Wednesday, March 5, 2014

ISKL Eco-Schools Mini Conference a Success!

Last week my article focused on the ISKL Eco-Schools Mini Conference, and especially about the power of collaboration. Now that the conference has come and gone I wanted to make sure that it's success did not go unnoticed. 

Overall there were 54 participants from nine different schools, WWF Malaysia and MESYM attending. The event was very well received by all and Mr. Thiaga Nadeson from WWF Malaysia was impressed by our use of the Pyramid 2030 as a decision-making and action planning tool. 

A number of schools shared their environmental projects and our Green Council members then led them through a process to determine an Eco-Schools theme to focus on. After some deliberation and discussion the students determined that waste was an appropriate topic.  The Pyramid 2030 structure allows the students to ask successive "why?" questions to address to global issues reaching deeper and deeper into the real issues behind current problems. Once they managed a solid understanding of the issues, students were split up into four groups, each being facilitated by three ISKL Green Council members, for the action planning portion of the morning. 

Utilizing our Google Drive documents the four groups were able to create action plans through discussion and further deliberation. During this time the teachers also had some time to talk about the Eco-Schools program and issues of organizational and administrative support for their students. 

The final portion was the return of the delegations, the sharing of their action plan proposals and the final decision to focus on recycling programs. The specific plan includes internal recycling efforts (perhaps with a competitive class-based format) and the creation of videos to document each school's initiative. 

The Mini-Conference took just four hours. It included a good deal of networking, "greenstorming", a short campus tour and a promise to continue to work together. Nine schools with one purpose: To bring sustainability into the forefront of our awareness and to share information through a collaborative platform.

Now comes the harder part. Keeping together and moving through the labyrinth of real-life circumstances to involve people in recycling and increase awareness independently and collectively. Our students have a wonderful way of impressing. This was no exception. Global Citizen Leaders in action.

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