The Anthropocene

The explosion in the human population, the mass use of fossil fuels and nuclear energy, demands on fresh water, the change of habitats and the dramatic loss of species provide evidence for the central role of mankind in shaping the Earth’s geology and ecology. The way we change the worlds face lead scientists like the nobel laureate Paul Crutzen to acknowledging that we are living in a new epoch: the Anthropocene (Crutzen 2002).

The challenge of making the Anthropocene to become a sustainable epoch bears major questions:

  • How should we learn in times when our own species is the most dominant force to push the planet towards its geophysical boundaries?
  • What are the challenges of the Anthropocene in which humans shape the climate and the world’s ecosystems?
  • How can (science) education respond to these challenges?
  • How can education be designed to enable sustainable lifestyles towards a “buen vivir”?


Crutzen, P. J. (2002). Geology of mankind. Nature, 415(6867), 23–23.