Friday, March 1, 2019

Attract & Retain

Let's talk work a little...

The current practice of many conservation citizen science organizations is to have a few training events and then basically let people motivate themselves to do the work. I respect that, but we all remark that on average it is not working or rather that interest and commitment are not growing fast enough. 

The big conversation topic these days among citizen science organizations is about our struggle to attract and retain people. 

For sure, it is hard to pin any reason in particular.

My feeling is that we would be better off if we invite people to be with us in the field. Making it an experience that we share. 

But we should not stop there! We motivate people by being in the field with them as much as we can: it makes 'it' personal and it illustrates our genuineness and commitment first-hand. 

I guess "it's lead by example", walking the talk, do the work, eventually, some might get inspired (depending on the person who's leading the work). Empower the people. Create doers if you can. Then, delegate when you get a doer who wants to commit. In all cases, be genuine and make sure that you empower, empower, and empower again all the time — all the way through. 

The truth is that there are more followers than leaders. Another last truth is that there far too much distractions for people to keep the focus. It's ok, it's just the reality we have to work with. But we'll get there eventually...

Friday, February 1, 2019

"You can only protect what you love"... Not so much!

We have to acknowledge that we are operating in a world where true/deep ecological knowledge is inexistent. Basically, we have to develop ecological literacy from the ground up. 

In my view, one way to do it is through real knowledge and respect.

I often hear: "Inspire Love of nature", "you only protect what you love". I totally disagree. Get the pressure off our shoulders and the shoulders of the public! It's hard to love and even more to love 'right'! 

Besides, it's also a fallacy. Do we really think that all the heroes that hid Jewish people from Nazis were loving the people they protected? No!  

It's actually not about love, it's first and foremost about understanding and respect.  

If in the process of understanding and respecting Nature, one come to love Nature, then make sure that it never becomes a suffocating kind of love. 

Always 'love' nature for what it is, never for what you want it to be.