The author discusses three selected elements of the cultural heritage of Greater Poland which can and should help the society of this region to cope with the challenges of the 21st century. He shows the role of Greater Poland in the cultural transfer from West European countries over a millennium of Polish history, from the reception of Christianity in the year 966 up to the 20th century. The second element of the cultural heritage of Greater Poland consists in the traditions of a civil society. In the 19th and the first half of the 20th century in this area a more modern society was shaped compared to other parts of Poland, a society aware of its goals and the advantages that follow from collective action. The opportunity to enhance the habit and skills of continued activity based on a thorough analysis of social needs and implementation of rational measures to deal with them gave rise in the 1830s to a gradually developed system of Polish economic, social, educational and other organizations which were only dismantled by the communist authorities in the first years after the Second World War. The third of the selected elements of the cultural heritage of Greater Poland described by the author is the contribution made to the region’s economic, social and cultural development by German settlers arriving in waves since the 13th century, as well as Jews, the Czech Brothers and other refugees from Bohemia and Moravia who arrived in large numbers in the second half of the 16th century.