Nordic Pilot



Samsø Energy Academy contact and Project Manager:  
Malene Lundén

Purpose and description:

Nordic cooperation in developing a continuing education program for teachers on the subject of Sustainability had been on Samsø Energy Academy’s wish list for a long time. When Nordic Pilot cropped up as an idea among our Nordic partners, the Energy Academy’s project department recognized that the purpose of Nordic Pilot, the strength of the network, and the project goals were in alignment with the Energy Academy’s charter.

The proposal called for the make-up of the steering committee to be diverse. The process and preparation of a strong, factual proposal explaining the challenges the Nordic countries faced in terms of educating the population about sustainable transition and development was what made the difference.

The professional competency involved, along with the prospect of a new Nordic adult education program, would enhance Samsø Energy Academy’s strategy of Nordic cooperation, as well as the timeliness and necessity of boosting qualifications through lifelong learning for communities and individuals about sustainability.

At the Energy Academy, we, too, would learn new things and become part of a new Nordic network, and the island of Samsø, with its status as Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island, would also benefit in terms of its plans to phase out fossil fuels by 2030.

The UN Sustainable Development Goals:  

Ensure inclusive and equitable quality education and promote lifelong learning opportunities for all

Target 4.7: 

By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development.

We wanted to:

  • Start a new Nordic continuing education program
  • Gather participants from all the Nordic countries
  • Build a continuing education program with a curriculum based on practical knowledge and theory about sustainable transition and development in the Nordics.
  • Place the theoretical part of the continuing education program in Denmark.


The project was realized 2006-2007-2018.

A proposal was produced and written by Idea Bank (Idébank) Foundation in Norway and the Nordic Network for Adult Education (NVL) in Sweden.

A conference of stakeholders was held where they decided to continue with the idea of starting a new Nordic continuing education program with a steering committee, and to apply for funding by the Nordic Council of Ministers.

Progress and conclusion:

  •  Via our own network, we succeeded in the relatively modest effort of getting enough participants for the program, and they came from all the Nordic countries. No one dropped out during the course, and everyone completed it. Considering that the participants were adult education teachers, and that many of them had previous experience in working with sustainable development, it was noteworthy that only at minor points during the course was there criticism of the course planning, while at the end of the course, there was a lot of praise and enthusiasm for the course by the participants.

Local stakeholders:

Ydun’s Garden – an association that works to promote sustainable organic food and agricultural production – and Samsø Golf Course, which is a model in how to establish a sustainable lifestyle. 


Norway– Ellen Stavlund, VOFO
(The Norwegian Association for Adult Learning)
– Kirsten Paaby, Stiftelsen Idébanken (Idea Bank Foundation)
– Kristine E. Morton, Internasjonalt utvalg for folkehøgskolen (International Committee for Folk High Schools)
– Øyvind Brandt, Norsk Folkehøgskolelag (Confederation of Norwegian Folk High Schools)
– Odd Erik Randen, Studieforbundet Natur og Miljø (Study Alliance Nature & Environment)

Sweden – Miriam Sannum, RCE Västra Göteland(Regional Center for Expertise)
– Karin Bengtsson, Økologi og Genetik, Uppsala Universitet (Department of Ecology and Genetics, Uppsala University) – Sara Andersson, Uppsala Centre for SustainableDevelopment (CSD) and Regional Centre of Expertise(RCE) Uppsala
– Carl Lindberg, The Swedish National Commission for UNESCO

Finland – Tove Holm, NOVIA University of Applied Studies
– Ulrica Taylor, Förbundet för arbetar- och medborgar- institut i Svenskfinland, FAMI rf / Bildningsforum (adult education alliance) – Tessa Turtunen, Marthaförbundet (The Swedish Martha Association in Finland / adult education)

Iceland – Salome Hallfredsdóttir and Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson, Landvernd (Icelandic Environment Association)

Denmark – Malene Lundén, Samsø Energy Academy

Success criteria:

For the world

  • New knowledge about how many communities that are working with the consequences of climate change
  • Leadership in cooperating across sectors and industries

For Samsø as a community

  • Knowledge of Samsø’s status as Denmark’s Renewable Energy Island

For Samsø Energy Academy

  • New network
  • New knowledge and lessons about how what is being communicated is understood by the individual participant
  • New leadership course

For the project managers’ leadership

  • New lessons about the challenges in getting an economy rooted locally, so the knowledge and experience from the continuing education program doesn’t get lost in relation to the U.N.’s 4th Sustainable Development Goal: Equal right to enhancing qualifications, and information about sustainable lifestyles.

The results:

It was clear that conveying new knowledge and experience in sustainable transition involves major challenges in relation to reaching out to different generations.

It was also clear that it can be difficult to grasp as a regular citizen which changes in behavior to take home, both in terms of mindset and actions.

Samsø Energy Academy has launched a leadership course which will be offered twice a year in April and September. Individual participants can put together the educational program based on four modules, providing a curriculum that qualifies the participants in understanding and acting in terms of three parameters: People/Planet/Goodwill

The folk high school on Samsø participated by sending two teachers to Nordic Pilot. They now have a totally different way of teaching natural sciences in the school’s older classes.

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