What it Means to be Human

Around the globe, there are many traditions that deal with the human need for belonging and formation: To be part of a group and to evolve as an individual and become You.

In Europe, this goes by the name Bildung, in parts of Africa, it is called Ubuntu, and in Latin America Buen Vivir. In other parts of the world, it has different names.

It is a hallmark of humanity and our ability to build civilizations and keep social peace that we educate and form our minds and hearts so that we can live peacefully in mutual disagreement and even get to the point where we may appreciate differences and plurality.

This book is about these traditions from around the globe.

It is also about what happens to humanity when we are confronted with the challenges of the 21st century, such as social media, AI, and the risk of being bombarded with fake news. How can we educate for such a complete shift in the human condition?

To make sense of that, we need to explore what it means to be human.

The book will be launched on Global Bildung Day, which you will find here: https://www.globalbildung.net/gbd2024-march-21/

What it Means to be Human
Publication date: March 21, 2024
ISBN hard cover: 9788793791-32-9
ISBN paperback: 9788793791-34-3
ISBN ebook: 9788793791-33-6
178 pages
Hard cover: $24.99, €22.99
Paperback: $14.99, €13.99
E-book: 9.99

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Meet the Autors

In order of appearance in the book

The World That Might Have Been

Thakur S. Powdyel, former minister of education, Bhutan

Ubuntu & Bildung; Our Common Heritage

Mamphela Rampele, co-president of the Club of Rome 2018-2024, South Africa

Personal growth, Lifelong Learning and Democracy

Joseph Kessels, professor emeritus in human resource development, the Netherlands

Lene Rachel Andersen

The Significance of Bildung

Lene Rachel Andersen, futurist, member of the Club of Rome, Denmark

Practical Implications of a Philosophy of Humane Education

Julian Nida-Rümelin, professor of philosophy, former state minister of culture, Germany

Let’s Be Makers Instead of Followers

Peter Mesker & Hanke Drop, educators, the Netherlands

Bildung and Worldviews: Education through Ubuntu, Buen Vivir, and Happiness

Dorine van Norren, diplomat, the Netherlands

The Transformative Encounter

Marcos Sarasola, vice rector of academic programs Universidad Católica del Uruguay, Uruguay

Confucian Bildung, Past, Present, and Future

Cheng Yi-Heng, guest professor of Tongji University, member of the Club of Rome, China

Understanding Human Ecology Education and Its Foundational Value for Transforming Society

Sandy Ericson, educator, chaired the Consumer Arts and Science Department at City College of San Francisco for 28 years, USA

From Bildung to Identity

Thomas Aastrup Rømer, public intellectual, senior consultant at the think tank Prospect, Denmark

The Decline of the Bildung Human

Steve Joordens professor of psychology and post.doc. Adam Frost, Canada

The Last Educators

Zak Stein, writer, educator, futurist, USA

Bildung Brings Hope and Empowerment in Post-Conflict Contexts

Eliane Metni, director International Education Association, Lebanon

What it means to be human. Kōtahitanga, Unity, Togetherness

Dr. Noema Toia Williams, great-grandmother, Aotearoa, New Zealand


Meet the team

Sandra Verbruggen,
the Netherlands

Got the idea for the book and contacted Klaas and Lene

Klaas van Egmond,
the Netherlands

Drafted the first call for contributions and has written the foreword

Lene Rachel Andersen

Lene Rachel Andersen,
Denmark

Editor and publisher

We would like to thank Dorine van Norren and Alexis Stones for all the time and effort they put into co-developing this book.