In this book we are interested in how learning inclusion in a digital age can lead to an enhanced voice and sense of belonging for all participants. We are also interested in how this entails the establishment of what we would call cultures of learning inclusion. The emphasis is upon culture; we mentioned the Norwegian anthropologist Frederik Barth in the Preface who highlighted the importance of the weave of individuals in social relationships as a foundation for inclusion. This weave gives rise to different forms of community, digital or otherwise and, by extension, accompanying cultures with different markers that offer ways of expressing and understanding others, setting expectations and making possible a sense of belonging and voice for participants. Cultures of inclusion are shared ways of being together through the weave of activities taking place. But what might culture mean in an educational sense for cultures of learning inclusion? Let us consider some examples.

Pedagogy in modern times has sought to define itself as underpinned by a culture of science seeking truth through refutable inquiry. It has formed a body of evidence-based knowledge approved by universities, academics and professionally accredited associations. The last mentioned would also include national teacher accrediting bodies. The seminal work of Hattie, and especially his well-received Visible Learning [1] evidencing 800 meta-syntheses of effective teaching and learning and the follow-up Visible Learning: The Sequel [2] (considering a synthesis of 2100 meta-analyses of achievement) are excellent examples. This, however, must be regarded as only part of the story. Pedagogy is central in all cultures, and it is not always founded, or historically reliant, upon the stamp of so-called Western scientific based teaching in a classroom or equivalent modern institutionalised setting. Take for example, First Nations pedagogy in Australia which is 60,000 years old and predates the formalised pedagogy and training of teachers outlined at the beginning of this paragraph (i.e. national teacher accrediting bodies).

It is the longest unbroken living culture in the world and is actually not a single culture, but many interrelated cultures and peoples across an immense continent. At the beginning of colonisation there were 250 living languages; now there are 120.Footnote 1

First Nations pedagogy is founded upon knowledge and practices that are community- and place-based, where direct questioning and verbal transmission pedagogy driven in a classroom setting is downplayed. Assessment is driven by the student reflecting, trialling in practice and demonstrating independence on the basis of the lessons learnt [3]. The student is called upon and is also self-motivated to show resilience and demonstrate that they can survive in what some might regard as harsh conditions. They undertake significant self-assessment alongside the supportive eye of the teacher, who might be a respected elder in the community.

Dobson’s colleague and good friend, Professor Lester Irabinna Rigney, a descendant of the Narungga, Kaurna and Ngarrindjeri Peoples of South Australia and employed in the University of South Australia, has related how, in the pedagogy of his people there is always a teacher, a learner and a third person who checks something has or is been learnt. Thus understood, knowledge, learning and assessment is an intensely collaborative activity, where the student is less an individual and is, from the very first moment, immersed and woven into shared acts of learning and assessment. Rigney [4] also explains that, once something is taught to you, you are, in turn, obligated to teach it to the next generation when it is your turn. All are thus learners, and all are teachers. This bears some likeness to a revelatory pedagogy, as formulated by Guthrie ([5], p. 18), ‘knowledge is based on revealed truths from gods and previous generations so that important knowledge comes from deities and the ancestors rather than human inquiry.’ There are also many kinds of knowledge and skills learnt outside of the classroom through apprenticeship. We are of course thinking of the vocational education sector where there is similarly a shared educational space or weave between the notice and the expert mentor [6]. Assessment is in many senses continuous and feedback likewise in applied settings.

This culture of learning inclusion where all are learners echoes the often-voiced proverb ‘It takes a village to raise a child.’ This motto was popularised by Hilary Clinton’s [7] book It takes a village. The title has actually been attributed to African proverbs in the sense of ‘if you are not taught by your mother, you will be taught by the world’. We might consider this to be of less relevance in cities. However, just as we might find examples in rural communities, so too in cities where neighbourhood and community bonds exist, such as examples shared in the annual international meetings of the UNESCO Global Network of Learning Cities [8]. In both the rural and city areas, the upbringing of the child, including offering them feedback, is not limited to teachers or the immediate parents. The extended group of relatives and the wider community have a key role to play. With this in mind, learning inclusion is distributed across the generations and spatially across the community and not reserved to particular professions, such as teachers or associated professionals like child welfare officers or youth workers.

Accordingly, there are different ontological (ways of being) and epistemological (knowledge) worldviews at stake. On the one hand, there is a world view that prioritises scientific evidence supported by hypotheses and falsification [9] to justify what is sound educational practice. On the other hand, there is a pedagogy based upon alternative worldviews, developed over long periods of time with accumulated and trialled practices. In the latter, the local historical context, its accompanying culture and location in a specific place are given priority. These alternative practices emphasise a place-based pedagogy. This is not to mean that scientific and evidence-based pedagogies have little interest in place; they talk in turn of local curricula that draw upon local historical examples. But while these are integrated in the curriculum, this is based upon the evidence that they support modern views of ‘what works’ educational practices.

A word of caution is required. Placed-based knowledge can also be regarded as scientific in that its based upon trial and error, detailed observation, experimenting and innovating over many generations through what might be called intelligent reasoning to engage with a changing environment and ensure survival. Modern science would assert differentness in the sense that it leans towards to universalism and is based upon a quicker time trajectory. With this is predicated upon a shorter timeline from idea to fruition, it is less inclined to consider a local limiting origin and attentiveness to the context of application that is so important for place-based knowledge.

Consequently, in placed-based pedagogies the local historical context is the first principle and the more universally founded science of pedagogy is relegated to a lesser position. In this book we acknowledge both a scientific understanding of pedagogy and a place-based, historically accumulated practice of pedagogy (as a different kind of science). Both approaches have relevance and a case for validity can be made for each, one based upon evidence from a more universal understanding of good teaching and learning across time and place and one based upon tried and tested local practice in a delimited time and place. In other words, the culture of learning inclusion can be justified and based upon either science or a place-based knowledge base. As Nietzsche [10] said in his genealogical view, and here paraphrased in our own words, ‘it is not a question of what is truth, but more a question of how it is made, under what conditions and in whose interests.’

It might be charged that cultures of learning inclusion in First Nations pedagogy are a long way from the kinds of pedagogy experienced in European countries and the LIDA (Learning in a Digital Age) projectFootnote 2 that inspires this book. We would argue that this is not the case on two counts. Firstly, new migrants and refugees or other disadvantaged groups in Europe identify with diverse cultural backgrounds and would acknowledge pedagogies that might mirror those connected with accumulated historical educational practices in their homelands, where so-called scientific practices of education are not necessarily the first priority. Secondly, some of the digital practices connected with learning inclusion, which we will discuss in the next section under the heading of the pedagogy of connectivity, do not necessarily have the same scientific standing as other forms of pedagogy. However, they might give rise in themselves to different and diverse cultures of practice where inclusion can be (but is not always) a leitmotif as all are invited to join, have voice and experience a sense of belonging. The threshold of membership might be simply access to the internet and accompanying electronic device such as a computer or mobile.

We would now like to add another dimension to our understanding of the educational culture of learning inclusion, namely that not only is there the opportunity for participants to be learners and acquire not merely funds of knowledge to draw upon, but we would also like to propose that they acquire and learn what we would term funds of identity, where knowledge strengthens a sense of a person’s belonging and voice. Together they constitute a foundation upon which cultures of learning inclusion grow and give rise to markers—let us call them cultural markers in the spirit of Fredrik Barth [11]—that make it possible to understand the ways of others, set expectations and offer a sense of belonging and voice for participants.

Fry in his important research on successful schooling in remote Indigenous communities in the far north of Australia identifies the importance of education and schooling where students feel they belong in an existential, identity reinforcing sense:

Aboriginal cultural inclusion in remote school services contains many forms. These include representation of community voices and perspectives, governance and capacity to shape the important components of service provision, the overlaying of Indigenous perspectives across curriculum and teaching practices, relevant socialisation and cultural approaches to working across kinships systems and relationship protocols, cultural reinforcers, symbols and artefacts … Central to this overlay is Aboriginal employment at all levels of school services ([12], p. 206).

Indigenous staff employed in respected (teaching) roles, along with the acknowledgement of indigenous language, curriculum content and voice are essential. I (Dobson) have heard Gary Fry talk of this in terms of ‘Belonging Education’. By this meaning education as teaching and learning that confirms the sense of indigenous student, teacher and community belonging in educational settings characterised by familiar cultural markers of identity and recognition in a mutually reinforcing manner.

A key premise in LIDA is that the accumulated knowledge possessed by different experts, policy makers, education and related professionals, vulnerable adult minorities and disadvantaged groups, is distributed across and in multiple networks that are not always connected or shared. This accumulated knowledge can remain invisible, resulting in intended or unintended (structural) discrimination for those involved, or it can be a shared fund of knowledge based upon skills and experiences, in diverse contexts and across different national and international borders and contexts that can be policy, professional, family and community based. The term ‘fund of knowledge’ has been defined as follows (and we would extend this definition beyond the household and individual functioning to encompass policy, professional and community contexts):

These historically accumulated and culturally developed bodies of knowledge and skills essential for household or individual functioning and well-being ([13], p. 113).

Funds of knowledge, as a concept seeks to acknowledge in an appreciative manner, what has at times been considered in a deficit manner in the conversations about and with those disadvantaged and not included.

Some have also proposed that a more fruitful concept is funds of identity, which references how ‘funds of knowledge’ become ‘funds of identity’ when participants (in our context, all the groups mentioned in the previous paragraphs) appropriate them to define, consider and express themselves [14]. The definition of funds of identity highlights this identity component:

Historically accumulated, culturally developed and socially distributed resources that are essential for a person’s self-definition, self-expression and self-understanding ([15], p. 31).

Another key point to note is that funds of identity are captured and developed not merely through ethnographic and work-intensive observational methods, which were the predominant methodologies used by funds of knowledge researchers in the 1990s. We have since witnessed a digital revolution and the embracing of a culture based upon self-made videos and photographs, written digital diaries and bilingual texts, blogs and other forms of multimodal self-expression. In this book we explore digital storytelling as one such fund of identity-supporting resource used by those wishing to inculcate cultures of learning and understanding of what it means to include socially, belong and find a voice.

The chapter entitled “Joining Voices for Social Inclusion: Activism and Resilience of Professionals Working with People in Situations of Vulnerability”, by Ana Costa and Susana Coimbra, is a good illustration of the role played by professionals learning activism and promoting inclusion as a core task for their members and those with whom they work. This engagement promotes professional resilience and supports them in overcoming identified obstacles. Developing social and political consciousness and humility are considered assets rather than liabilities. Above all, professionals are seen to be able to convert know-that funds of knowledge into know-how funds of professional and community identity that lead to action and enhanced communication, connection with the disadvantaged. Dobson [16] has gone even further, suggesting that there is a third component in such a conceptual framework, namely the know-how-it-feels of increased professional empathy, affection and cultural sensitivity.

This book also explores the manner in which funds of knowledge have become more openly available. In the chapter co-authored by Espen Stranger-Johannessen and Valeria Damiani entitled “Multilingual Stories for Immigrants and Refugees: A Language-as-Resource Approach”, the focus is upon Open Educational Resources (OER) and the changing nature of knowledge that makes them possible. OER are another iteration of open knowledge where pay walls are eliminated to make the knowledge more inclusive. Of course, the assumption is that, if the resource is circulated digitally, the reader has free or cheap digital access. This may of course may not always be the case in reality.

Open knowledge has a long history, that predates the internet with public libraries and labour union organisations as cultural markers and precursors. The Curtin Open Knowledge Initiative (COKI)Footnote 3 is a good example of how higher education institutions are investing in what some have called the re-invention of universities. One of the outputs from COKI is an open-source book published by MIT. It can be read as a manifesto for open knowledge and a common, shared pool of resources. Mongomery et al. ([17], p. 2) identify the traditional binary between sanctioned and precious knowledge, often protected by a pay wall, and the craft knowledge of communities. The former is sometimes considered know that and the latter know how, or what Aristotle [18] considered respectively as episteme and techne.

Occasionally, some forms of knowledge will be accorded the status of wisdom, termed phronesis by Aristotle [18]. More often, wisdom is considered to be implicit or incorporated into the “craft” knowledge of communities. Education deals with knowledge that exists and the sharing of it. Research institutions value and seek new knowledge and distinguish formal, certified forms of knowledge—sanctioned by journals, publishing houses, libraries, or national institutions—from informal, unsanctioned forms of knowledge, the most ubiquitous evidence of which is sometimes found on contemporary social media platforms.

The interesting development in our context is the manner in which the binary difference between the two might be dissolved on occasions. Again, there is a precedence that teachers might be encouraged to become researchers of their own professional practice or the citizen who is empowered to write and publish reviews on social media about research knowledge produced by universities [19].

We would, in summary, contend that digital stories and digital storytelling can be cultural markers of inclusion that are learnt and offer both voice and experiences of social belonging. We have identified, in this section, two aspects giving rise to these cultural markers that enable participants to understand the ways of others, set expectations and offer a sense of belonging and voice for participants: firstly, universal science-based evidence vs. historically embedded and space-based contextualised knowledge and practices, and secondly, funds of knowledge that hold the potential to become funds of identity.

1 The Pedagogy of Connectivity in a Digital Environment

There was a time—it seems so long ago, and it isn’t—when education was largely measured by the quality of classroom experiences, where teacher and student were exposed to the voice, expression and corporeality of each other. We named and regarded this as a rich learning and teaching experience. It was a form of chiasm to recall Merleau-Ponty’s famous use of the term denoting the shared inter-corporeal space of bodies, signifier (e.g. words) and history, where the result is the corporeal experience of touched-touching, seen-seeing, speaking-spoken and so on (cited in [20]).

Theories of pedagogy have prioritised communities of learning and co-constructing (constructivism) the learning experience and have shared this underlying premise, namely the importance of physical presence in time and place [21]. This approach is aptly summarised as ‘cooperative learning’ as defined by two colleagues in personal conversation (Kaja Halland and Kathinka Blichfeldt, 3.2.21):

Cooperative learning is based on the principle of constructivism, with attention to the contribution that social interaction can make. Constructivism rests on the idea that individuals learn through building their own knowledge, connecting new ideas and experiences to existing knowledge and experiences to form new or enhanced understanding [22]. Also, it rests on sociocultural theory of development which argues that learning takes place when learners solve problem beyond their current developmental level, supported by teacher or peers [23].

We only have to consider courses on general pedagogy attended by initial teacher education students for decades in universities and teacher training colleges where they have been exposed to Dewey (democracy and education), Vygotsky (zone of proximal development), Skinner (behaviourism) and Piaget (cognitive assimilation of knowledge through experience), along with specialists on the importance of motivation, such as Bandura (on self-efficacy) and Dweck (on growth mindset).Footnote 4

With the Covid pandemic we became acutely aware of the role of online teaching and learning. While many sought to simply transpose their classroom bound understanding and practice of education to the digital arena using traditional theories of cooperative learning, it has been contended for some time that learning and teaching in what we might call a purely online space is fundamentally different [24]. We have in mind the work of Siemens [25] as a pioneer in this respect. Since the early 2000s, he has, along with colleagues in the learning analytics community of the Society of Learning Analytics (SoLar)Footnote 5 theorised this as a pedagogy of connectivism.

What is a pedagogy of connectivism? If knowledge is distributed widely in different networks, some conceptual (carried in our heads) and some external in books or on the internet, how might it best be taught or acquired?

The pipe is more important than the content within the pipe…Our ability to learn what we need for tomorrow is more important than what we know today. A real challenge for any learning theory is to actuate known knowledge at the point of application. When knowledge, however, is needed, but not known, the ability to plug into sources to meet the requirements becomes a vital skill. As knowledge continues to grow and evolve, access to what is needed is more important than what the learner currently possesses. (Siemens, op.cit)

For Siemens teaching and learning is now about being able to connect different sources and networks of knowledge, residing in particular places and repositories, many of which are distributed across the internet. We circle back to our earlier point: we will still need knowledge as funds of knowledge in order to spur us into action. Critical thinking is still vital, but of the character required to select and evaluate the pipe and the contents of the pipe.

The roles of the teacher and the assessor change. As knowledge is increasingly based upon connecting with networks, the physically or virtually present teacher is now only one possible—although undoubtedly valuable—connection and source of judgement and valuation. We are thinking of Google and Siri as both supporting and competing entities. Even ChatGPT artificial intelligence falls into this category [26]. We must also consider the issues of inclusion and equity. What of those who are less able to join networks, lack suitable equipment, skills or a quiet place? During the Covid-19 pandemic, many commented on those who lacked access to one or all of these. We know that, while the digital can connect, it can also intensify divisions as noted by UNESCO’s Reimagining our Futures Together: A New Social Contract for Education [27]. In general terms this has been highlighted with reference to adult learning education (ALE):

Deep and persistent inequalities still exist in ALE participation and key target groups are not being reached. (…) Globally, between and within countries, there remain deep and persistent inequalities in ALE participation, with many vulnerable groups excluded and seemingly off the radar of policy-makers. Migrants and refugees, older adults, adults with disabilities, those living in rural areas, and adults with low prior educational attainment are among the groups facing the greatest barriers to participation in ALE. ([28], p. 22)

UNESCO’s Global Network of Learning Cities,Footnote 6 launched with the Beijing Declaration in 2013, is an example of an initiative that attempts to bridge the digital divide by supporting and showcasing community sourced learning opportunities across cities, many of which encompass a digital learning component. The fifth international conference on Learning Cities took place in 2021 and explicitly acknowledged this in the wake of Covid-19’s impact. Community provision enables individuals to overcome their own personal limitations in terms of skills or access to digital platforms [29,30,31]. It is important to note that lifelong learning is not simply lifelong along the life course but includes spatial distribution across cities and in this sense is life-wide learning [32].

We should also note that Learning Cities, connectivism and the pedagogy with which they are associated are not neutral. We are reminded of Habermas’s [33] well-known understanding that knowledge is not neutral, it can represent different interests and in so doing is value-laden to support these different interests. He proposed a typology of knowledge interests as technical (means-ends), cultural (acknowledging and understanding different cultural influences) and emancipatory (empowering participants and voice). In our context, Learning Cities and connectivism might be considered to further the means-ends project imperative of goal-directed technical knowledge, without paying due attention to the cultural or emancipatory interests of the creators or users of this knowledge. To believe that connectivism is able to ignore these different interests would be tantamount to believing and acting under the assumption that knowledge is value-free and indifferent to such considerations.

Students and teachers might have individual and social preferences for traditional corporeal experiences of learning and teaching respectively. But a dominant imperative for the future skills needed to learn and teach in an online world will be judged by a new imperative, that of any-time, any-place learning. It is will also include more flexible submission of whatever has been learnt for assessment and evaluation [34]. This might well be more inclusive if afforded to all, this kind of learning extends beyond the walls of the traditional place-based classroom and involves bringing together the disciplines of learning and teaching with the discipline of online technology and computers. A glimpse of this is already seen in the emerging science of learning analytics where teachers are increasingly asked, at the very least, to interact continuously with, and analyse, assessment and evaluation data captured on digital platforms.

Put differently, the skills of connectivism to be developed and acquired by adults, children and the professionals, such as teachers can also be understood by what we would call ‘digital literacy’. Some might suggest that this is a new form of computer skill or at the very least a screen-based skill; and this would be close to our understanding. We would however warn that it is not the kind of computer skills associated with computer programming or writing code, even though children in many countries might now learn these skills at a very basic level in late primary school as part of their national curriculum.

A second example is provided by Tony Sumner in his chapter “Including the Marginalised: Engaging People with Dementia and the Elderly in Technology-Based Participatory Citizen Storytelling”. Digital storytelling becomes a way of connecting elderly people living with dementia with each other, their partners and carers and others. In the development and delivery of health and social care services, digital storytelling and digital stories become part of an empowering process as these marginalised groups can reframe their own experience and expertise to influence provision of services.

At the end of this book, we include a glossary of the main terms we have introduced and used. One of these terms is people in situations of vulnerability and it includes resilience. Some of the other terms presented in the glossary are:

  • Learning inclusion (how cultures of inclusion are taught, learnt and hence experienced).

  • Emancipation and finding a voice (as empowerment and active citizenship).

  • Belonging (as social inclusion and wellbeing).

  • Connectivism (as the skills to source and connect knowledge when required to solve problems and meet learning, teaching or other purposes).

  • Lifelong learning (as more than learning along the life course, it also includes life-wide learning across cities, such as those evidenced in the Global Network of Learning Cities).

  • Professional activism as professionals are ethically and politically engaged in educational, social and community contexts.

  • Learning in the spirit of Freire [35] empowers participants and is not motivated by deficit understandings of the learners; on the contrary, it is a form of appreciative pedagogy guided by the resources of those involved towards their growth and emancipation.

  • Funds of knowledge and funds of identity (both requiring the other and thus reinforcing each other in the pursuit of belonging).

It is timely to acknowledge that the term inclusion has been around for a long time with specific words added in front or behind it, such as special inclusion or inclusion for all. Learning inclusion is also known by other terms such as empowerment or offering equality of opportunity to mention a couple of terms. What is new in this book is that we make ‘learning inclusion’ and the accompanying phrase ‘the creation of cultures of learning inclusion’ central leitmotifs and goals. The emphasis is upon how, why and what the learning of inclusion is and might mean both in theory and in practice.

We strongly advocate for the terms learning inclusion and cultures of learning inclusion, in which different kinds of disadvantaged minorities and the groups and communities to which they belong take control over the shaping and telling of their stories and their life opportunities. As Rifaie Tammas [36], a refugee from Syria, put it:

While … (most) … organisations are well-meaning and do not directly coerce refugees to share their stories, there is often an expectation that refugees owe the wider public their stories. Thus, the expectation of sharing one’s story can transform into an obligation. I realised this when I politely declined an invitation to share my story from an institution that supported me in the past. Instead of the usual understanding response, a senior staff member at the institution said he was “very disappointed” that I could not save a few minutes of my time to help with their outreach work given what they have done for me.

There is an important lesson in the Māori understanding of the pepeha, meaning your self-introduction story you share with another on meeting them for the first time; identifying your connection to place and people over time, sometimes over generations if it is known. As Dobson’s colleague Pine Southon (Hautohu Matua)Footnote 7 put it, ‘it is customary to share as much or as little as you feel comfortable with sharing and this will vary according to the occasion.’

A related point is that the disadvantaged already have a voice, it is not something others give them. Others, including professionals can actively co-facilitate the sharing of this voice. The goal is not necessarily the disadvantaged being left to themselves to ‘pull themselves up by their own hair’ so to speak.Footnote 8 It is not about putting the burden solely upon them to find the platform and medium. Professionals have an important role in walking alongside the disadvantaged, not in front or behind them but rather accompanying them [38]. As Serres [39] put it in his well-received book the Troubadour of Knowledge, the pedagogue in the time of the early Greeks had the function of patiently accompanying and tutoring the learner on the journey to the unknown and not yet learnt. This is also true of those desiring to co-create and implement participatory policies of learning inclusion in our digital age. Thus, it is not the pedagogue or others for them but with them.

2 The Three Parts of the Book

The first part of this book (chapters “Promoting Social Inclusion and Mutual Understanding: Intertwined Efforts at Local, National and International Level”, “Towards Wellbeing-ness as an Experience of Inclusion, Belonging and Voice in a Digital (Post-Covid) World of Global Change”, and “Promoting Learning Inclusion Through the Global Network of Learning Cities and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)”) uses the lens of authorities and transnational organisations (level 1 in the triangular figure introduced in the Preface) to consider learning inclusion understood in relation to how social belonging, digital society and finding a voice is played out in the world of policy. It is exemplified through analyses of (a) EU funded projects on inclusion, (b) wellbeing policies in a country such as NZ and, (c) UNESCO’s Global Networks of Learning Cities (GNLC). It is organised around a question framed broadly in the following way: How can governments and intergovernmental organisations support learning inclusion and active citizenship?

The second part of the book (chapters “Fostering Social Inclusion of People in Situations of Vulnerability: Experiences from the Italian and Portuguese contexts”, “Joining Voices for Social Inclusion: Activism and Resilience of Professionals Working with People in Situations of Vulnerability”, and “Voice, Belonging, Storytelling and Transformation in Digital Storytelling Workshop Settings: Some Philosophical Considerations”) uses a different lens, namely that of the education sector and its public/private enterprises. Specifically, the second corner of the triangle (level 2 of the triangle) is considered where the unit of conceptual analysis is that of institutions and how is learning inclusion, along with social belonging, digital society and finding a voice actioned. The chapters explore (a) the different cultural institutional contexts in which inclusion is played out in the case of Portugal and Italy, (b) the practice and origin of storytelling from the late twentieth Century to the current day in the institutionalised form of storytelling circles, (c) the struggle and advances of professional groups advocating for inclusion of disadvantaged groups and (d) how might educators design for inclusive learning. The organising question for this part is: How can the education sector and public/private enterprises support learning inclusion and active citizenship?

The final part of the book (chapters “We Belong and Connect When We Have a Voice: Towards a Learning Design for Inclusive Learning”, “Bridging the Gaps: Promoting Competences for Democratic Culture and the Wellbeing of Girls Through Digital Storytelling”, “Multilingual Stories for Immigrants and Refugees: A Language-as-Resource Approach”, “Including the Marginalised: Engaging People with Dementia and the Elderly in Technology-Based Participatory Citizen Storytelling”, and “The Critique of Learning Inclusion in a Digital World: A Conversation”) considers the remaining part of the triangle (level 3) and adopts the lens of vulnerable adults and their educators to focus on the lived experience of learning inclusion, social belonging, digital society and finding a voice. This part of the book continues the theme of digital storytelling and asks: How is the methodology of digital storytelling used and experienced by different ‘user’ groups? The chapters are self-contained case studies of (a) teenage girls learning how to create and use digital stories, (b) experiences of developing multilingual story resources for immigrants and refugees and lastly, an important study of the challenges and successes of engaging people with dementia and the elderly in technology-based participatory citizen storytelling.

Chapter “The Critique of Learning Inclusion in a Digital World: A Conversation” is worth a special mention. It acknowledges Arjen Wals, SDG4 subseries advisor of the Springer SDG series who raises a number of important questions in his reading of the book manuscript before final publication. He asks if a more critical approach to digital inclusion and learning inclusion as we put it, would be more desirable in the book we offer to the reader and the world at large. In the form of an imagined conversation, the editors of this book consider and respond to his questions in this final chapter. The theme of critique is also taken up in the Afterword by Agrusti and Hardy. They raise the importance of the vulnerable and disadvantaged developing critical awareness of their social reality by developing a consciousness, what Freire called a conscientization process [35]. This leads to a questioning of social myths and forms of established traditions. Simply put, the ‘is’ is questioned and a new ‘ought’ is en-visioned - gaining words, images, sounds and a form open to multiple forms and cultures of experience.