Competencies for an Interconnected World

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Individuals gain and use competences when they are able to apply their knowledge, attitudes and skills in targeted, self-responsible and successful actions. Grounding on universal model of key and tranesversal competences such models need to be concretized for each learning space, for individual learners and for each topical field of learning.

For education around aspects of the constantly developing, interconnected and globalized world of the 21st century we propose a competency model for an interconnected world.[1]

"Hardly any of the issues we work on in education can be fully understood without addressing the global connections behind them."

The editors of Competendo's handbook: The Everyday Beyond

Sensitivity and reflection

  • Understanding the individual’s role in the European, international and global system
  • Understanding the global power issues we are surrounded by
  • Understanding and reflecting on assumptions, beliefs and role models and the concepts behind them (biases)

Building cognitive knowledge on certain European, international and global issues

  • Being able to research materials about global issues, then working within the framework of that information to develop it further

Critical and systemic thinking

  • Understanding the role, rights and duties of the individual in the society
  • Understanding the role of human rights, development, interculturality and environment in systems
  • Understanding power relations in the systems one participates in, especially regarding global issues and how those can change depending on the specific situation

Understanding global connectedness

  • Understanding privileges and power biases in global issues
  • Developing awareness of Euro- and ethnocentrism and its consequences
  • Being able to see and research the global background and consequences of actions and products

Empathy and changing perspectives, appreciating diversity

  • Being able to be empathic (even with “invisible” people connected only via procurement chains)
  • Being able to consider and to respect different positions
  • Being aware of different or shared values
  • Reflecting on personal values and understanding other values without devaluing them
  • Being able to show solidarity with less privileged persons
  • Being able to be and stay globally open minded
  • Being able to look for new perspectives and to integrate them in existing knowledge

Diversity-oriented communication

  • Being able to communicate ideas with others who have different perspectives
  • Understanding different communication styles and the influence of power in communication
  • Being able to give and receive feedback in a culturally diverse environment, and being aware of shifting power relations depending on the situation and the communication partners

Coping with uncertainty

  • Understanding the concept of identity in the context of global learning
  • Being able to accept and deal with ambiguity
  • Being able to broaden the perspective of personal identity and still feeling secure in it
  • Being able to accept and deal with complexity
  • Being able to accept the uncertainty of open situations

Taking responsibility

  • Understanding personal responsibility for interaction with other humans and the environment
  • Being aware of global responsibility as a consumer and citizen
  • Being able to self-motivate to become active

Taking action

  • Understanding basic planning tools
  • Understanding basic methods of developing project and action ideas
  • Being able to think in a problem solving oriented way and to estimate possible consequences of actions
  • Being able to work successfully with others (in teams)
  • Being able to reflect on and solve conflicts, which might have occurred because of different communication styles, values, interests and preferences, privileges and power, etc.
  • Being able to motivate others to become active Outset: How global, international and european learning contributes to competency development

Examples for Frameworks tackling Civic Competences

  • The OECD PISA global competence framework OECD
  • Education for Sustainable Development Goals Learning Objectives UNESCO

Inspiring Handbooks and Resources

Global Learning and Education for Sustainable Development


  1. M. Haberl, J. Teynor, N. Zimmermann: The Everyday Beyond - European, International and Global Dimensions of Learning, Competendo Handbooks for Facilitators 2017

Mag.a Jana Teynor, MA

Jana Teynor.jpg

Coordinator für Education and Public Relations at Südwind Austria. Expert for Global Learning/Global Citizenship Education.

Matthias Haberl

Matthias Haberl.jpg

Project manager for the Austrian development organisation Südwind, freelance trainer, facilitator and author of handbooks and on Competendo.

Nils-Eyk Zimmermann

Nils-Eyk Zimmermann

Editor of Competendo. Coordinator of the project DIGIT-AL Digital Transformation in Adult Learning for Active Citizenship. Network Secretary of the DARE network. Topics: active citizenship, civil society, digital transformation, non-formal and lifelong learning, capacity building. Blogs here: Blog: Civil Resilience. Email: