It’s been interesting to catch snippets of the conversation with Sir David Attenborough at the World Economic Forum in Davos recently. Sir David was discussing the ‘urgency of now’ needed to address the global environmental challenges we face. If you mute the sound and read the captions or insert education instead of environment, you may think Sir David was referring to the dominant industrial mindsets that exist in schools today.
Understandably, the preference for comfort over challenge is as Sir David says, part of the human DNA. However, in a world of rapid change, armed with the knowledge of what needs to be done, there can no longer be any more delays or excuses. The consequences of not shifting mindsets, not making the ‘adult-decisions’ and not developing sustainable policy has a profoundly negative impact on this generation of young people and the next.
While Sir David’s message is sobering, it does give us hope that we (the naturalists, leaders, educators, policy makers) can do something to nurture the delicate systems (eco and educational) of which we are guardians.
As I told almost 500 of our school leaders last month, we know what needs to be done to transform the learning and teaching and while it may be a giant leap into the unknown, we are planting the seeds for future generations to adapt and thrive in the future.
As Sir David told the audience, the time for blame is over, we must all get on with the practical task at hand.