Looking back and looking forwards

Aug 24, 2021 | General

View through the canopy of a tree, green leaves and a blue sunny sky beyond

It’s been a while since I posted a blog, and we all know why!  The plan is that this will be the start of a more regular blog presence – hopefully more successful than the launch of the Weekly Read in February 2020…

Here’s an update on some of the Human Nature work that’s been going on and a sneak preview of what’s coming up this autumn. 

In 2020 our sell out course Introduction to Social Science for Conservation ran three times and was a great success.  Feedback included “thank you for running such a tremendous course”, “thank you for a wonderful course” and “this was really useful and interesting, I liked the way you put things over”.  One person also told me that the course had changed her life – but it turned out that was the discovery of Calendly (an online calendar planner I use) not entirely due to the course material!  Given that my original plan for Human Nature was to run in person courses and add virtual courses in a couple of years, this positive feedback has been a great relief.  Knowing that the online format has delivered a positive experience for course participants and allowed them to learn and gain confidence in conservation social sciences has been really important. 

In the next few weeks, our first bespoke course comes to an end.  Through this journey I’ve been working with a conservation organisation which is committed to building staff capacity in social sciences to support its work in tropical communities.  I’ve built them a course which meets their specific needs.  They have an online Hub containing all their training materials to support access across multiple time zones.  Towards the end of the summer we’ll be finishing the course through Zoom meet ups with the course participants.  I’m really looking forward to meeting them and hearing about the ways they’ve been applying the skills and confidence they’ve gained from the course. 

For the last six months, I’ve been providing mentoring support to a small conservation organisation with ambitions to catalyse a change in the way they, and others in their network, use social sciences to communicate with audiences.  Through monthly meet ups and subject specific support, we have explored how they integrate social sciences expertise into work across their team, projects and partnerships.  It’s been a very positive working experience and I look forward to seeing their plans come to fruition in the coming months.

There has also been a lot of planning going on to develop the best ways to support those of you wanting to use more conservation social science.  So here’s a look at what’s on the horizon.

The Introduction to Social Science for Conservation course will be relaunched in a hybrid format.  Reviews from last year’s participants showed that people really enjoyed the live elements – especially networking and discussing the content.  However, there are some downsides of everything being live.  Therefore the 2021 course will include recorded lessons as well as virtual meet ups. This course will run in the autumn and dates will be announced in the next few weeks.  If you want to be first to hear when the course is available to book please subscribe to our Course newsletter here.   

This autumn will also see the launch of the Reducing Your Footprint membership.  This will be a space for individuals who want to live more sustainably but are overwhelmed, worry that they can’t make a difference (if that’s you, please know that you can), or just aren’t sure where to start.  I’ll be providing a teaching element which allows you to identify the unique changes you can make to your life and how to make them.  There will be an online community space where we gather to encourage and support each other, because living more sustainably can feel very lonely.  The content will be underpinned by social sciences – evidence from environmental psychology, behavioural sciences and other disciplines where researchers are exploring how we can all contribute to having a healthier planet for people and nature.  If you’re interested in hearing more about the membership sign up to the Footprint newsletter here.

See you in the next blog


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