North American Bildung Network

Mission Statement

For everybody who cares about people

If you are an educator, if you work with people, if you are a parent, or if you are just somebody who thinks that education should be about the whole person, not just the transfer of knowledge for the job market, then bildung is for you.

The North American Bildung Network was initiated by Danish author and philosopher Lene Rachel Andersen and Paul Karpawich in New Hampshire, after David Brooks wrote about Lene Rachel’s book The Nordic Secret in the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/02/13/opinion/scandinavia-education.html. Since then, Americans and Canadians have kept reaching out to her for more info about bildung.

We have been meeting on Zoom since 2020; now is the time to meet live and discuss how we can boost bildung in North America.

Lene Rachel will be in the US in February 2024 and will join us in Seattle, San Francisco, Charlotte, New York, and Vermont.

Please indicate below if you would like to join too. It is a bit of a logistics circus, particularly since we have only met on zoom so far, we actually do not know where everybody is geographically.

The Nordic Secret was just released in a new edition on January 30, 2024, and you can read more about it here: https://www.nordicbildung.org/the-nordic-secret/.

Join us in February 2024

Organizers in the North American Bildung Network

Paul Karpawich

Kam Bellamy

Robert Bunge

Jill Nephew

Lene Rachel Andersen

You can join the North American Bildung Network online here:

Join the North American Bildung Network online

Seattle: Dinner at Brunello

Wednesday, February 7

Wonderful bildung people: Bob from our network, Dawn and Sylvia from the Folk School Alliance, Mike and Vanessa from the network, Preben from the North West Danish Association, Lene, and James from the network.



San Francisco: Coffee, Beer & Bildung

Saturday February 10: Coffee, Cake and Bildung at 2pm
We’ll meet at 2pm at Joe and the Juice 235 Montgomery St, San Francisco, CA 94104-2902.

Saturday February 10: Bildung, Beer and Pizza at 5pm
We’ll meet at 5pm at The Grove – Yerba Buena, 690 Mission Street
For dinner, we may move on to California Pizza Kitchen, 53 3rd Street, San Francisco, CA 94103 (right around the corner), or we may not…

Informal discussion about bildung, education, the future of democracy, and how we can become an active bildung network in San Francisco and Sacramento.

(This meeting was previously announced to be Sunday, Feb. 11, but we realized that that is Super Bowl day, so we moved it.)


Amherst, New Hampshire: The Nordic Secret at the local library

February 21, 7:00-8:15pm
Join the discussion about the US and the Nordics.

More info and sign-up here https://amherstlibrary.assabetinteractive.com/calendar/the-nordic-secret/


Vermont: Symposium about Education and the Future of Democracy

February 23-25
A Bildung Symposium on Politics and 21st Century Civilization
February 23 – 25, Sky Meadow Institute, Stannard, Vermont

Come for a weekend of action-oriented discussion and community building at Sky Meadow, where Brendan Graham Dempsey will host leading thinkers in the field (TBA!) for generative conversations about educational transformation as we work to build effective responses to our deepening political crisis.

Connect with other change-makers in the Bildung and educational reform movement and help develop constructive projects for transcending polarization, propaganda, and the rise of authoritarianism.

Among the people who have already signed up are Lene Rachel Andersen and Zak Stein

Registration fee: $350; sign-up and more info here: https://www.brendangrahamdempsey.com/event-details/education-and-the-future-of-democracy


Great Barrington, MA: Bildung Salon

Tuesday, February 27: 5:30pm-8:00pm
Kam Bellamy will host us for an evening about bildung.

Sign up by sending Kam an email at , then she will send you the address where we will meet.


Other events during Lene’s US tour

Besides the public events, here are updates some of the other meetings during Lene’s visit to the US

North Seattle College

Lene Rachel Andersen meets students at North Seattle College and not only talks about bildung but ends up practicing it on the spot!


North West Danish Association

A discussion about the Nordic secret with Danish Americans in Seattle