Each generation creates a future for the next. How do we help ensure it’s a positive one?

Each generation creates a future for the next
¿How do we help ensure it’s a positive one?

Written by Dr. Juliet Rose

GROW Colombia is not just a scientific research programme its ambition is to inspire the next generation. Supporting conservation in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world is a long-term task and we need to think beyond our own lifetimes. But how do you actually make this happen? 

As well as a massive ‘library’ of biodiversity, Colombia already has heaps of creative energy, a long history of storytelling and a multitude of organisations that know their local audiences very well. We sought out what was already there, made connections between different disciplines and skillsets, and explored how we could catalyse something together.
Early on, we identified Outdoor Classroom Day as a possible partner. Outdoor Classroom Day is a global initiative that is particularly popular with teachers and families across Colombia. We have joined forces with United Way, who organise the event in Colombia, to combine science activities linked to our research with their educational skills and networks.

Last year, over 20,000 people took part. This year, despite the pandemic, we have invited more people to the party, snowballing other local organisations to contribute to online knowledge-exchange and capacity-building events, and co-created resources for schools and home learning. 

 The result is a toolkit of activities that includes contributions from United Way, the Humboldt Institute, Medellin Botanic Garden, Cerros, and UN-Live Colombia, with more to come. Together, we have created a varied engagement programme that does what it asks others to do – share your knowledge, combine your strengths and work together. 

If you want to join in on 5 November, go to https://aprendiendoalairelibre.org/ and keep an eye out for further events.  For GROW Colombia, science is both a sprint and a relay. No matter how fast the advances we still need someone we can pass the baton to. 

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