Last updated: November 3, 2023

RCE Ostwürttemberg

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Rce details
Date of RCE acknowledgement:
December, 2019
Description of RCE and Geographic Region:

Ostwürttemberg is composed by the two administrative districts Ostalbkreis and Heidenheim in Germany and is one of the twelve spatial planning regions of the federal state Baden-Württemberg. The region Ostwürttemberg is located in the South-West of Germany and marks the eastern end of the federal state Baden-Württemberg.

Special features of RCE Ostwürttemberg:

  • Years of experience in citizen based engagement for the Local Agenda 21 in various municipalities and many awards of the UN-Decade on ESD.
  • Many social players who are willing to work on the realisation of the SDGs. Currently, most activities are project-based.
  • Four academic institutions for which sustainable development is becoming more and more relevant (two Universities of Applied Science, a University of Education, and a Dual University).
  • Collectively shared living, learning and working space of more than 444.000 people with similar challanges.
  • Important structure on the organisational level of economy and industry (Chamber of Commerce, business development agency Ostwürttemberg).
  • The strong interdependency within the shared spatial pattern is reflected in the economic, social and cultural structure and the related consequences for the inhabitants. The ecological structure forms a sense of identity.
  • The Region Ostwürttemberg encompasses 2.138 square kilometres and has nearly 445,000 inhabitants (by 31.12.2017).
Goals and Objectives:

As a starting point, the following core items mark the frame of the RCE Ostwürttemberg´s vision:

  • We envision a region in which ESD is implemented to its full extent in all sectors and has the power to transform the whole region.
  • We adopt an integrated and participatory approach in order to tackle the key sustainability issues of the region.
  • We concentrate on the educational aspects of the topics regarding these key issues.

RCE Ostwürttemberg seeks to contribute to the urgent transformation of awareness and behavioural skills of all relevant groups (citizens of all ages, politicians, entrepreneurs, civil society, and education organisations). We are committed to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) declared by the U.N. in September 2015 and especially the Global Action Plan. Particularly SDG 4, here with the focus on SDG 4.7 ESD is the core foundation of our work. This will be achieved through building bridges between different stakeholders and so enhance cooperation to create an innovative learning space. In a transdisciplinary network, we are searching for methods of resolution for regional challenges in the awareness of the context of the global challenges. We are focussing on developing and promoting education activities.

In the further process of establishing, the wider ESD community and willing collaborators will compile vision, objectives and models of governance in a participatory process.

Organisation Hosting RCE Secretariat:

Aalen University

Key Partners:

Name of organisation: Aalen University
Role: Founding member and initiator, Office Sustainable Development, staff working for RCE
Contact name(s): Prof. Dr. Iman Taha, Prof. Dr. Katharina Weber, Christoph Kuck
Contact email(s):;

Name of organisation: Aalen City
Role: City administration; office for the local agenda 21; environmental department; initiating member; communal development policy
Contact name: NN (vacant)
Contact email:

Name of organisation: Aalen Local Agenda Group for ESD Role: ESD implementation, “Green Eeel” ESD for schools, Learning City project,
Contact name: Rudolf Kaufmann, Ulrich Holzbaur
Contact email:

Name of organisation: Steinbeis Transfer Center for Sustainability and Management Role: Consulting and Research in ESD
Contact name: Prof. Dr. Ulrich Holzbaur
Contact email:

Name of organisation: Kopernikus Secondary School
Role: Secondary education institution; knowledge of the challenges concerning ESD; fairtrade school
Contact name: Michael Weiler (headmaster)
Contact email:

Name of organisation: Schubart Secondary School
Role: Secondary education institution Founding member; knowledge of the challenges concerning ESD
Contact name: Christiane Dittmann (headmaster)
Contact email:

Name of organisation: VHS (adult education centres) of Ostwürttemberg
Role: Non-formal education, co-creation of educational formats; cooperation in bringing ESD to rural areas
Contact name: Silvia Freitag
Contact email:

Name of organisation: Pädagogische Hochschule Schwäbisch Gmünd (University of Education)
Role: Tertiary education – focus on teachers´ education Education for Sustainable Development, research in pedagogical subjects
Contact name: Prof. Dr. Claudia Vorst (president)
Contact email:,

Name of organisation: University of Dual Education Heidenheim
Role: Tertiary education, focus on dual academic education, practically oriented academic education with strong ties to the local industry
Contact name: Prof. Dr. Rainer Przywara (president)
Contact email:

Name of organisation: SDW (German Forest Protection Association)
Role: Regional organisation for forest based sustainability education; mobile experiential education from preschool to adult education
Contact name: Jens-Olaf Weiher (president)
Contact email:

Name of organisation: Friends of the Earth (BUND) Ostwuerttemberg
Role: NGO, non-formal education, environment and climate change, policy making
Contact name: Andreas Mooslehner
Contact email:

Current Activities:
  • Building up a network
  • Series of events called "Nachhaltigkeit konkret" (Tangible Sustainability)
Upcoming Activities:
  • Developing experimentally-oriented formats for ESD in education in rural space and smaller cities
  • Integration of sustainable event management and ESD
  • Mobile education in rural space and smaller cities
Communication Channels
RCE Website:
Twitter handle:
YouTube page:
Contact Details
Main RCE Contact:
Prof. Dr Iman Taha
Secondary RCE Contact:
The Sustainability Office of Aalen University
RCE Youth Coordinator(s):
The Sustainability Office of Aalen University
General RCE email:
RCE mailing address for correspondence: