The Club of Rome already in 1972 pointed out that an economic concept based on constant growth cannot work because resources are limited. Nonetheless, these so-called planetary boundaries are still being exceeded by far, especially in the industrialized countries. Among other things, the threatening consequences of climate change make clear that a quick change of direction is becoming more and more urgent. Last but not least, the corona pandemic showed how vulnerable our entire economic and social system is and that more resilient structures are urgently needed in order to avoid further disasters. Sustainable development is only possible if people understand systemic relations, i.e. understand the consequences of the actions of everyone and each individual and how one can help shape the future society. ESD (Education for Sustainable Development) is intended to enable learners to take responsibility for shaping a socially, ecologically and economically sustainable future.

On May 16, 2021, Federal Education Minister Karliczek demanded thatfurther training and adult education in the future must play a greater role in educating people about climate-awareness and sustainable behavior. The so far low contribution to ESD is attributed to various reasons, e.g. the demand orientation and heterogeneity of the adult education sector. However, we see a further cause in the fact that there is no really applicable competence concept for ESD in adult education. In adult education, competency concepts imported from the school sector often turn out to be cumbersome, since competencies in school contexts are mainly related to methodological and technical contexts. In connection with the goal of sustainable development, however, the evolution strategies of competencies, i.e. the goal of finding the best possible solution to a problem in terms of sustainable development, are much more relevant.

Seen in this way, sustainable action can be understood a development task that every person has to master. The aim of the 5P-Competences project is to develop a competence framework based on analyses of the above-mentioned development tasks, which is specifically tailored to the life situation of adults. The competency framework to be created should form a basis for formal and informal learning. Therefore, the competencies and competence categories are formulated under the aspect of their teachability.

The next step is to create a digital competence framework that is to be used in virtual learning environments.

In a fourth step, a further training program for full-time and voluntary adult educators is being developed and tested, in which the theoretical basics, elements and practical application possibilities within the framework of ESD are conveyed. Finally, the partnership develops a European network and community of practice in which educational practitioners and those responsible for education come together, exchange experiences and good practices, and learn from one another

The aim of the project is to develop a competence framework that is tailored to the specific needs of adult education, and in the narrower sense of education for sustainable development. At the same time, a common frame of reference for learning opportunities in the area of ESD is created with the competence framework at the local level. The competence framework is intended to support full-time and voluntary teaching staff in the development of courses and course programs on sustainability topics, and to help ensure that educational offers can be tailored more precisely to the needs of the course participants. Secondly, the participants in the training (teaching staff) shall develop a basic understanding of the developmental tasks that adults must master on the way to sustainable action, as well as the skills required to master these tasks. Thirdly, the digital competence framework is intended to support teachers in developing online learning opportunities on ESD-relevant topics. Last but not least, the Community of Practice promotes the development of a common understanding of ESD and the creation of cooperative structures by enabling the exchange of experiences and best practices between different actors in ESD.