We strongly believe in Ecoliteracy1 as a strategic driver for change, to quit the consumistic paradigm that led us to the environmental and value crysis we’re living in. Unfortunately, it’s ofter difficult to talk about these topics in schools, where institutional programs are often left uncomplete and if not, they’re complete just on paper. At the same time, scholastic environment is rigid and it isn’t prone to innovative and informal educational methods, far from anthologies and manuals2.
According to this logic, it may be helpful to teach Ecoloteracy principles in Youth Centers, as they enable for more innovative, diverse and straightforward teaching methods and practices. Moreover, youth centers are often heterougeous in age: in this situation, the educator can lever the sense of responsibility of grown-ups to involve all the participants, enhancing overall interaction.
In this context, Ecoliteracy reveals itself as a primary tool to awaken new people about new practices and alternative models oriented toward sustainable development. It can change behaviours, involving them in the research for local solution to local problems, stimulating the personal sense of responsibility: it’s possible to address not only environmental problems, but even social ones, in problematic areas such as suburbs, where the public administration and istitutions are often absent.
Obviously, a systemic designer won’t cover all of the needs. It’s needed to get in touch and look for partnerships with new people, educators, teachers and parents if we’re in search for a significant social impact.
Morever, Ecoliteracy should not be limited to the youths, but we must keep it open to all students, parents, workers and retired: in Italy as abroad there is not a distributed ecological consciousness, and sometimes the situation seems to be worse than digital education diffusion (here, Italy is behind many countries).
Nowadays, productive, social and educational systems always take into account tecnology as a strategic driver for project development and, in a broader sense, for the succes of the project itselft, and this happens according to pervasive dynamics that, for example, led us to the concept of IoT/IoE. At the same time, today it’s essential to consider ecology and environmental+social impact as an early driver for any project: they should be the head cornerstone on which we build the whole house.
Otherwise, we’ll continue to design and build things with no care, attending to the decline of air quality, to the pollution of aquifers and to desertification as direct consequences of human presence on both local and global scale. Then, when the problems will be crical, we’ll try to patch it as many times as we think it’s enough, without even considering a proper solution.
A diabolic strategy that led us to incredible disastres3.
1 Ecoliteracy is a contracted form that stands for Ecology + literacy, coined by the physicist Frjtiof Capra
2 In Italy, there is a proposal to integrate Ecoliteracy within istitutional programs. However, it seems that it won’t be able to address the subject with proper focus.
3 Think, for example, to the waste emergency in Naples and Rome: the two metropolis closed their dumps, and what’s next? Two cities filled with rubbish. Shound’t we think to an effective waste management solution? We need ecologically-consciuos designers and managers!