Nordic Bildung

The Organization

Nordic Bildung is an association based in Copenhagen, Denmark. The association has three main agendas:

  • Raising awareness about bildung,
  • bringing together and sharing best bildung practices from around the globe, particularly the Nordics where bildung has deep roots and folk-bildung is well-organized,
  • and co-creating metamodern visions for the future in ways that allow it to become bildung and folk-bildung experiences.

We do this through five overall activities: Global Bildung Network, Nordic Bildung Academy, Nordic Bildung Consulting, Nordic Bildung Media, and Nordic Bildung Lab.

Nordic Bildung is a nonprofit organization.

If you would like to know more, please feel free to contact us at

Explanations and Clarifications

A German word for education, cultivation, personal formation and character, emotional and moral development, and maturation combined. Definitions abound, and we will never be done with exploring and defining them.

Invented by Danish pastor NFS Grundtvig in the 1830s: bildung for the rural, Danish youth so they could become qualified and conscientious citizens. Today, an aspect of informal adult education in the Nordics.

The Nordic Secret
A book written by Lene Rachel Andersen (ed. Tomas Björkman, Fri Tanke, 2017). The book explores how folk-bildung shaped the Nordic countries; folk-bildung is our Nordic secret. Read the short version, The Danish Secret, on medium.com.

Nordic bildung versus Nordic Bildung
Some people tend to think that “Nordic bildung” is a certain kind of bildung or the pedagogical bildung method that we practice in folk-bildung in the Nordics; there never was something called “Nordic bildung.” Not until we started Nordic Bildung in 2018 were Nordic and bildung brought together as a name, and there is no pedagogy nor idea called Nordic bildung besides our organization. We are a bit flattered about the confusion, though…

Combining the best from the past and the present in the best possible ways to create a meaningful future; read the paper here. Different from metamodernism; watch the exploration of metamodernity versus metamodernism here.

Not liberty, libertarianism, nor liberalism, but libertism; an ideology and an understanding of freedom that matches the complexity of the 21st Century. Read about the book Libertism here.


Lene Rachel Andersen
President, Nordic Bildung
Futurist, economist, political thinker, author, and bildung activist

Robert McTague
Global Network and Media Coordinator
Retired US Army Lieutenant Colonel

Our Board

Finn Schwarz, Denmark, Chair

Finn is a lawyer and has many years of experience as an advisor to Danish and international enterprises within a wide range of business sectors. He is an experienced litigator and has conducted numerous cases before the High Courts and the Supreme Court in Denmark. Finn has published a large number of books and teaches employment law, the law of tort and other law related topics.

Chris Shern, Denmark, Vice Chair

Chris is a cultural adventurer. Raised in the US Midwest, he has lived and worked internationally for over 20 years. He worked for Scandinavian Airlines for many years in a variety of leadership roles across three continents.

Currently, he is a Managing Director of Henley Business School in Denmark and the IME Foundation. He is co-author of “Return of the Vikings – Nordic Leadership in Times of Extreme Change” an inspirational book for leaders seeking inspiration in the trust-based Nordic approach to leadership, its origins in the Viking era, and its relevance in a world characterised by extreme change and complexity. Chris holds an Executive MBA, and a BA in International Relations.

Lene Rachel Andersen, Denmark, President

Lene Rachel Andersen is a member of the Club of Rome. She has a BA in business economy and studied theology 1993- 97. From 1993 to 2001, she wrote comedy and entertainment for Danish media and went to the US a number of times; she went there a Dane and returned as a European. Since 2005, she has worked as an independent futurist, author, philosopher, and publisher. For her books, she has received the Ebbe Kløvedal-Reich Democracy Baton (2007) and the Danish librarians’ Døssing Prize (2012); among her titles are Democracy Handbook (2010), Globalt gearskift (2014), The Nordic Secret (2017), Metamodernity (2019), Bildung (2020), What is Bildung? (2021), and Libertism (2022).

You can find interviews with and articles etc. by Lene at lenerachelandersen.com and photos here: portrait and thumbnail

Nicolai Tillisch, Denmark

Nicolai Tillisch is an economist, entrepreneur, leadership developer, and author. His work includes applying adult development theory to help people make a positive difference and improve their quality of life. Nicolai is a member of Cultivating Leadership (a global development firm), co-founder of Deliberate Development (a Swedish software venture), and co-author of Return on Ambition (Fast Company Press, 2021). Nicolai has worked extensively on four continents and recently moved back to his native Copenhagen with his family after living abroad for sixteen years in Dubai and London.

Sturla Bjerkaker, Norway

Sturla Bjerkaker is a long standing and experienced adult educator with engagements both in Norway and abroad. His present activities are project management and evaluation. For almost 20 years, he was the secretary general/director of the Norwegian Association for Adult Learning and before that principal for the Nordic Folk Academy run by the Nordic Council of Ministers. He has university degrees in pedagogy/adult education, sociology and social science and has written several books and articles about adult learning and education. He has been a board member of the European Association for the Education of Adults and the International Council for Adult Education. Since 2014 he is a member of the International Adult and Continuing Education Hall of Fame and from 2018 also a member of the Hall of Fame Executive Board.