What is Nordic bildung

Nordic Bildung is, of course, the name of our think tank. However, our global network has started using the term Nordic bildung (capital N, lower case b) as a term for what we have normally referred to in the Nordics as folk-bildung.

So, here is the new definition of Nordic bildung along with relating concepts, as they are also presented in the 2024 edition of The Nordic Secret:

Bildung: A process taking place in the individual; a combination of acquiring and making sense of horizontal and vertical knowledge, i.e. transferable knowledge and non-transferable knowledge; life experience and emotional maturation.

Education: May be both transferable knowledge and non-transferable knowledge, i.e. bildung. Most often, it is not bildung, though.

Adult education: Education for adults, mainly transferring horizontal knowledge, typically to upgrade professional skills. It could be bildung, but most often not.

Folk-bildung: Education for adults that one pursues out of sheer personal interest, often with a strong emancipatory aspect. Very often there is a bildung aspect, but there may not be.

Nordic bildung: A bildung-, adult education-, and folk-bildung-agenda with the deliberate intention of individual emancipation while lifting society collectively from the bottom. This entails creating informed disagreement at a higher level of complexity by unfolding individual potential and promoting development of personal character around a shared topic. Embedded in Nordic bildung is also that every individual contains something unique that should be explored and unfolded.