Björn Vilhjálmsson

Björn is a teacher (BEd) by profession and has Masters degree (MEd) in Educational Theory and Adult Learning. Of special interest to him are theories of learning and the development of self, especially through lived and embodied experience, and reflective methods. He has been a teacher at primary and secondary levels in Denmark and Iceland and also at the university level at the University of Iceland. He worked at “The Other House” – center for young people 18-25 years from 1994-2005, when he became self-employed at his training company, Áskorun.
Since 1989 Björn has pioneered and developed wilderness therapy for youth at risk, in the most remote areas of Iceland, basing the therapy-work on existential and experiential theory and methods.
He has been involved in the training field using experiential methods with both young people and adults in the public and private sectors since 1992 and internationally since 1995.
He has participated in developing and teaching university courses on groupwork, small group facilitation, experiential learning and outdoor education at both the University of Iceland, faculty of educational science, and at Hólar – a Rural University.
Björn is curious and trying to live experientially and with (some) awareness, he is trying to stay as close as possible to each “now” and trying at the same time to figure out how to make love stay.
He is a climber and mountaineer at heart and always sees the world firstly from the point of view of a climber. Nature speaks strongly to him and to make him happy – just throw him out!

Áskorun, Iceland
Áskorun (in English – The Challenge) is a private training provider since 2000, on topics such as leader-ship, communication, problem-solving, intercultural learning, team-building and group-dynamics. Áskorun has more than 20 years of experience of training and education with different clients and learners, ranging from private companies, state- and municipal institutions and organizations, and with various associations, NGO´s and organizations working in the youth field. Áskorun is a pioneer in youthwork and initiatives for youth-at-risk in Iceland.

The philosophical stance of the company is informed by Social-Constructivism and Positive Psychology. The company´s philosopy and working methods is rooted in by the methodology of Outdoor Experiential Learning, Inter-Cultural Learning and other non-formal learning methods, which does not exclude learning by formal methods.
Áskorun and its staff have many years of experience working on projects for training and education in the youth field, developing educational projects, and pioneering counseling and therapy interventions for disadvantaged young people, such as:
In 2001-2003, we developed a holistic counseling service, Total Counseling, for young people in Reykjavik in a pilot project in the EU Leonardo da Vinci program.
In 1989-2008, we pioneered a wilderness therapy for youth at risk and designed an Icelandic version of this kind of existential therapy, The Highlanders Project, in a remote area in the NV of Iceland.
Áskorun has provided trainers to the Pool of Trainers of the EU and the European Parlament, and has been participating as team members or participants in European trainings since 1995.

The Challenge cooperates with Outward Bound Associations and other educational or training providers of outdoor, experiential learning across Europe. Together we provide training courses for teachers, youth-workers and HR managers across Europe in process learning and experiential education, both self-financed and supported by EU Educational Programs.

Most recent of our projects is the Erasmus+ research project, Reflect – reflection as a generative competence in higher education – in 2014-2016.