Towards a Learning Planet: 50 years of ICAE and the 11th World Assembly in Bali, Indonesia (Narrative Report)

In November 2023, the International Council for Adult Education (ICAE) convened in Bali, Indonesia, for a three-day conference commemorating its 50th Anniversary and hosting its 11th General Assembly. This landmark event, co-hosted with regional and local partners ASPBAE and PEKKA, marked a significant milestone in ICAE’s history, drawing 100 participants from 44 countries to reflect on ICAE’s contribution to adult education and to envision its future.

The preparations for the event started in 2022, including a Virtual General Assembly held in October 2023, and culminating in the in-person three-day conference held from 28th – 30th November at the Holiday Inn Resort Baruna Bali. The event featured a two-day World Assembly focused on the history and future of the global ALE movement, followed by a one-day General Assembly that discussed and affirmed the ICAE Strategic Guidelines 2024 – 2027.

The gathering underscored the pivotal role of ICAE as a civil society network in fostering a global adult education movement. The celebrations balanced the global character of the ICAE while engaging with the local culture and community.

The assembly paid special homage to Balinese culture, integrating traditional rituals, community visits, and cultural performances. These elements not only enriched the participants’ understanding of the local context but also highlighted the significance of cultural integration in adult education practices globally. Bali’s selection as the location of the assembly was strategic, offering a unique blend of cultural and contextual diversity. The community visits to Balinese civil society organizations, dedicated to adult education, showcased sustainable and community empowerment processes, reinforcing the importance of place in adult learning.

The assembly served as a reflective platform for assessing ICAE’s contributions over the past fifty years and a forward-looking forum for shaping its strategic direction. Discussions on the Strategic Guidelines 2024 – 2027, informed by regional perspectives, underscored ICAE’s commitment to strengthening its global advocacy, capacity building, network, and partnerships.

A total of fifteen workshops were conducted, which were organized by members and partners of the ICAE. Additionally, four strategic workshops specifically focused on discussing the Strategic Guidelines for 2024 to 2027 were conducted. The World Assembly was distinguished by the contributions of keynote speakers, including high-ranking officials from the Indonesian Ministry of Education, a representative from the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL), and a youth educator from the South Pacific. 

The event celebrated the achievements of the adult education movement while fostering dialogue on future challenges and opportunities. The adoption of Strategic Guidelines for the next four years, the sharing of insights from workshops and community visits, and the symbolic exchange of ALE messages encapsulated the spirit of collaboration and hope that defines ICAE. The 50th Anniversary dinner and the closing ceremonies further celebrated the collective journey, remembering past leaders, recognizing achievements, and welcoming future endeavors with optimism.

In conclusion, the 11th World Assembly of ICAE in Bali not only commemorated half a century of remarkable contributions to adult education but also reinvigorated the global movement towards a learning planet. Through cultural immersion, strategic discussions, and collaborative planning, the event laid a robust foundation for ICAE’s continued advocacy, capacity building, and partnership efforts, ensuring its pivotal role in shaping the future of adult education globally.

Read the full report here and the Executive Summary (both in English) here.

Retrouvez le résumé du rapport ici

Consulte aquí el resumen del informe

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