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Research Globalisation Studies Groningen (GSG)

Public Webinar - Young Activists as Public Pedagogues

When:Mo 12-07-2021 11:00 - 12:30

In recent years we have seen the emergence of world-wide youth movements caring for the future of the planet. They organize massive protests in the streets, participate in school strikes, study scientific analyses on climate change, engage in local sustainability experiments, etc.. Their criticism of the older generations in general and on the policymakers in particular is often harsh and reproachful. These movements obtain much attention in all kinds of media for their sensational character. However, apart from this eye-catching feature, these movements have a deeper layer. They have taken up the role of public pedagogues, educating the older generations about the urgency of taking action with regard to climate change. In my contribution I explore the role of Youth for Climate in creating ‘new attachments to the Earth’ (Bruno Latour) and the meaning of public pedagogy in connection with environmental activism.


Danny Wildemeersch is an emeritus professor of Social and Cultural Pedagogy at the KULeuven and a former professor of Social Pedagogy and Andragogy at the Radboud University (Netherlands). He is a member of the ‘Centre for Education, Culture and Society’ (KULeuven). His research focuses on (adult) education related to issues of interculturality, citizenship, environment, participation, development cooperation. He has coordinated both national and international research projects funded by the European Union, the Belgian Government, the Belgian (Flemish) Research Foundation, the Flemish Government and the Flemish Interuniversity Council. He has published widely and in various languages, in books and journals. He is the co-editor of the European Journal for the Research on the Education and Learning of adults (RELA) and member of the editorial board of ‘Adult Education Quarterly’ and the ‘International Journal of Lifelong Education’. He has been teaching on subjects such as adult education, comparative education, intercultural education, socio-cultural education, social work. He has been invited to teach and to present at different universities and research centres in Italy , the United Kingdom , the United States , Canada , Finland , Denmark , the Netherlands , Portugal, Germany , Greece , Czech republic, South Africa, Vietnam, Thailand . He has been a co-coordinator of the Erasmus Network of Comparative Education organising intensive programmes on 'Borders, Mobilities and Identities' and on ‘Learning in a Global Society. Transnational Perspectives’. He has coordinated, together with Social Geography (KULeuven) the International FWO-Research Network on ‘Dealing with Plurality and Difference in Urban Contexts’. He currently is a member of the International Scientific Research Community on ‘Public Pedagogy and Sustainability Challenges’ (Research Foundation Flanders – FW0).

The recording can be accessed on YouTube.