International "Learning for the Future" Conference

Creating Open Educational Regions for ESD through School Community Collaboration
towards a basis for ESD 2015-2025
Maastricht / Kerkrade - Netherlands
May 2013 13th - 16th

In line with the EU CODES Project and the RCEs OPEDUCA Project goals, on Tuesday May 14th participants from government, schools, industry and science presented their vision and practice on school-community collaboration. A most interesting range of views and following debates contributed to joint understanding of this most important dimension of Education for Sustainable Development.

On this page a broad overview of the day is presented. Not a report, but a recollection for those present. Please use the menu to the left to navigate through the page quickly.

Reports, pictures and outcomes of the RCE Conference Wednesday May 15th and Thursday May 16th will be presented soon.

Nadine Piereij, student Graaf Huyn College, presents her work on the OPEDUCA Project 'Flight for Knowledge Water'. An impressive young lady showing todays' students capacities for ESD.

Looking back at the program

(click to jump to section)

Wouter Wetzelaer
Titus Brandsma School

Frans Beckers and Henk van Houtum
EPEA / Van Houtum Paper Industry

Prof. Mauri Ahlberg and Reiner Mathar
University of Helsinki / Land Hessen

Bert Kersten, Regional Minister for Education, Labour Market and Sustainability, most clearly brought forth the need for well structured and structural cooperation between industry, schools and the regional government, the Triple Helix.
Showing fine examples of such cooperation already achieved in the Province of Limburg, he also stated the 'good' is not enough - our more sustainable future call for more. Especially the development of the young requires investments that contribute to well integrated innovations in education. No more temporary projects, but a development towards an 'open educational erea' in which all contribute to such development daily. Mr. Kersten pointed out his support for The OPEDUCA Project and invited all conference participants to visit the region next year and together work on the challenges all the regions of this world face.


Accepting and trusting private industry as excellent partners in knowledge and educational source; no less was brought forward by Frans Beckers and Henk van Houtum, both superb entrepreneurs with decades of experience in industry. And then especially in industry thinking, believing and breathing sustainability. 

Guido Beckers, Director of the Graaf Huyn College, had to answer questions after addressing the Conference on opening up his schools for private industry and having his students go out in the world to research, learn and present.

"Teachers should be frontrunners.
Now after we as management and politics
took responsibility away from them,
we should re-establish them as professionals.
Teaching is a high esteem job,
a Podium for every teacher is hardly enough"

Wouter Wetzelaer, Director of Titus Brandsma, school for primary education, most impressively pointed out the high value of childrens' natural learning process. He hold a convincing plea to again see especially young pupils as travellers on futures road; researchers that can and should be enabled to developped their multitude of talents, skills and competences. Hence needing a school ánd teachers fully open to the regional community and the world as a whole.

Prof. Mauri Alhberg, University of Helsinki, presented a most thorough journey into the rich world of Biodiversity. Convincing his audience of the vast variety of live on our planet as a most important and still undervalued aspect of sustainability. Following his presentation Mr. Reiner Mathar from the Hessisches Kultusministerium - State Coordinator for Education for Sustainable Development Germany - emphasised the importance and practical relevance of Biodiversity, cathing the attention with examples of how within peoples reach biodiversity can be improved.


Students Franziska Träger and Anna-Lea Koch (14 and 15 years old) from the Einhard Gymnasium in Aachen (Germany) already won the "Jugend Recherchiert" (Youth Researches) contest arranged by the newspaper "Frankfurter Algemeine Zeitung". During their excellent presentation, they full of confidence made clear the power of youth as thé way forward to revitalize education and bring a more sustainable world nearer.

RCE Rhine-Meuse
Heyendallaan 64A  6464 EP  Kerkrade  Netherlands