Ljubljana Conference 2009

The 6th Annual International Conference: “Creative Learning for a Sustainable World” 

The 6th International Conference was held at Grand Hotel Union in Ljubljana, Slovenia on October 1-3, 2009. The title of the conference was “Creative Learning for a Sustainable World”.

Thematically the conference addressed two vital and main ingredients of education and training: Creativity and Innovation, and Education for Sustainable Development (ESD). These topics were introduced by internationally recognized, high profile experts in the thematic areas, followed by parallel sessions of lectures and workshops.

Creativity and sustainable development

By the choice of theme, the conference recognised both the UNESCO Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the European Year of Creativity and innovation 2009. By combining these two key educational issues of today, the conference was a platform for professional sharing and debate on the imperative themes.

The conference became an important European event of the year in the thematic field. In total 155 conference delegates from 20 countries participated at the Ljubljana Conference – to learn, to share and discuss, to network and connect, and to enjoy the valuable opportunity to meet with colleagues from all Europe and beyond.

Thematic focus of the 2009 Ljubljana conference

The 6th International Conference addressed and interlinked two vital and main ingredients of education and training:

  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Education for Sustainable Development (ESD)

By the choice of theme, the conference recognised both the UNESCO Decade for Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) and the European Year of Creativity and Innovation 2009. By combining these two key educational issues of today, the conference became a platform for professional sharing and debate on the imperative themes.

Education for sustainable development (ESD) is a conceptual framework which comprises and links the environmental, social and democratic, and economic dimensions for long term sustainability.

In the strategic priorities of the European Lifelong Learning Programme for the year 2009, the Commission put forward that European educational actions shall aim to:

  • Support creativity and innovation in all systems and levels of education and training, in view of making the European Year of creativity and innovation 2009 a success;
  • Reinforce sustainable development, including issues relating to energy and climate change, through actions in all sectors of education and training.

Keynote Speakers at the 2009 Ljubljana Conference

Prof. Hans Rosling


Hans Rosling is professor of International Health at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden. Even the most worldly and well-traveled among us will have their perspectives shifted by the professor of global health. His current work focuses on dispelling common myths about the so-called developing world, which (he points out) is no longer worlds away from the west. In fact, most of the third world is on the same trajectory toward health and prosperity, and many countries are moving twice as fast as the west did.

What sets Rosling apart isn’t just his apt observations of broad social and economic trends, but the stunning way he presents them through Gapminder, a remarkable trend-revealing software he created. By any logic, a presentation that tracks global health and poverty trends should be, in a word: boring. But in Rosling’s hands, data sings. Trends come to life and the big picture snaps into sharp focus.

When working as doctor in Mozambique he discovered a formerly unrecognized paralytic disease that his research group named konzo. His research concerns links between economy and health in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Now the global health professor is looking at the bigger picture, increasing our understanding of social and economic development. Hans Rosling is the founder of Gapminder Foundation. He has been adviser to WHO and UNICEF, he co-founded Médecines sans Frontiers in Sweden, and he published a textbook on Global Health.

Prof. Charles Hopkins


“ESD is one of the more powerful tools for preparing civilizations for the future. There is hope if we begin to collaborate on a global scale to see a more sustainable future for all as the ultimate goal of humanity.”

Charles Hopkins is at York University in Toronto where he holds both a UNESCO Chair and a United Nations University Chair. The UNESCO Chair coordinates an international network of teacher education institutions working upon the reorientation of teacher education to address sustainable development. The UNU Chair focuses upon the role of ESD in community development. Hopkins is an advisor to UNESCO and UNU regarding the UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (UNDESD). He played major roles in both the Rio and Johannesburg UN Summits on Sustainability. He was an author of Chapter 36 of Agenda 21, the Rio Earth Summit Action Plan on Education, Public Awareness and training. Previously, Mr. Hopkins was a Superintendent with the Toronto Board of Education.

Richard Gerver


Richard Gerver is an associate of Sir Ken Robinson and is featured in his new book ‘The Element’. He works as a consultant on creativity, leadership and education and has been described as ‘One of the most inspirational leaders of his generation.’

Richard Gerver is a former actor who gained his reputation leading a school on the brink of failure to global recognition within five years. As a result he won a highly prestigious National Teaching Award in 2005. The ideas about creativity that led to this success echo many of Sir Ken’s and implemented them in a practical setting. He has worked as a policy consultant to the British Government and a variety of its agencies including the QCA and the National College of School Leadership. His work transcends education and is now having a major impact on organisations around the world including; UNESCO, The British Council, Skanska, The Welsh Government and The National Federation of Enterprise Agencies.

Now the Director of two companies: IC-ED and Ninja Kids, he works to share his unique vision of leading people in the 21st century and promoting creativity and innovation across all sectors and through all forms of media but his passion lies as a speaker. He deals with the issues that face us all in our lives today and the lives of our children tomorrow: Creativity, Risk, Innovation, Leadership, Technology and Wellbeing.

The documentation from keynote presentations and sessions has been removed from the website (May 2010). Materials can be ordered from the network’s Admin Team.

Keynote addresses

Keynote address Prof. Hans Rosling: A Fact Based World View – see www.gapminder.org
Keynote address Prof. Charles Hopkins: ESD – The Contributions of All Educators
Keynote address Richard Gerver: Creativity and Passion in Education


A1 Creative Partnerships: A twenty-first century creative learning programme
A2 BITI (Being)
A3 Employing paraprofessionals to assist with inclusion of students with disabilities
A4 LärHut – The Global School and the national network of teacher educators for ESD in Sweden
A5 Quality in our pre-school
A6 Teachers’ thinking progression in the process of transition to planning their own school curriculum
A7 Sustainable learning organisations
B1 Creativity for teaching and teaching for creativity
B2 ‘Football Game’
B3 Ways to develop a democrativ school governance and to empower staff and students
B4 School Refusal
B5 Including elements of Reggio Emilia concept in Slovene curriculum for pre-school education
B6 Classroom Instruction that works with English language learners – Setting labguage objectives
B7 Teaching pupils with another mother language
C1 Teachers’ professional activities standard – the Czech way
C2 Storyline – Human rights in the classroom
C3 Face It
C4 Global learning in a local context – Education for Sustainable Development in a changing world
C5 Not being able to speak is not the same as not having anything to say – ACC, Alternative and Augmentative Communication
C6 Classroom instruction that works with English language learners – Cues and Questions
C7 Mini school of Rock&Roll
D1 Innovation, a state of mind
D2 ESD in teacher education at Malmö University
D3 Romeo and Juliet; Diversities’ saving grace?
D4 Eating abroad together (EAT) – How to fully integrate MFL in the primary curriculum across Europe
D5 Virtual communities
D6 When life isn’t well enough – Support team for teachers
D7 Primalingua_We_speak_European
E1 Researching and modeleling the sustainability of innovations
E2 Introduce ESD into your curriculum
E3 Belonging to Europe as to a garden
E4 My own dictionary
E5 Intergenerational connecting
E6 The impact of e-learning on the self-confidence, sense of worth and academic progress of students who are out of school
E7 Enquiring minds: Empowering young researchers
F1 The creative curriculum in a primary school
F2 Reflection, cooperation, and democracy
F3 Developing teachers’ cultural awareness through on-line collaboration
F4 Exploring ethical dilemmas around sustainability for initial teacher education students
F5 Developing narrative skills through a structured multisensory approach
F6 Teachers as a web-based learning community
F7 Gender Education
G1 Can I be YOU for a single day? So WE can create something together
G2 Towards successful practice of ESD
G3 How to implement the international dimension in all schools in a local area
G4 Enhancing learning in new-built schools: A case study of effective practice
G5 Teaching social skills in partnership with parents
G6 Schools in network cooperation with industry
G7 Raising self-efficiacy beliefs motivation of teachers and educators

Poster Presentations

P1 A Blind Child in Kindergarten
P2 Creativity for Teaching and Teaching for Creativity
P3 Eco Pre-school as a Lifestyle

Feedback from the 2009 Ljubljana Conference


A selection of quotes from conference participants

“We would like to thank you for the wonderful event in Ljubljana – perfect in all aspects from organisation to delicious meals and wonderful people. It is always something like “recharging batteries” for us :-)” (Teacher trainers from the Czech Republic)

“The Conference was a great event, full of interesting inputs for our profession as well as a highly enjoyable meeting. Feeling part of this international gathering as well as getting in touch with the international debate was a great achievement for me. I have brought home a new enthusiasm for my profession.” (Teacher from Italy)

“Just a short note to thank you for organising a brilliant conference last weekend. I really enjoyed it.” (Head teacher from Ireland)

“I must say that it was my pleasure to be presenter on Ljubljana’s conference. Now I got courage to present our projects in English language and I am sure I will attend some another conference in the future.” (Pre-school teacher from Slovenia)

“This was an amazing experience; what ‘human climate’ and how wonderful people that were there. I am a little bit ‘high’ still from the ‘kick’ that I got from this conference.” (Teacher from Sweden)

“As a first time attendee, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect, but the whole experience was amazing with so much to think about. Plans are already being formulated to instigate some of the ideas into our school and friends from many countries have been made.” (Deputy Head teacher from the UK)

“It was a truly successful, highly enjoyable and memorable event.” (Teacher from the Netherlands)

“The lecturers were fantastic, many exciting and instructive workshops; and, as always, a fantastic opportunity to network and to create new contacts”. (Trainer from Sweden)

“Many thanks for the opportunity for gaining new knowledge and sharing experience with colleagues in this international setting.” (University trainer from Austria)

“The conference was fantastic and the networking amazing. The hospitality offered by the city of Ljubljana was supreme and I have been singing the praises of Slovenia since my return.” (Head teacher from the UK)

“We had a wonderful time networking with so many people. The sessions were very good.” (Trainer from the USA)

“Thank you for a fantastic conference!” (Teacher from Denmark)

“Thank you for such an amazing conference again. I feel high after the meeting and have a lot to follow up on with people.” (Director from the UK)

“Thank you for a fantastic, stimulating, instructive and enjoyable conference. It makes you want more.” (Teacher trainers from Sweden)

“Thank you for a fantastic conference. Everything was so incredibly well organised; and accommodation and meals very good.” (Teacher from Sweden)

“Congratulations on such a splendid conference!” (Manager from the UK)

“Many thanks for an enjoyable and very worthwhile event!” (Teacher trainer from Scotland, UK)