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From the Editorial team

Ambition and hope: Keys to our sustainable future

Authors: Katriina Palo-Närhinen Published:

Living a greener life may require small changes, but they can have a big effect. The text is an editorial written for issue 3/2023 on Sustainable Future.

The easiest way to make the world greener is to start with yourself. The most impactful way to do it is to focus on the routines that you do regularly, many times a day. That is how we have done it in our family. We recycle almost everything from biowaste to plastics, turn off the tap while soaping our hands and use public transport to get to work.

Sounds reasonable? It is. Sounds easy? It is, as long as one is ready for compromises in everyday life. Knowledge is not enough to build a sustainable future. We also need the right attitude.

The easiest way to make the world greener is to start with yourself.

In this issue of ELM magazine, we discuss our socio-ecologically sustainable future. How do we create real transformation towards sustainability?

Professor Arjen Wals believes that one of the answers can be found in new ways of teaching, for example transgressive learning. In an interview with Katja Pantzar, he describes it as exposing marginalisation and exploitation and disrupting the structures that maintain them. Ambition is needed.

Citizens’ concerns and voices must also be genuinely heard. Sara Pasino interviewed Violeta Orlovic and Milica Marušić on their research on environmental protests in Serbia. They found that the protests became learning opportunities for their participants as they learned to build citizenship identity and feel part of the community. These are not futile gains in a country where ecological protests are not well-accepted. Courage is needed.

In Poland and Germany, projects like Open Jazdów and Solidarity Farming Mülheim are good examples of how citizen activism helps build a socially and ecologically sustainable future. The collective power of grassroots communities is needed. Read more about the projects in the articles Aleksandra Kozyra and Michael Sommer.

To make a real change, we also need understanding, belief and hope: understanding to see the necessity of change, belief that we can do it, and hope that it will truly lead us to the better future.

We need understanding to see the necessity of change, belief that we can do it, and hope that it will lead us to the better future.

ELM is also taking a new path into the future. From late autumn on, our articles will be published on a rolling mode, two or three articles per month. This means that you will find articles on interesting, up-to-date topics to read every second week. At the same time, the website design will be updated.

We will begin this new path with articles on peace education, our seasonal theme for winter 2023-24. We hope that offering you interesting topics on a continuous basis is a perfect way to keep you on the pulse of what is happening in the field of adult education in Europe.

In the meantime, I wish you enjoyable moments with this ELM issue on the sustainable future!

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Katriina Palo-Närhinen is the Editor-in-chief of ELM magazine. Contact: katriina.palo-narhinen(at) Show all articles by Katriina Palo-Närhinen
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