“Lifelong Learning Culture: A partnership for rethinking education” is the title of the annual conference of Lifelong Learning Platform, the "umbrella" Association that gathers European organisations active in the field of education, training and youth. As part of LLP, EucA attended the conference that took place on 5-6 July in Vienna, Austria.
A hundred representatives from the education and culture sectors including political representatives, civil society organisations, academics and practitioners actively participated at the event organised to highlight the state-of-play and the steps required to accelerate the shift towards a lifelong learning culture, from validation and recognition to learning environments.
Over the two days participants explored together a number of pressing questions such as how to define learning environments in the modern era and strengthen cooperation between these spaces across formal, non-formal and informal settings; what the barriers and enablers are, particularly in socio-economic terms, to fostering a culture of lifelong learning in the European societies and what place culture has in our education and lifelong learning systems. Several participants emphasised the need for strong political will and commitment to build genuine synergies between education and culture and to invest sufficient resources in education in all its forms.
The sessions with experts were interactive and innovative: a fishbowl discussions on how to improve education in the future, a Gong Bath session (a meditation exercise) and an online Q&A time. A sightseeing tour, and visits to an adult education center and to a center for refugees were also arranged for the participants.
The event gave to all a general overview on the education in Europe and the topics under discussion will be further explored during the 2018 Lifelong Learning Week taking place at the European Parliament next December 2018.