Learning regions 

Interdisk, a Viennese network of institutions managing education, (un)employment, and the economy organised a small workshop in November with the title 'Learning in the Region' [DE].

Interesting materials for the two presentations at the workshop are online:

Rolf Dobischat (Univ. Duisburg) talks about "Beispiele für Lernende Region, Effekte für Arbeitsmarkt und Weiterbildung" [.pdf]. Dobischat presents examples from Germany and argues that Learning Regions as an important topic is the result of two trends: The trend towards regionalisation, as a reaction to state failure, increasing problem pressure, and 'homelessness in globalisation' (referring to Richard Sennett's book "The Corrosion of Character"); and secondly, the trend towards a Learning Society, "as a response to increasing insecurity and to the failure of technocratic paradigms".

Mario Steiner (IHS, Vienna), "Chancen und Hindernissen der Entwicklung zu einem lernenden Bezirk" [.pdf] distinguishes three pillars of life-long learning: the professional dimension/employability; the social dimension/basic education levels for everybody; and the democratic dimension/unfolding of individual talents. His case studies show overreliance on institutional setups and difficulties in engaging the targeted disfavoured population groups as major obstacles ecountered in three implemented projects.

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