Courage to change, courage to act




The aim of the project is to broaden the understanding of ESD in Germany and Poland by promoting the concept of “transformative education”. By introducing a critical-emancipatory perspective, we wish to multiply methods that allow for a deconstruction of “mental infrastructures” such as the growth paradigm.

At the core of the project is a series for trainings for multipliers from non-formal education as well as teachers in Germany and Poland. It includes ten modules, each focusing on a specific aspect of ESD (e.g. ecological boundaries, food sovereignty, growth criticism). The participants are introduced to specific methods of „transformative education“ and learn how to apply them in their own context. A desired output of the project is a Polish method book that comprises some of the used methods.

In addition, the project activities include three symposiums: a presentation and discussion of the handbook “Fostering Sustainable Consumer Behaviour” by the German Academic Initiative on Environmental Psychology, a workshop on how to design educational activities with a low ecological footprint, and finally a presentation of the Polish method book developed in the course of the project.

Project Goals

  • Conveying methodological skills about transformative education as critical-emancipatory form of ESD (e.g. fostering „shaping competence“)
  • Thoroughly reflecting the methods and questioning the role of instructor as “learning guide”
  • Empowering to apply the learnt methods and skills in the own professional context (transfer)
  • Fostering the cross-border exchange of expertise amongst actors in the field of education
  • Conveying deeper knowledge about the social-ecological transformation, ESD and Transformative Education in Poland and Germany
  • Getting to know examples of good practice from various countries

Target group

The training cycle is aimed at mulipliers from Germany and Poland: teachers working in general education or vocational education and training, and multipliers active in non-formal education from the fields of sustainability, ESD, Transformative Education, Global Learning, environmental education, etc. The three thematic symposiums will bring the education specialists into an exchange with actors from the fields of research, civil society, politics and media.

Focus topics

By their modular structure, the 10 activity-oriented and diverse modules, lasting 4 days each, will allow participants to choose their own focus, based on personal interest and preferences. To help the creation of a network and to foster exchange of experiences after applying the methods in their own working context, participants attend at least two of the seminar modules.

The topics of the seminar modules and symposiums include for example the following aspects: 

  • From knowledge to action – an introduction to transformative education (05.-09.09.18)
  • What grows when the economy grows? – Basics of growth criticism (new date: 17.-20.01.2019)
  • Does growth live up to its promise? – Prosperity beyond work, consumption and competition (21.-24.03.2019)
  • How can we feed the world in the 21st century? – Focus on food sovereignty (May 2019)
  • Learning with and from nature – Experiential education in ESD (June 2019)
  • Infinite growth on a finite planet? - The ecological boundaries of the planet (1st semester 2019)
  • Mental infrastructures and resources for the transition – How growth shapes our thoughts, feelings and actions (September 2019)
  • Is a fairer world possible? – Globalisation from a post-colonial perspective (November 2019)
  • An economic perspective on growth and growth criticism (early 2020)
  • Courage to act – How to contribute to the Great Transition on a local level? (spring 2020)

The overview of all focus topic and the main guiding questions for each training can be downloaded here.

Elisabeth Kremer

Kreisau-Initiative e.V.
c/o Allianz AG
An den Treptowers 3
12435 Berlin
Tel.: +49 (30) / 53 89 38 63 94
Fax: +49 (30) / 53 02 79 23

Next module - ** new date **

What grows when the economy grows? - Basics of growth criticism

Date and place: January 17-20, 2019 in Krzyżowa (Western Poland)
Type of training:
methodological training (esp. on transformative learning)
Topics: economic growth, alternative economies, socio-ecological transformation
Trainers: Monika Onyszkiewicz (Foundation for sustainable development, Wroclaw) and Marta Gontarska (Institute of global responsibility, Warsaw)
Solidarity structure of 60-100 € (Germany)/200-300 PLN (Poland) for this module (covering accommodation, meals and program); travel expenses
Participating countries:
Germany, Poland
Languages: English (basic knowlege is appreciated), German and Polish; translation is taken care of

Module-specific call

Registration form

General project information (in German)