Ubuntu/Bildung – Our Common Heritage.

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele, South Africa

Dr. Mamphela Ramphele is Co-President of the Club of Rome since 2018. She has been a student activist, medical doctor, community development activist, researcher, university executive, global public servant and is now an active citizen and a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Foundation.

Dr. Ramphele authored several books and publications on socio-economic issues in South Africa. She has received numerous awards for her work for disadvantaged people in South Africa and elsewhere.

Self at the centre of Bildung: Reading Allama Muhammad Iqbal

Iqbal wrote both in Persian and Urdu, and is often regarded as the poet-philosopher of the East who addressed the Muslim ummah, believed in the philosophy of wahdatul wujood, and propounded the philosohy of khudi, or selfhood, which called for self-realisation and the discovery of the hidden talent with love and perseverance.

Dr. Ali Abbas, India

Dr. Ali Abbas is Assistant Professor at the Department of Urdu, Panjab University, Chandigarh, in north India. His work is focused on comparative study of Urdu literature. He has won numerous awards and figures on TV shows and radio programmes regularly.

Parallel Sessions

Speakers alphabetically by first name

Migration, integration and bildung

8:15-9:30 am & 8:15-9:30 pm

Canada’s official policy of multiculturalism (supposedly) shapes our immigration processes and our newcomer integration practices. Systemic gaps remain though, when it comes to translating theory (or policy) into everyday lived reality for immigrants and refugees, more so if they are racialized, or `different’ in one way or other. Looking through a Bildung lens may sharpen what we see, inspiring us to do better.

Perhaps the Bildung way can be transformative, and it can be a meaningful pathway to integrate experiential learning and multiples voices. Perhaps it can help harness citizen advocacy to play a role too, and the vision of a more equitable world may then be realised.

Alka Kumar, India & Canada

Alka Kumar (PhD) is an educator and a `pracademic,’ her current work situated in the migration sector. Alka completed her doctoral studies in interdisciplinary Peace and Conflict Studies, with focus on economic integration for skilled racialized immigrants.`All voices matter’ is one of her core ideological refrains; and as a trainer and facilitator she uses storytelling strategies. Alka is currently a Research Fellow at Canada Excellence Research Chair (CERC) in Migration and Integration at Ryerson University in Toronto; she also works in the not-for profit sector.

Metamodernity: Connecting the dots

8:15-9:30 pm

As societies become harder and harder to understand, it can be all too tempting to find solace deep down the pit of dogma, in the naïve hope that in doing so we can connect back with the meanings that modern-day complexity seems to have stripped away from us. Bildung allows us to look at knowledge in a way that links the past and the present towards the development of a potentially meaningful future: Metamodernity. Will your current knowledge be up for the task?

Andrey Vargas, Costa Rica

Costa Rican philosopher, digital anthropologist, and computational linguist who systematically studies cultural phenomena under the lens of magical realism. By different means of virtual and embodied Bildung activism, he has been able to share brand-new sensemaking tools with millions of young people throughout the Global South who aspire to find their place in an increasingly complex world steered by AI and algorithmic fundamentalism.

How Can Societies Provide Bildung to Refugees?

8:15-9:30 pm

BILDUNG as a response to the ongoing international refugee crisis while affirming its benefits to host societies as an opportunity to create fruitful interactions.

Carlos Nunes, PsyD., Brazil & United States

Carlos Nunes was born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Carlos studied Theology and earned a graduate level teaching certification. Later, he earned his master’s degree in Human Services and worked as a social worker, educator, and counselor both in Brazil and in the United States. Carlos earned his doctorate in Human and Organizational Psychology and currently works as a refugee and immigrant therapist.”

The Danish Youth Council

8:15-9:30 am

DUF – The Danish Youth Council is an umbrella organization with more than 70 children and youth organizations as members. The member organizations of DUF range from scouts to political youth organizations, voluntary social organizations, cultural organizations, environmental organizations, organizations for youth with disabilities and many more. DUF’s core values are participation, dialogue, volunteerism and influence.

Christine Ravn Lund, Denmark

Vice-chairwoman of the Danish Youth Council. Has been engaged in various youth organisations, especially the Danish scouting organisation FDF and the global movement of YMCA. She has focused primarily facilitating global activities for children and young people in order to support a global and solidary mindset and empowering them through civic engagement to use their voice and take responsibility for themselves and society around them.

Next to the volunteer work, Christine has a bachelor’s degree in international business and politics and is currently studying a master’s degree in political science at Copenhagen University.

Prosvita: Bildung and Nation Building in 1920s’ Ukraine

5:30-6:45 am

There seems to have been an entire wave of bildung-and-nation-building movements with libraries, theathers, study circles, education, social activism and much more in industrializing countries in the early 1900s. In Ukraine it was called Prosvita. It was shut down by the Soviet Union and has been an almost forgotten piece of Ukrania history.

Elena Tochilina, Ukraine

Elena Tochilina is one of the drivers of the Ukranian Bildung movement; in her day job she works as a business consultant.

Florencia Salas Münchmeyer

5:30-6:45 pm

My name is Florencia Salas Münchmeyer, I’m 26 years old and I’m from Chile. I studied psychology and now I’m on a Master of Educational Psychology. I belong to SEPADE and the institutional management change team, fighting for an education based in love and justice, promoting essential abilities in our students as empathy and commitment. I’m in charge of the relationship area in school and I’m proud of the educational project focused on strengthening and caring for our students, knowing that they’re our present and future.

Viviana Canessa Derout, Chile

5:30-6:45 pm

My name is Viviana Canessa Derout and I’m from Concepción, Chile. I studied Sociology and now I’m part of SEPADE, an ONG that is working in promote and inspire an educational change in our country by starting it in their own schools. I strongly believe that the education has a fundamental role in the construction of a kindness, loving and equal society that promotes the love of learning and the wellbeing of everyone. Nowadays, I’m part of the leading team of one of the SEPADE’s schools and working in the institutional change management team.

Culture or Rules. What is at the heart of a great school?

5:30-6:45 pm

Many schools need radical change. Hence, why it is so hard to transform? Why motivation and strategy is not enough? Why do we resist evolving? Culture – invisible side of the school. Human side of curricular. Let’s think of the school as a context and invisible structure underlying mindset and behavior of students and teachers. Let’s look at the school as a complex, dynamic system. Let’s inquire into deep system transformation. Lets step into deep fear to change the rules.

Irena Pranskeviciute, Lithuania

Irena Pranskeviciute is a coach and a keynote speaker in the field of strategic development of organisations, management and support of social entrepreneurship, protection of children’s rights, and implementation of national development projects and EU projects. Irena is active in the public initiative Domus Solis, an incubator for social change in Lithuania, as well as a partner in Amara Collaboration, a company developing transformational leadership and bringing under one umbrella the world’s leading scientists in the field of vertical development.

Cultivating Curiosity, Engaging Life Forces!

5:30-6:45 am

“All I am saying is that there is also drama in every bush, if you can see it… When enough men know this, we fear no indifference to the welfare of bushes, or birds, or soil, or trees… We shall then have no need of the word conservation, for we shall have the thing itself.”  — Aldo Leopold

In this quote Leopold strives to express the urgent need for human beings to take part in the constantly unfolding story taking place in nature. This journey begins when a human being of any age expresses curiosity about any phenomena found in the natural world. As educators it is vital that we involve people of all ages in experiential learning that brings them into contact with the life forces expressed in each kingdom of nature. This presentation will explore some practical ways we can ignite curiosity and wonder as we guide others in becoming more effective stewards in our own communities as we work towards creating a more sustainable world.

Jim Bowen, United States

Jim Bowen is a land-based educator with twenty years of combined experience in the fields of horticulture and agriculture. He offers place-based education consulting services to schools. Jim also delivers nature-based curriculum to neurodiverse learners. Jim was a founding faculty member of Meristem, a transitional program for young adults with autism. He currently lives in Fair Oaks, California. farmerjim.weebly.com

Circularity – a model for a local stakeholder economy

5:30-6:45 pm

Circular economy and thinking holds very interesting perspectives for the re-empowerment of local communities. At the core and in its full consequence a truly circular society is using materials and components that already exist and production and consumption is linked together in narrower and closer value and supply chains. What could – and perhaps should – this mean for local communities and businesses, local competences and democracy – and thus bildung? In his speech Kim will touch upon some elements in an answer to be further developed.

Kim Hjerrild, Denmark

Kim has worked with management, business development, digitization and finance – in both private companies, state agencies and municipalities. In 2000 – 2006 he was the secretary general of the Danish Folk High School Association. At present he is heading a team working with the implementation of circular and sustainable business models in SMEs and engaged as a managing partner in Nordic Circular Hotspot. Kim is also an elected city counsellor in Copenhagen for the Alternative (Green) Party.

Indigenous and Modern

5:30-6:45 pm

My presentation is about the growing need in the 21st century to develop a sense of solidarity and inclusiveness. How connecting modern technological innovations with indigenous knowledge can empower vulnerable youth/women to become an active integral part of society.

Konkankoh Ngwa, Cameroon & Portugal

Founder of Bafut Ecovillage  https://www.betterworld-cameroon.com . In exile in Portugal because of the ongoing genocide in my country, I have developed a new mission for building bridges of partnership and exchange. My purpose is to use African indigenous wisdom https://www.spiritofndanifor.com to build collaborations of mutual respect Consultancy | Indigenous and Modern

Bildung Boarding Schools for the 14-18-year-olds

8:15-9:30 pm

As on every Danish Folkschool our main goals are 1) life enlightenment, 2) People’s enlightenment, and 3) Democratic Education. In my presentation I will do my best to explain how we get our students to work toward those ends and what they gain from their efforts, i.e. how it is a part of their “bildung”.

Lars Andreassen, Denmark

50 years old and the father of two young men. I’ve been living and working with teenagers at a Danish Boarding School (Egå Ungdoms-Højskole) for the past 18 years now.

I’m the co-author of “Det Virkelige Menneske. Sjælens og Kulturens Naturhistorie” The Real Human. The Natural History of the Soul and Culture, and I hold degrees in The History of Ideas and Cognitive Semiotics from Aarhus University. 

Community Bildung among Immigrants

8:15-9:30 am

This session situates the moral imperative of all of us to understand the context of people migrating, how they are received, and most importantly the impact that they have on their receiving communities. How should those receiving these individuals and their families recognize their importance and value to receiving communities? By knowing 1) there are 100’s of millions of people migrating now; 2) Their voices do matter and need to be respected 3) their barriers and obstacles can be insurmountable; We must reduce these to ensure their sense of being “socially Safe, and having a purpose in their new communities.

Martin Itzkow, Canada

Martin has an active organizational transformation and executive leadership coaching practice in Canada, and Internationally, as well he is the founding CEO of the Coalition of Manitoba Cultural Communities for Families Inc. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (RSA-U.K.), a Barrett Model Value’s Certified Consultant (U.K.), an Associate of the Compassionate Education Foundation (CoED) (U.K.), an ICF member, and a certified “DEEP CHANGE” Spiritual Intelligence coach and consultant. Recently, he has focused his attention to integrate Neuroscience and Buddhist Ethical Practice into his coaching and organizational restoration practice. He is also an author of and presenter of ‘Compassionate Leadership’.

Weird cycle of educators’ ambitions and how to change it

5:30-6:45 am

Mihail Krikunov, Ukraine

Mihail is Dean of the Kiev Business School, professor of marketing (Chartered Institute of Marketing, UK), strategist and experienced consultant and business trainer. He is the author of several MBA and EMBA programs in various countries (Ukraine, Russia, Latvia), and has been actively teaching in various business schools in Ukraine and abroad. He is a member and mentor of Ukrainian Working Group for Bildung.

Indigenous Wisdoms

8:15-9:30 pm

The pandemic that affected all of humanity also brought with it the need and the unique opportunity for a new learning process: to review our relationships among human beings and with Nature. And in this learning process, the original peoples appear as great Masters who teach us how to treat Nature, seeing it as our Mother Earth and not as a mere set of natural resources that can be used and abused as we are doing in our societies marked by materialism and consumerism. Resisting and surviving more than 5 centuries of genocide, in the American continent that the indigenous peoples call Abya Yala, the new proposal of the GOOD LIFE emerges, different from the “better life” for some at the cost of a “worse life” for many others. The GOOD LIFE is for everyone, based on the encounter with oneself, with others, and with Nature. This return to the sources of ancestrality is the path to the Future, including a possible life for us human beings living on this Earth.

Moema Viezzer, Brazil

Moema Viezzer, from Brazil, is a sociologist (M.A.) and popular educator internationally known for her engagement with social issues, particularly within the feminist and environmental movements. She is the author of various publications. The first one “Let me speak…” an oral history based on Domitila`s testimony – was translated into 14 languages. Her last publication is about “Abya Yala” – Genocide-resistance-survival of more than 70million people from the First Nation in the Americas.  Moema is also committed with dissemination of the Earth Charter since 1992.

The Future and the Education for it

7:00-7:30 am

We are defining the future today and in order to do that wisely, we need to understand the technological development better. We also need an ethical compass and digital self-defense.

Pernille Tranberg, Denmark

Co-founder of Data Ethics, a politically independent ThinkDoTank based in Denmark with a European and global outreach. As part of my work I teach school children as well as CEOs digital self-defense.

Before working with data ethics, I was a journalist and the editor of the Danish consumer watch dog magazine Tænk / Think.

Freedom and bildung for 14-18-year-olds

8:15-9:30 am

In my talk at the festival I will focus on the role freedom plays in building up chacacter in youth. Young people need time and space for reflection, and to create that space, we have to realize that the freedom must be well defined. The Danish Efterskoler succeed in creating Bildung, and the success is a mix of letting the students be free in mind and at the same time explore this freedom in an orgaized setting and a ritualized framework.

Torben Vind Rasmussen, Denmark

Chairman of the Danish Efterskole Association with 241 member schools and 31.700 students. Chairman of the board of Center of Youth Research at Aalborg Univercity. Former head of an efterskole in Funen and former head of a primary freeschool. Graduate from the independent teachers training college in Ollerup.

Throughout my life, I´ve been involved in bildung, first in the sportsfield, and later on in the free school movement.

Urban farming in common areas

5:30-6:45 am

My presentation will speak about our need to reform the food system in our cities. It will speak about how unsustainable our food system is. It also touches on how mankind has impacted our planet through Agriculture.

We will arrive at a destination where I’ll share more on how we build a greener society together. Starting with growing our own food within the city’s boundaries. Which further will contribute to stewardship, conservation and rewilding.

Xola Keswa, South Africa

Hi my name is Xola Keswa from South Africa and I am a 27 year old. Environmental and social entrepreneur since 2014 I started my own startup called Organic matters.

After an internship at Schools environmental education development (SEED) in Cape Town. In 2019 I was selected as part of UCTs global risk governance programme. As part of the environmental entrepreneurs support initiative. Since then I managed to invent horticultural technologies called the self-watering raised bed and Siyabonga high bed. Which came about as part of the research at UCT in cooperation with the South African urban food and farming trust. As well as a German university of technology.

In 2021 I started a crowdfunder to raise awareness of my startup and fundraise to upscale my business. The crowdfunder is called Organic matters with backabuddy.org.

I call myself the green ranger because I am very passionate about the environment. Cause I think that Africans should be more environmentally responsible. Because we live here in Africa with so many other species.

Education at the Edge of History

7:00-7:30 pm

When the world is changing radically, what kind of education will point towards the future?

Dr. Zachary Stein, United States

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.

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