Global Environmental Education Partnership
As well as being here in Wisconsin for the NAAEE annual conference, I was also here to attend a strategic planning meeting of the Global Environmental Education Partnership (the GEEP).
The GEEP is very much in its formative stages, it is aiming to bring together a 'network of networks' to help advance policy, governance and practice in Environmental Education. In a globalized world it makes total sense to bring the thought leaders, networkers and doers together more tightly for collaboration, learning and cross fertilization.
What impresses me most about the direction the GEEP has set off on is its commitment to quality. Alan Reid from Monash Uni in Australia gave a really great presentation on the art of writing a case study. The GEEP website will host case studies, but only really good ones - it has guidelines for writers to follow. There are two there already, which are both really insightful and useful. Crucially the case studies will not just be on the practice of Environmental Education, there will be write ups on how to influence policy, how to measure impact, how to work with different funders; so it will be useful for programme managers as well as practitioners.
I probably laboured the point in the meeting, but creating content that is interesting and useful is an absolute must for ventures like the GEEP to succeed. People will not engage with something like the GEEP unless they are attracted to its outputs. If they encounter a poorly produced GEEP output and have a bad experience, it will be hard to entice them back - once bitten, twice shy. A well thought through, properly funded and skillfully implemented content strategy will help the GEEP gain followers and credibility. This then helps build the influence and reach the GEEP is seeking to achieve its goals.
The case studies are a fabulous start and I'm sure reporting on innovative practice, thought pieces on developments at policy level and enticing online and real world events will emerge from the growing network of organisations already involved. All this content, if carefully moderated, strategically placed and well promoted, will be read and shared by the networks that join the GEEP so that Environmental Education professionals in their networks all benefit. Hopefully the GEEP will fill a gap that badly needs addressing in the Sustainability Education world.