📢 IDEC keynote speakers 📢
Participants and contributors come together from all over the world to share their knowledge, skills and ideas, and to build strength in the community.
Seek out the IDEC tent for international inspiration this August!

IDEC2022@Summerhill Festival of Childhood

IDEC2022 will be part of the Summerhill Festival of Childhood which is being held from

5th – 10th August 2022.

An IDEC marquee is available and will be the venue for IDEC2022 related events, including Speakers and our usual Open Space sessions.

Each day will be organised by one of the DECs except for Friday 5th which will be a general opening day.

Saturday 6th will be hosted by APDEC

The two main speakers will be

Heather Yang from Taiwan and Monika Irayati from Indonesia.

Sunday 7th will be hosted by IDEC itself.

The IDEC Meeting will be held from 10am – 12 Noon.

Moe Zimmerberg from US will be one of the main Speakers  

Monday 8th will be hosted by EUDEC

The main speaker will be Henning Graner from Germany and Round tables organised by EUDEC members

Tuesday 9th will be hosted by INDEC – Speakers to be confirmed

Wednesday 10th will be hosted by Americas/AERO. Speakers to be confirmed.

Come and join us. Get you tickets at

A taste of the speakers.

Moe Zimmerberg was raised and groomed from birth to be a scientist or mathematician, but after graduating from MIT, he decided that life in a laboratory scrambling for grants was not for him. The next ten years included a lot of traveling, settling in Santa Fe, New Mexico, some failed teaching attempts, a failed marriage… At the point where everything fell apart and he started to put his life back together, he met Richard Testa. Richard was running a small school for teenagers in his home. It was non-coercive but had a curriculum. Two years later, after much expansion, a very skeptical Moe was an accomplice in transforming the school from a benevolent dictatorship into a curriculum-free, non-hierarchical, democratic school. Ten years later Richard died (at the school) and Moe, along with Iku Fujimatsu, went on to work at the school for the next 20 years. “I’ve learned a few things in those 30 years, plus working in a non-hierarchical organization changes you.”

Moe will speak about

What I’ve learned in 30 years of working at a democratic school

The transition from benevolent dictatorship to direct democracy. Sabotage, conspiracy, and fracturing. Networking internationally. Surviving the death of the founder. Building and maintaining a culture of kindness.

Heather Yang, a college student. Graduated from the Humanities School, (Alternative/Democratic school). Organizer of IDEC in Taiwan. Co-initiator of TDEC (Taiwan Democratic Education Community)

Heather will explore the question – Do I become a person who I want to be?

The explorational journey of my learning, and how the Democratic Education helps me rediscover my life.

Henning Graner grew up in a small town in Western Germany. He remembers his time in elementary school well, although he began to feel increasingly bored. The problems began in high school, where, contrary to all promises, he could not pursue his passionate interests – mathematics and science – but had to deny them. After finishing school, Henning asked himself what actually went wrong at his school and what needed to be done differently. Through the children’s rights group K.R.Ă„.T.Z.Ă„. he finally became aware of the Democratic Schools. From that moment on, he pursued two goals: to found a Democratic School and to make the idea of Democratic Schools known in Germany.

Today he works at the Netzwerk-Schule in Berlin, which he co-founded, writes articles and strives to develop a theory of Democratic Schools. He is a member of the EUDEC Council, where he is responsible for research and theory development.

Henning will talk about

Developing a theory of Democratic Schools

One weakness of the Democratic Schools movement is that it has not yet developed a theory of its own. That could be one reason why the Democratic Schools at the universities have so far hardly been noticed and play almost no role in teacher training.

The need for a theory of Democratic Schools arises from the experience that there are different understandings of what is meant by a Democratic School. These different views can be in contradiction to one another without either of them being “wrong”. There are different “interpretations” of one and the same idea: the idea of ​​Democratic Schools.

Such a theory would have to meet at least three requirements. Firstly, it would have to take up the problems, conflicts and contradictions arising from practice, make them accessible to a rational debate and point out possible solutions. Secondly, it would have to be compatible with neighboring scientific disciplines and thirdly, it would have to establish a connection to neighboring social fields of practice.

It’s time to develop a theory of the Democratic Schools! Here we go!

IDEC2022@Summerhill Festival of Childhood

IDEC2022 will be part of the Summerhill Festival of Childhood which is being held from

5th – 10th August 2022 in the UK. 
This is the link for the Festival webpage.

IDEC and all related DECS such as EUDEC, APDEC, INDEC, SLDEC, ADEC, JDEC and all associations and groups and schools in the IDEC community are welcome to participate in this event. There will a marquee space available for IDEC to use.  We will have a few keynote speakers and our usual OPEN SPACE time and places available for everyone to contribute as we usually do. 

All participants are speakers and all speakers are participants.


The Summerhill Festival of Childhood is a community and family-friendly event that will bring together many exciting projects, collaborations, workshops, presentations and performances based on art, craft, educational and child rearing approaches, psychology, sustainability, community and children’s rights for the participants. It will also have an international conference approach and will facilitate seminars, talks and focus group discussions.
Due to the global pandemic we meet online for 2021 and in person in 2022.

Our online event will include the International Democratic Education Conference 2021 which we are proud to host. IDEC2021 is the annual meeting of the global Democratic Education community and has been organised by schools or relative organisations from various parts of the world for more than 25 years. We are also being joined by many people and organisations from all over the world and our community continues to grow every day.

Our plans for the online event include transmission of content via three channels, 24 hours a day for 6 -almost full- days in various languages. Some of the sessions will be scheduled but we also offer plenty of open space for whoever wishes to organise their own session. In addition a “world cafe” space will be available for every participant to have informal discussions if they choose. We plan to record as many of the lectures and workshops as possible so that we can stream them in different time zones in order to give the opportunity to everyone to enjoy as much of the programme as possible. 

Our vision:
Celebrating 100 years of Summerhill School and the inspirations A.S.Neill has given the world.
Celebrating childhood as a critical period of time for all of us and for the future of humanity.

Our mission:
To strengthen the sense of unity amongst organisations and individuals who are promoting and actively working towards positive change within education, childrearing and community.

To maximise their global impact by functioning as an incubator and accelerator of future collaborations, partnerships, alliances and movements for a more humane and sustainable future for us all.

Our values:
Our aim is to celebrate equality, children’s rights, creativity, well being, relieving pressures from childhood and embracing the values of:
Individuality. Celebrating uniqueness, self-awareness, self-regulation and self-direction.
Play. Celebrating the importance of free, pure and uninterrupted play.
Freedom not licence. Celebrating unconditional acceptance deriving from equality and the right to be oneself without infringing on other people’s freedom.
Community. Celebrating the capacity of inclusive and supportive communities to foster personal and social development, sustainability and healthy relationships towards societal change.
Emotional sincerity. Celebrating emotional honesty as an essential condition for social emotional development and a more humane world.

The fundraising campaign

To stay true to our values and principles, we are organising our online festival to be free registration so that we give everyone the opportunity to participate. A large amount of the preparation and the realisation of our online event is based on the work of our amazing volunteers.
Still we have to cover the costs of the technical part (communication platforms, web design, technical support before, during and after the event), the promotion part and the copyright fees for the films we will be screening.
We are organising this reward based fundraising campaign to give you the opportunity to support us to make this wonderful online festival a reality, and get some lovely prizes whilst doing it. 

We are offering a variety of perks from Summerhill itself, the festival, IDEC and friends, all of which contributing to support the event and to give you something lovely or a memory to treasure for your kind support. 

We chose natural and environmentally friendly materials and plastic free packages while supporting small businesses and independent young artists.

Please share our campaign far and wide even if you can’t afford to support us financially. Spreading the word will give the opportunity to more people to participate in the festival. 

We thank you warmly for your support and hope to see you during both our online and in person festival.