Join us for the first webinar in a four part webinar series examining the crucial role that adult education will play in the rebuild of society.

The webinar

Today’s Challenges – Climate crisis, Inequality, Global Pandemics 

The 1919 Report argued that adult education and lifelong learning were vital for three urgent and compelling reasons. Each of those three reasons are if anything even more urgent and compelling today.

1. the 1919 Report argued that with the extension of the electorate which was underway at that time, it was vital that the population – the electorate – were educated not only on the particular issues at stake, but also educated in the very processes of applying critical thinking and weighing evidence, so as to be able to distinguish between on the one hand genuine political arguments, from on the other hand, demagoguery. 

Today, across the globe, these issues of democratic legitimacy and engagement are the subject of the 3rd of these weekly webcasts, on April 23rd.

2. The second reason given by the 1919 Report for needing adult education and lifelong learning was that there were as yet unknown industries and technologies on the horizon, so it was no good just training workers in today’s skills – what was needed was an educated workforce with the capacity and capabilities to be able to analyse and deal with wholly new technologies as and when they emerged.

Again, even more true today, with the rise of machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics – these issues will be analysed and discussed in the 2nd of this series, on April 16th.

3. The third reason for needing to invest in adult education and lifelong learning – according to the 1919 Report – was so that all members of society could engage in educated discussion and debate around the great issues and challenges facing the country. The threat of a future slide to war was one such great issue. Today there is also the climate crisis, and the threat of global pandemics.

These great challenges facing society – and how all members of our communities can be engaged in education, discussion and debate around the issues and how these might best be tackled – will be considered in the opening webinar, this Thursday 9 April.

The session will be introduced by the Chair of the Centenary Commission on Adult  Education, Dame Helen Ghosh, and facilitated by Dr Cilla Ross, Principal of the Co-operative College.

Confirmed speakers

  • Dame Helen Ghosh, Master of Balliol College, Oxford (Chair)
  • Dr Cilla Ross, Principal and CEO, The Co-operative College (Facilitator)
  • Ruby Wax, comedian and mental health campaigner
  • Lalage Bown, OBE, Adult Educationalist 
  • Sharon Clancy, Chair, Raymond Williams Foundation & Assistant Professor, University of Nottingham

Book your place

To help us with numbers, we're asking everyone to book their free place below. After booking you'll be sent a zoom link to join the meeting. Places are limited, so book now to avoid disappointment!

Lock up logos of Adult Education 100 campaign partners

This event has now finished. If you have any questions please visit or email [email protected]