20. November 2023

Global Ethic Foundation at the Federal Congress on Civic Education 2023

Zwei Frau und zwei Männer sitzen auf einer Bühne und tauschen sich aus. Eine Frau spricht in ein Mikrofon, die anderen drei Personen hören zu.

This year, the Global Ethic Foundation took part for the first time in the 15th Federal Congress for Political Education from 2 to 4 November in Weimar. The title: ‘Interpretations of the present – narratives of the future: Political education in times of social upheaval’. Around 1,000 participants accepted the invitation from the Federal Agency for Civic Education, the German Association for Civic Education and the Federal Committee for Civic Education. Under the motto ‘Change and upheaval in times of crisis’, there was plenty of food for thought in the form of workshops, panel debates and presentations. The Global Ethic Foundation team realised this: The topic of ‘religion’ has not yet really arrived in the field of political education. However, it should be increasingly placed at the centre of future educational programmes.

Food for thought

Big goals

The past crisis-ridden years have unsettled many people and shaken their confidence in political stability and progress. From Brexit and the storming of the US Capitol to the coronavirus pandemic and the war in Ukraine, there have been numerous events that have called certainties into question. This is also the case in Germany, where tensions within society are increasing. The aim of the Federal Congress is to create a forum for discussing current developments in politics and society and to incorporate new findings into the practice of political education work. The key questions are therefore: How can we deal productively with the requirements? What positive images and narratives of the present and future are there that we can move towards? What normative framework should the political education of the future operate within?

In 15 sections and workshops, the various educational stakeholders were able to discuss socially relevant issues. The Federal Minister of the Interior and Home Affairs, Nancy Faeser, opened the event. Among other things, she spoke about planned cuts to the funding of political education.

Zu sehen ist
Nancy Faser opens the Federal Congress 2023. Photo: bpb/Stefanie Rotter
Zu sehen ist die KOngress
Photo: Global Ethic Foundation

Political education in the field of religion


The employees of the Global Ethic Foundation established contacts with other organisations that deal with similar topics such as democracy and values education. It is striking that the topic of religion and the social significance of religious topics and actors are not yet sufficiently taken into account in political education. However, especially in times when religious conflicts are increasingly influencing the social climate within Germany, it is a core concern of the Global Ethic Foundation to offer political education on religious topics. One example of this is the talk ‘Religion? All you can ask ‘.

It also became clear that political education should not be instructive, but must involve the learners. This is the only way they can learn how to help shape the realities of their own lives. The Global Ethic Foundation is therefore particularly committed to understanding young people, taking their needs and interests into account and encouraging them to participate in society.

One example of this is the extracurricular educational project ‘worldlab’. Pupils discuss common values and implement them in a joint practical project.

Further information on the 15th Federal Congress for Political Education can be found here.