NBS EduWORLD reflects on its potential for social impact

3 November 2023

NBS EduWORLD reflects on its potential for social impact

Recently, NBS EduWORLD partners joined forces to discuss the kind of impact we would like to create for policy uptake and the ways we could apply our learnings and reports so far to maximise uptake of NbS approaches in the educational sector. This dialogue was held in tandem with our Advisory Board. 

The NBS EduWORLD Advisory Board is a body that provides input to the project at key stages, complementing competencies and areas of expertise of the consortium. Our Advisory board is a crucial resource to further enable knowledge transfer of NbS Education to the wider public. 

Understanding of NbS starts from diverse places, making it crucial for practitioners to bridge the gap between technical knowledge and communal understanding. Among the valuable contributions of this gathering were insights from Advisory Board member Audrey Wagner of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative, at the University of Oxford. She notes, 

“NBS EduWORLD is uniquely well placed to mediate between educators in the field and academics, who on the one hand, are quite careful and intentional with language, and on the other hand notoriously use terms that are not understandable”. 

In this way, our role translating NbS findings to more understandable terminology and moreover, staying consistent on NbS definitions is crucial. 

NBS EduWORLD experts also urged the need to remain transdisciplinary on how we bring forward these initiatives. Dimitra Xidous of Trinity College Dublin explained how her experiences in NBS-based peer-to-peer learning and knowledge exchange have taught her the importance of drawing individuals out from their comfort space into a more transdisciplinary way of thinking and working - where they have to adapt their knowledge and take on board other ways of seeing, knowing and meaning-making towards more liveable, sustainable and inclusive communities.

Loukas Katikas of Ellinogermaniki Agogi, tied this together by pointing out the impact that the NBS Living Labs along with the NBS EduWORLD demonstrators will have to link interdisciplinary topics and link these topics to the objectives of the Green Comp Framework.

“NbS must be part of sustainability education programmes and something we are trying to succeed so far is to move from content-based curricula to competence-based curricula.” 

High turnover in the political cycle also proves to be a challenge to make impact in the political sphere, creating a lack of continuity, which in turn poses a challenge to implementation and sound policy recommendation. Those present at the meeting all agreed that cross-sectoral collaboration with Nature-based Enterprises, local initiatives and proactive positioning of NbS in policy documents can help to foster a long-term common vision for the advancement of NbS in Education. 

Learn more about our Advisory Board partners.

Library, flowers (Unsplash) by "Joss Broward", licensed under free stock

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NBS EduWORLD is funded by the European Union (Grant Agreement No. 101060525). Views and opinions expressed are however those of the author(s) only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.