About us

What is Bildung?

What is Bildung?

On philosophy and what Bildung means to us

Bildung is actively, consciously and ethically relating to oneself, others and the world. It stands for the ideal that people develop as broadly and fully as possible and bear social responsibility.

We have been inspired by the ideas of classical bildungsdenkers such as Wilhelm von Humboldt (1767 - 1835) and Theodor Adorno (1903-1969), but also by contemporary thinkers such as Gert Biesta, Martha Nussbaum and Roman Krznaric.

"Every individual, depending on his needs and abilities and bound by the limits of his strength, must have the opportunity to develop according to his inner personality."

- Wilhelm von Humboldt (Gesammelte Schrifte I, p. 111)

If Bildung is what we are missing, then we create the alternative ourselves

Education does not touch the essence. Efficiency gives too little depth, a mass lecture too little connection. Is this really what it is? There must be more to it than we are getting out of it now.

In 2014, a group of students and teachers from across the country created an urgency to not keep walking around with this feeling, but to do something about it. A bottom-up initiative by people with the will to bring about positive change within the education system. To the great desire for more space within education for the development of people, we saw the answer in Bildung: actively, consciously and ethically relating to yourself, the other and the world.

Our view of the human being

We believe in the power and potential of human beings. Every individual carries possibilities and talents within him or her that can be discovered and developed through conscious and guided education.

We do not see the human being as a purely rational individual. We see man as fundamentally relational, deriving meaning from facing challenges and developing the ability to perceive, think, want to feel and act in interconnectedness.

This potential, or I-power, in relation to others and the world, enables us to consciously, actively and ethically direct life. Thus, as human beings, we are more than what technology, genes and circumstances make of us.

Bildung in practice

The Bildung Academie develops programs and offers training, coaching and advice around personal-professional development and social responsibility.

Such as The Bildung Half-Year Program in which students and young professionals spend six months working on personal issues and social challenges with each other and inspiration from guest experts. A coaching program at sustainable recruitment agency Generation, for the new generation of conscious leaders. Or a program in collaboration with the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam for students who want to examine themselves, their discipline and society from a broader perspective.

Our vision and mission

In our ideal world, we put as many people as possible in touch with themselves and in connection with others. As a collective, they tackle personal and social challenges.

That is why we are building the university of the 21st century. We are doing this together with The Bildung Network: a community consisting of new generations of students and (young) professionals, teachers, artists, scientists and organizations within the public sector, education and sustainable business.

Questions? We're happy to help.