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EEF 2019 | 15th EEF – European Ecological Federation Congress

Arjen Wals

Wageningen University | UNESCO Chairholder in Social Learning and Sustainable Development




Arjen Wals is a Professor of Transformative Learning for Socio-Ecological Sustainability at Wageningen University. He also holds the UNESCO Chair of Social Learning and Sustainable Development. Furthermore he is a senior advisor at the Gothenburg Centre for Sustainable Development (GMV).

His recent work focusses on transformative social learning in vital coalitions of multiple stakeholders at the interface of science and society. His teaching and research focus on designing learning processes and learning spaces that enable people to contribute meaningfully sustainability. A central question in his work is: how to create conditions that support (new) forms of learning which take full advantage of the diversity, creativity and resourcefulness that is all around us, but so far remain largely untapped in our search for a world that is more sustainable than the one currently in prospect?

In 2014 he was the lead author of an article published in Science on the role of citizen science in bridging science education, environmental education and sustainability. He is editor and co-editor of a number of popular books including: ‘Higher Education and the Challenge of Sustainability’ (Kluwer Academic, 2004), ‘Creating Sustainable Environments in our Schools’ (Trentham, 2006), ‘Social Learning towards a Sustainable World’ (Wageningen Academic, 2007), ‘Learning for Sustainability in Times of Accelerating Change’ (2012), and of Routledge’s International Handbook on Environmental Education Research (2013).

He writes a regular research blog that signals developments in the emerging field of sustainability education: www.transformativelearning.nl

A short video on his drive and missioncan be seen here: www.youtube.com/watch?v=iqB4ryiS4cY

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