The 2019 Annual EPALE Conference which was held on 1 and 2 October in Warsaw, was a great meeting place for adult educators, EPALE platform users, other stakeholders in AE and representatives of the European Commission.

A five-member Slovenian delegation attended the conference: two representatives of the Slovenian EPALE expert group were joined by two representatives of provider organisations and the author of this article.

This year’s event was masterfully moderated by Tamsin Rose. After the introductory video in which Roberto Carlini, Director of the EACEA, addressed the participants, Paweł Poszytek, Director General of the Foundation for the Development of the Educational System, welcomed the participants and wished them a pleasant stay and successful work in Warsaw.

The Programme was composed of inspiring contributions — case studies, in which active platform users described how EPALE benefits them in their work and professional development.

Wilhelm Vukovich, EPALE representative with the Directorate-General for Education, Youth, Sport and Culture, gave a presentation outlining the development phases of the EPALE platform in the future, while Faye Hindle-Lewis, member of the EPALE CSS, spoke about how the EPALE community reflects the entire adult education and learning sector in Europe. Two countries joined the community this year: Greece and North Macedonia.

The participants of the round table (Christian Friedrich from Germany, Dimitrios Kiriakos from Greece, Filiz Keser Aschenberger from Austria, Gina Ebner, the EPALE thematic coordinator and EAEA Secretary General, Marin Johnson from Estonia and Martin Elung—Jensen from Denmark) presented their views on how different content published on the EPALE platform become/remain useful and attractive for a diverse community of adult educators.

The aim of the conference was to engage all participants in a constructive discussion on the creation of a future for the EPALE community, which was also the main goal of day one workshop (in five groups), which was named EPALE as a Powerful Tool for the Exchange of Knowledge and Cooperation. This was the central theme of the five workshops on day two, which shed light on the various points of view about the usefulness of the EPALE portal. The conference was concluded in day two with her plenary contribution by Lene Rachel Andersen who presented the Nordic tradition and vision of adult education.

To bring things full circle, let us return to the question in the title: Are we truly making full use of the opportunities offered by EPALE? Not quite yet. We have long dealt with overcoming technical obstacles. The speed of the website was truly testing our patience. Ambition and impetus felt at the conference are harbingers of things to come; namely, that in a year or two we will have transformed from observers and followers into content creators and active users.

I presented the events at the conference in detail in a blog (in Slovenian). Other members of the Slovenian delegation also contributed their points of view. The EPALE website features videos of the two conference events: day one and day two.

Nevenka Kocijančič (, SIAE

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ISSN 2630-2926

Slovenian Institute for Adult Education
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