Nordic Bildung Network 2024

Founding event

Nordiskt Sivistys Netverkið

Nordic Bildung Network

June 12-13 in Helsinki


Nordiskt Sivistys Netverkið / Nordic Bildung Network is a network for everybody in the Nordics who work with dannelse / bildning / sivistys / bildung, from vuggestue and dagis to university. The Nordic bildung tradition is unique, and based on this, we should strengthen Nordic bildung in the Nordic countries, explore what kind of bildung is needed in the 21st century, and exchange best ideas and practices and increase collaboration across the Nordics as well as with the rest of the world regarding bildung.


The Nordic Bildung Network will spark a change in politics, commerce, and civil society so that the Nordic region will become a bildung region that invests heavily in Nordic bildung and promotes Nordic bildung both at home and abroad. When industrialization revamped our societies, the folk high schools were the right invention at the right time; they invented Nordic bildung, they spread across the Nordics and changed our region at its core. As climate change and new technologies are about to revamp the globe, the Nordics have unique resources to make a global difference, particularly through Nordic bildung.

Wednesday, June 12

17:00 Beer & Bildung
The annual meeting of the European Association for Education for Adults (EAEA) ends around 15:00, and we would like to invite the Nordic bildung people and the European adult ecucation people to mingle. Participation is on the house.

18:00 Nordic Bildung Dinner
Whether you are joining the EAEA conference or the founding of Nordiskt Sivistys Netverkið, or both, you are hereby invited to a delicious Nordic dinner.

Thursday, June 13

9:00-12:00 Fouding Nordiskt Sivistys Netverkið
Why bildung? Why Nordic?
Why a Nordic bildung network?
European perspectives and global perspectives
How to organize the network

12:00-13:00 Lunch

13:00-16:00 How to take the Nordiskt Sivistys Netverkið to your country
How can we promote bildung, the Nordic Bildung Network, and the European and Global Bildung Networks when we get home?


Early Bird ticket, full event, until March 1: 189 Euro

Normal price, full event: 229 Euro

Beer & Bildung: Free of charge
Dinner Wednesday: 89 Euro
Conference Thursday: 149 Euro
Prices do not include accommodation.

Booking provided by Nordic Bildung

Background and definition: Nordic bildung

Bildung is a German word for a universal phenomenon: personal formation emotionally, socially, and culturally. But we did something to it in the Nordics and this ‘Nordic bildung’ deserves to be more widely known; this is how it stands out:

Bildung is something that happens in the individual, and it is the combination of transferable and non-transferable knowledge. Bildung happens through upbringing, education, life experience, meeting the arts, and through your personal reflection on and struggle with these experiences and with yourself.

Education ought to be bildung, but very often it is not. The current mainstream school systems are mostly focusing on transferable knowledge and skills for the labor market.

Adult education is education for adults.

Folk-bildung, folkbildning (SE), folkeoplysning (DK, NO), Vapaa sivistystyö (FI), and Volksbildung (Austrian) is education that individuals pursue for fun and leisure, and/or for political engagement and emancipation.

In Austria, Volksbildung has strong connotations connected to political emancipation; in Germany, Volksbildung refers to propaganda by the Nazis and the DDR. The word Volksbildung thus has very different connotations in the two countries.

ALE, Adult Learning and Education, as it has now been defined by UNESCO is both adult education and folk-bildung. Neither of which necessarily has a bildung aspect.

Nordic bildung is an approach to the individual and to education where the purpose is to help you find that within you that is fully and truly you and your calling, to help you unfold it and bring it out, and to make this happen in a social context where it is about the others unfolding and finding their calling as well. You are unfolding in each other’s company and through your interaction and through the interaction with the content of the education. The role of the teacher is to teach and learn in such a way that you both/all encounter things that move you, emotionally as well as cognitively and regarding your worldview. Nordic bildung is a practice that can take place in any teaching and learning situation, the curriculum can be anything, the purpose is for you to find the strongest resonance with the world, and the process is open-ended: not even you know from the onset what will turn out to be your true resonance and calling.

Bildung Year in Finland

2024 is official Year of Sivistys in Finland, so we thought Helsinki would be the right place to meet for a founding meeting for a Nordic Bildung Network.

Initiated and organized by

Nordic Bildung
Vermlandsgade 51
2300 Copenhagen S