The UN Decade of Education for Sustainable Development (2005-2014) has suggested Learning and Livelihood as the theme of the 8th Oxford Conference. Taking livelihood holistically, the theme allows us to explore how learning enhances individual potential across the life span, and the well-being of families, communities and societies, in different parts of the world.
It invites analysis of old and new approaches to education and training and their relevance to professional, workplace and labour market expectations.
It creates a space for comparing the influence of values and purposes of public, private and civil society investment in learning on the later use of human capacities. With decreasing job stability, reduced social protection and unprecedented levels of migration and conflict, it is urgent to consider how learning interacts with respect for human rights, social responsibility and environmental security.
It is also important to examine how learning nurtures our spiritual and expressive identities, individually and collectively. Above all, there is the question as to how we as learners, teachers, researchers, policy makers and other practitioners respond to these issues, and their implications for what we ourselves do.