Spirit and Purpose of the LEONARDO European Corporate Learning Award

LEONARDO, because he symbolizes a positive solution to defragmentation in learning and knowing, that often has disastrous implications. He bridges knowledge and fantasy, business and engineering.

Thus the award is well rooted and these mosaic-stones of concern in a holistic view of lifelong learning is well mirrored in the first laureate Jacques Delors with UNESCO´s proclamation for education in the 21st.century: “treasures within”: Learning to know, Learning to do, Learning to live together, learning to be European, because it is useless to demand a much needed European mindset if it is not based on common understanding of the quest.

What kind of international alliances are we striving for as people, companies and societies? This must be reflected in the way the interplay of international, national and corporate learning is conducted. Wikipedia´s European projects are just examples.

Corporate, because it is often forgotten that although we spend endless years in formal education most of the learning takes place in professional life with considerable impact on us as people as well as on society. Society, political decision making and the companies themselves neglect this cross-fertilization – or, if not cared for, cross-destruction – very often. They talk about “Learning” in general, underestimating specific responsibilities. In the Future Dialogue for the German Chancellery lack of awareness of these strengths was deplored. Festo and its “Corporate Educational Responsibility” provide positive alternatives.

Learning, because we deal with the precondition of understanding, knowing and mindful acting. The way we enable learning is not a given thing. Impacts differ. The mentioned approaches touch the way learning is organized and vary from Fraunhofer Team concepts to “Hole in the wall”.

Award, because some outstanding people representing the spirit might act as prominent voices to provoke rethinking common behavior. If the standard way of proceeding would be satisfactory there would be no reason for these public voices. The Leonardo expresses dissent with common practice of “subprime knowledge” and raises concern in a positive constructive manner.