Adult education is to an ever-greater degree emphasised as the way forward – as a way to solve a variety of problems. Policymakers, educational institutions and, not least, private enterprises all point to adult education as the pathway to continued development of skills and competences, empowerment, social mobility and democratic involvement.
This poses a range of dilemmas for adult education that cannot be dismissed: current vs future competence requirements; formal vs non-formal education; local vs global challenges; tradition vs change; bottom up vs top down; and permanent positions vs a growing precariat. All these dilemmas influence the development of adult education research and practice.
How can we promote a sustainable development within sectors that struggle to balance the ebb and flow of political and financial support and demands? Sustainable development, as a broad critical perspective, emphasises that we as societies, organisations and individuals must be aware of the social, economic and ecological consequences of our actions.
This conference focuses on how we as adult education researchers and practitioners enter into a dialogue with the future that we want our work to inform and shape. How can we build on the strong traditions of adult education and contribute to sustainable solutions to the current and future dilemmas facing society, organisation and individuals.