This month, NWEI Executive Director David Macek and Director of Learning Lacy Cagle headed to Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada for the 9th World Environmental Education Congress, an international congress addressing education for environment and sustainability. This year there were over 700 participants from 64 countries in attendance, all working to build a relevant network among environmental non-profits, civil society associations, universities and other institutions. Lacy Cagle presented a new white paper on NWEI’s model for change. The paper, which you can download here, is entitled Transformative Learning, Systems Thinking and Behavior Change: Northwest Earth Institute’s Pedagogy for Sustainability.
NWEI Director David Macek shared, “It was quite an experience to hear community stories and research from around the world. In any given workshop, I found myself participating in dialogues with educators from countries such as Columbia, Vietnam, and Kenya. It was illuminating to see how similar many of our challenges were and to have this time to brainstorm solutions together.”
David and Lacy were particularly moved by the plenary speeches by Jeannette Armstrong of Syilx Okanagan and Guujaaw of Haida Nation. Both are members of First Nations tribe in Canada. As David reflected, “These speakers shared heartfelt and powerful messages that challenged some perspectives I have as a white person. The principles they shared of land stewardship and nature connectedness were very impactful.”
Lacy shared, “I was really excited about the congress theme this year: Culturenvironment: Weaving New Connections. So many times environmental education focuses heavily or exclusively on scientific knowledge acquisition, and it’s encouraging to see that changing. I was also excited to hear so much emphasis on transformation, pedagogy, and recognizing culture’s impact on how we view or frame the world around us.”
NWEI had the opportunity to connect with hundreds of fellow environmental educators and sustainability advocates via our exhibitor table and Lacy’s presentation. Many visitors were excited about our work and we look forward to having new participants in our programs from this global audience. You can click here to download NWEI’s newest white paper.