Adult education and learning supports mobility of people and knowledge, Elm editorial board member Antra Carlsen believes.

”Similarities help cooperation, differences are the source of learning ”

Meet the board series introduces Elm editorial board members. Antra Carlsen believes in continuous exchange of know-how.


Elm editorial board plays an important role in developing the journalistic content and strategy of the media. The editorial board consists of six adult education experts & academics from different parts of the world. In this interview series we get to know them a little bit more.

In our first interview, we talk to Antra Carlsen in Denmark. She is the head-coordinator of the Nordic Network for Adult Learning (NVL), established by the Nordic Council of Minister. 

Why do you find adult education important?

Adult education and learning supports mobility of people and knowledge. And mobility can help create a sense of freedom and empowerment.

If we learn and develop our skills and competences throughout life, we have a possibility to change careers, to shape our own life and work pace. I think that also improves the chances to have a meaningful and rewarding path in life.

I work with adult education in the context of Nordic cooperation and find the continuous exchange of know-how and mutual learning especially interesting and relevant. Nordic adult education scene is varied, but we are similar enough to be able to have real in-depth understanding of different processes. Similarities help cooperation, differences are the source of learning.

What would you like to change in the world through your work?

I would like to keep exchanging and developing ideas together with others and expand the boarders of competences. I would like to make all competences count. I believe that if one becomes more aware of their competences and is able to make them visible, it helps both personal and professional development.

What do you get out of being on Elm editorial board?

I get to be a part of and support building a European pool of expertise and inspiration.

Describe a recent learning experience?

Covid-19 situation has implied a lot of learning – not very original but it is on top of our minds at the moment.

In NVL, we are in the process of testing, evaluating and developing new ways of collaborating in networks and across country boarders. The mission is to try and find out what type of activity we can move online but also what works best and should be kept face-to-face. This type of learning, observation and decision making is on-going and will continue in the future.