Crises in our society – climate, covid-19 and mass migration – seem to define not only the experience of learning but the experience of living and surviving that have implications for adult learning. We explore the concept of experience and examine its role in transformative learning. Our allies in this are Oskar Negt, Laurie A. Paul and René V. Arcilla. Negt rethinks the role of experience in pedagogy. Paul identifies the not-knowing aspect of our current experience and our inability to imagine how decisions translate into one’s way of living. Arcilla emphasises the importance of keeping conversations going – a bridging concept across the allies.