Global Folk High School Activism – Local solutions

To strengthen and develop the folk high schools' contribution to the sustainable transition by further development of what Danish folk high schools are already doing in terms of sustainable personal formation.


Project resumé

Civil Society in Development has granted The Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark funding for an initiative to engage Danes in sustainable transition.

Based on the Danish folk high schools' civic and educational potential, but also with global inspiration, 12 folk high schools across Denmark will commit to engage their surrounding communities in finding local, sustainable solutions to the climate crisis.

The project seeks to strengthen the Danish folk high schools’ international relations and is planning to initiate a collaboration between the Danish folk high schools and folk high schools or other relevant partners abroad, primarily located in countries on the DAC list, all of whom are committed to the sustainability agenda.

As change agents, the folk high school students will drive the process and develop local sustainability projects in collaboration with partners from the local community.

The folk high schools will develop educational courses for the young Danish change agents, supplying them with the necessary knowledge, courage and qualifications to take action for a just and sustainable development of society.

To include a wider public, all these efforts will culminate in a major climate festival where the young change agents will present their projects and share their common visions. The climate festival will open with a special programme for decisionmakers and stakeholders, including educational institutions and other organisations working with sustainable transition and personal formation in Denmark and globally. For this event, we will aim at strong national media coverage.

The project begins in the autumn of 2020, and the actual educational courses will span the autumn 2021 and spring 2022 semesters.

The project involves four goals:

With this project, The Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark seeks to create a framework for the development of sustainable personal formation at folk high schools by sharing educational experiences from different schools, by inspiring teachers with the latest insights within the field and by developing and testing new courses together.

This collaboration between folk high schools will create synergy, motivation og joy in educational development work.

Our climate challenges cut across national borders and must be solved by global cooperation. The 12 Danish folk high schools are teamed up with foreign schools and partners of a similar nature to folk high schools, primarily from countries on the DAC list.

The global partners will contribute with experiences and narratives of urgency. This will sharpen the Danish students' awareness of the consequences of global warming in other places around the world.

At the same time, this presents a unique opportunity for Danish folk high schools to establish close and personal relations to a folk high schools and partners abroad, which will further enhance the possibilities of global teaching, study trips etc. in the future.

During the two semesters, 300 students from 12 Danish folk high schools will be equipped with knowledge, courage and experience enabling them to take action for a more sustainable world. The courses will be centred on working for real sustainable changes in the local communities where the Danish folk high schools are located.

Along with local partners and with global inspiration and new insights, these students will analyse, generate and implement ideas and engage with the community surrounding the folk high school.

Historically, the folk high school movement has contributed to civic changes and the development of the Danish society. Popular engagement and commitment are crucial for our ability to solve the climate crisis. Sustainability should not solely be a key issue for politicians, NGO’s and activists. Only if everyone is involved, can we reach the best solutions and find the energy to carry them out in real life.

Folk high schools can become a strong, relevant and solution-oriented partner in the societal transition to sustainability. With this project, The Association of Folk High Schools in Denmark aims to contribute to the popular and civic foundation of a transition to sustainability. Using continual documentation and media campaigns, both nationally and globally, the project will create a communication platform for the folk high school students' ideas, hopes and dreams of a greener and more sustainable world.

Reasons for foreign folk high schools to join

  • You will get a unique opportunity to establish close and personal relations to a Danish folk high school, which will further enhance the possibilities for global teaching, study trips etc. in the future. You may find a list of all Danish folk schools here.
  • Your students will be equipped with the necessary knowledge, courage and qualifications to take action for a sustainable way of living as a human being.
  • You will benefit from a 3-day educational seminar with the latest scientific breakthroughs and best practices within sustainable personal formation.
  • You will become part of a committed movement to strengthen and systematize the folk high schools' collective efforts to create a greener and more sustainable world.
  • You will get the opportunity to develop your educational practice in close collaboration with Danish and international folk high school teachers.
  • Furthermore, the whole project will be documented for the ensuing communication and sharing of experiences, and the concluding climate festival will be accompanied by an extensive media campaign, inspired by Young Europe is Voting from 2019. See video from Young Europe here.