We talk with Luis Alberto Camargo, founder and director of OpEPA (Organization for Education and Environmental Protection), a non-profit organization constituted in Colombia whose work focuses on the development of projects and collaborative social entrepreneurship in order to reconnect children and young people with the Earth to act in an environmentally responsible way.
You can see the full transcription of the interview below:
“Humans are just one component of the living system that is the planet”
Children and youth have swayed far away from nature and this is a big problem because the planet is currently facing a turning point. We have created an illusion of humans not being part of the system. If we look at the planet is a system of life, it’s a living system and within that living system humans are just one component of it.
The social consequences of Climate Change
We have been pushing planetary limits to the borders some of them we have already over passed them. The perspectives of transitions that are going to be generated by changes in the planet, humans are going to be greatly affected. Nowadays they are already affected even though we try not to speak too much about it, but there is a lot of forced displacement being generated by climate change.
In Colombia for example, we had a social and political conflict with guerrillas and let’s say, “illegal armed forces” and a lot of violence associated to that and most people think that forced displacement which is one of the highest in the world is caused by that but over 50% of the displacement has been caused by environmental issues.
And that requires humanity to become very adaptative and have the capacity to support each other and to really think beyond the I or the me framework into the we and how we as community and we as living systems.
It opens new questions in terms of how should we develop our own lives and how should we progress within a life system world into a regenerative model.
“We are looking into technocratic solutions while we should start changing the mindsets”
And I think education plays a critical role right now.
The world is shuffling to try to look into technocratic solutions or climate change and environmental issues. Nonetheless we are not doing much in terms of molding the minds and changing the mindsets of the kids that need to build the new structures.
Einstein used to say that it is an illusion to think that creating a different solution from the same mindset will really be a different solution. So we need to shift our mindsets and in order to do that we need to enable education to shift also.
And our main focus is to reconnect youth and children to nature and to the earth so they can act in an environmentally more responsible ways.
If we keep educating kids the same way we will have the same results so we need to change the way we educate or I must rephrase that, we need to change the way we provide opportunities for kids to discover, learn and create ideas.
Since we don’t know what is coming, we can’t envision and create education for what is coming. We new to change education to promote capacities for kids to be able to adapt, to be able to be creative, to be able to create their own solutions.
“We need a wave of people who transform the world into a healthy world”
Education maybe is not going to be the immediate change right now in terms of planetary health and the situation for that we need leadership from governments and politicians and industry…
What is coming in the future depends on who’s on the kids that are right now growing up and they have the power to innovate, to think differently, to think from a different mindset.
We definitely need the second wave and it’s the wave of people that received that healing world and transform it into a healthy world