UIL publishes papers on the futures of lifelong learning

12 July 2021

Lifelong learning is widely recognized as a powerful tool for developing more sustainable societies, economies and living environments. In order to address the challenges of the twenty-first century and shape a sustainable future for all, the concept of lifelong learning must be adopted in its entirety and recognized as a human right.

Following a transdisciplinary consultation which resulted in its report Embracing a Culture of Lifelong Learning, the UNESCO Institute for Lifelong Learning (UIL) has gathered a collection of papers on the futures of lifelong learning.

The collection offers transdisciplinary perspectives on the futures of lifelong learning, covering different research fields such as demography, education, philosophy, public health, neuroscience and sociology. With this approach, the collection acknowledges transdisciplinarity as a crucial principle of future knowledge production and problem solving in an increasingly complex world.


In the spring of 2020, UIL hosted an online consultation forum with international experts from different research fields. Within the framework of UNESCO’s Futures of Education initiative, the aim of the consultation was to foster discussion on lifelong learning and, more specifically, the role it can play in the development of a sustainable future in light of the deep and rapid changes – such as aging, migration, digitalization and labour market transformation –affecting contemporary societies. The insights of this consultation were captured in a report, Embracing a Culture of Lifelong Learning, which presents a compelling vision for lifelong learning and calls on the international community to recognize lifelong learning as a new human right.