28 september 2023 

09:00 – 13:30 CET

International conference on ecosocial education

About the conference

In the times of the climate crisis and the urgency for action, we must encourage students of all ages to develop knowledge and skills which will enable them to effectively cope with the climate crisis and other challenges of the future. In this endeavour, teachers play a key role, and they are the target group of the International Conference on Ecosocial Education. The purpose of the conference is to empower primary and secondary school teachers with new knowledge so that they can raise generations of proactive individuals, individuals who understand complexity, have a holistic understanding of climate and sustainability and have empathy for their social and natural environment.

The red thread of the conference on ecosocial education will be place-based learning. Through lectures, workshops and presentations of practices, the conference will address topics such as localization, integrated systems thinking, transformative pedagogy, green competencies and climate education. A round table with decision-makers and stakeholders of the Slovenian school system is part of the conference program.

The conference is primarily targeting the teachers of Slovenian primary and secondary schools, as well as all other interested stakeholders of educational institutions.

This event – International conference on ecosocial education is part of Classroom for Life project. This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). Partners of the project are Sunny Hill Association (lead partner) and Faculty of Education, University of Primorska (implementing partner). 

The theme of the conference

Place-based learning

Place-based learning is a form of teaching where students are at the centre of the learning process. It focuses on researching topics and issues that are important to the local community. Learning in the local environment deepens the individual’s understanding and involvement in the local heritage, culture, landscape, opportunities and experiences, and at the same time uses them as a basis for learning linguistics, mathematics, social studies, science and other subjects in the school curriculum. Community-based learning emphasizes learning through participation in projects that benefit the school and/or the local community. In doing so, the results of their learning process are reflected in their community. Students develop communication and research skills, learn to interact with any environment and better understand themselves and their place in the world. Through the learning process, strong ties are forged between local organizations and their stakeholders, both in the school and in the local community, which in the long run helps to improve the quality of life and the economic vitality of the place. Through project-based learning, students visibly contribute to solving local environmental issues and maintaining the quality of the local environment.

Keynote speakers

Dr May East is a British/Brazilian urbanist, regenerative practitioner and educator. Her work spans the fields of cultural geography, the music industry, and women’s studies. Co-founder of Gaia Education and a UNITAR Fellow she holds a Master of Science in Spatial Planning with specialization in the rehabilitation of abandoned villages and a PhD in Architecture and Urban Planning on the topic “What if Women Designed the City?”. Her research interests, also, include nature-based solutions for urban planning and the use of regenerative design approaches for shaping eco-communities, mining cities, slums, transition and ghost towns. Currently, she serves as the UN House Scotland Director of Cities programme. Dr East was designated one of the 100 Global SustainAbility Leaders by Showcase Asia and ABC Carbon three years in a row and Women of the Decade in Sustainability and Leadership by Women Economic Forum 2019.


Regenerative Place-Based Education

Delegate of the Board of Trustees of FUHEM. Member of the cooperative Altekio. Degree in Environmental Sciences and PhD in Environmental Education. Research collaborator at Universidad Autónoma de Madrid for many years. Experience in research, trainings and projects both nationally and internationally (mainly in Latin America and Europe). Part of public participatory process in Spain such as PAEAS (Environmental Education for Sustainability Action Plan) or Climate Citizens’ Assembly. (Co)author of more than 30 publications. Also as group facilitator, co-founder and expert facilitator of the Institute of Facilitation and Change (IIFACe). Diploma in Process Work and Deep Democracy.

Schools at the center of ecosocial transformation
Valeria Napoli is Knowledge Management Consultant collaborating with Joint Research Centre of the European Commission. Currently, working as community manager of the GreenComp community: helping learners build green competences for a sustainable future, hosted by the Education for Climate Coalition.
Climate Education Now!

Dr Susanne Szkola is a political psychologist working for the Commission’s Joint Research Centre to make communities thrive.  She’s part of the #EducationForClimate Coalition’s Secretariat to support the community.

Climate Education Now!
Julia Weibel is a translator, activist and communications advisor.
Introduction to the European Climate Initiative – EUKI

Dr Ulrike Pisiotis is a policy officer in the schools unit of the Commission’s Directorate General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, where she works on learning for sustainability. Having joined the Commission in 2009, she has held various positions and gained extensive experience in education and research policies and systems within the EU and beyond. Ulrike Pisiotis has a PhD in literature studies and has previously worked in research, publishing and teaching.

Building competences for a sustainable future: the GreenComp framework

28 september 2023 | 09:00 – 13:30 CET


09:00 – 09:30 | AM CET

The European Climate Initiative – EUKI – is a funding instrument of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action. Through a yearly call for project ideas, the initiative funds up to 30 cross-border climate action projects starting every year. So far, the EUKI has funded round about 180 projects in 31 European countries, connecting over 360 organisations in the growing EUKI Community. The projects work in 6 different topic areas: Climate Policy, Climate-Neutral Mobility, Sustainable Economy, Carbon Removals and Sinks, Energy Transition and Climate-Neutral Buildings, Just Transition. With it’s integrated learning platform – the EUKI Academy – the initiative furthermore fosters the exchange of knowledge and best practices and provides more indepth insights on the groundwork of comitted climate action projects. The Classroom for Life project was selected during the 6th call in 2022 and the EUKI is happy to support this meaningful work!

09:30 – 10:30 | AM CET

Place is a unique, multi-layered network of living systems within a territory, emerging from the interactions of the ecological, socio- cultural, and the built environment systems. We call this interaction the bio-cultural-spatial uniqueness of place. This presentation will look at how place-based educators can create learning environments that foster ecological imagination, awareness of connections, critical thinking and practical skills enabling students to identify and unleash the regenerative potential of place, while building an awareness of global citizenship.

10:30 – 11:30 | AM CET

The session will bring part of the the ecosocial perspective in education that FUHEM has developing for decades. FUHEM is a Spanish foundation that promotes social justice, the deepening of democracy and sustainability through educational and ecosocial activity.

What is a place-based learning approach? We will reflect together about meaningful experiences of learning in a non-classroom environment. Some principles can guide us in designing educational activities or programmes.

What are the main ecosocial learnings? We will adress aspects such as ecodependence, functioning of the biosphere, civilizational crisis, agents of ecosocial change, personal and community development, justice, democracy and ecosocial techniques.

Where to start the eco-social transformation of our schools? Thanks to all the accumulated experience and daily work in our schools, we offer the possibility of advising any center or teacher who wants to deepen the ecosocial dimension of their practice. It is a team work that can involve everyone at the educational community.

How to expand ecosocial education and make it accesible? We have published educational materials that address the main ecosocial learnings. Part of the ecosocial transformation to which we aspire involves networking with numerous entities and institutions.

An example of this is “Vínculo Ecosocial” (translated as Ecosocial Bond), the newly created network of entities interested in working on ecosocial education. This network is open to any entity, group or school that wants to join to disseminate and expand ecosocial education.

11:30 – 12:00 | AM CET

12:00 – 12:15 | PM CET

12:15 – 13:15 | PM CET

Climate Education Now!

The Education for Climate Coalition is the European participatory community to support teaching and learning for the green transition and sustainable development. 

“To make a difference’ – this is what the #EducationForClimate Coalition is all about. To make a difference in your school, in your neighbourhood, in the very region you live and to contribute actively to the green transition our societies go through.” How? Engage with students, educators, and education stakeholders from kindergarten to lifelong learning in the #EducationForClimate Coalition. Raise awareness, train teachers, bridge education with science, develop green competences, and change behaviours together! 

In the second part of the workshop, we are going to address the GreenComp framework and the related community. Published in January 2022, the Framework identifies four competence areas to help develop green skills, knowledge and attitudes for a sustainable future. After its publication, it has been identified a need to help educational practitioners to develop build green competences by peer-learning and co-creating activities building on the Framework. 

Introduction to GreenComp: the European sustainability competence framework
Published by the European Commission in January 2022, the GreenComp framework identifies four competence areas to help develop green skills, knowledge and attitudes for a sustainable future. Education policy makers, practitioners and researchers are now starting to use the framework to design courses, curricula and resources for educators.
In this session we are preparing a short presentation on how GreenComp was developed, followed by examples on how GreenComp community of practice members are using this competence framework in their work.



Promo material

Help us spread the word

We appreciate your help with spreading the word about our conference. Below you – clicking on the button – will find the materials needed – ready made designs and short texts for social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn). 

Thank you so much!

The project is supported by EUKI

Funding Programme for Climate Action Projects in Europe

This project is part of the European Climate Initiative (EUKI). EUKI is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Climate Action (BMWK). The EUKI competition for project ideas is implemented by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.’

Economic localization is the key to sustaining biological and cultural diversity – to sustaining life itself. The sooner we shift towards the local, the sooner we will begin healing our planet, our communities and ourselves.




Event organiser

Sunny Hill Association Sončni grič, društvo za trajnostno kulturno bivanja, Hrvoji Topolovec 29, 6272 Gračišče, Slovenia

Get in touch

If you did not find an answer to your questions on this page, write to us and we will answer you as soon as possible.

Please enable JavaScript in your browser to complete this form.
Name and surname