World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.

Robert Schuman, May 9th 1950


Many feel that the world is currently in an unstable state and we need creative efforts that can secure world peace, stability and sustainable prosperity around the globe. Creativity at that scale requires Bildung.


Our goal with this one-day conference is to start the planning of the celebration of the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration on May 9th 2020 with public Bildung events across as much of Europe as possible.


We are gathering 70 handpicked European Bildung professionals in Berlin. Together, we are going to explore Bildung and how Bildung can become a fun, meaningful and uniting European endeavor.


Bildung is so uniquely Germanic the word doesn’t even exist in English—yet. Can we unite our continent around culture, science, philosophy, beauty, art, emancipation, wonder, education, a sense of shared belonging, and that “thing” which can best be captured in another German word: Geist?

Uniting Europe?

Yes. Through cultural heritage and Bildung. We believe in humans, in culture and in a shared sense of belonging: in local communities, peoples and nations, and continents and civilizations. We also believe in a shared humanity and a universal need for meaning making and expression, for empowerment, emancipation and fun.



10.00-10:30 – Registration
10:30-10:45 – Welcome by the organizers – and some music to get us started
10:45-12:15 – Plenary session: What do we mean when we say “Bildung”?
• Prof. Dr. Julian Nida-Rümelin – What is Bildung?
• Tomas Björkman – Bildung and ego-development
• Lene Rachel Andersen – Bismarck and Bildung in Denmark
• Michiel Tolman – Young Bildung activism in the Netherlands
• Prof. Dr. Christian Welzel – Bildung and values
• Visions for Bildung Day 2020 – discussion
12:15-13:30 – Lunch
13:30-15:00 – Parallel sessions - hosted by Prof. Dr. Klaus Zierer and Dr. Stefan Bergheim
15:00-15:15 – Ideas from the two sessions – The best suggestions from the two groups
15:15-15:30 – Coffee break
15:30-16:30 – Open space discussions
How would you like to contribute in 2020, what kind of help do you need, and who commits to what?
16:30-17:00 – Concluding
Connecting the results of the day and how we move along
18:00-21:00 – Dinner at a nearby restaurant

If you wish to join us on May 9th, please send us an email at

More information will follow on this site as we progress.


The more power and depth the personality has, and the more freedom reason gains, then the more world a human comprehends, and the more form he creates outside himself.

Friedrich Schiller