I want you to panic!

  • Wellbeing
  • Leadership

I want you to panic!

Written by Melanie Harwood, eduCCate Global
22 Apr 2021
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I want you to panic!

The overriding human emotional response to Panic, is Panic. Many, if not all, the participants that attended DAVOS 2019 are now so well-educated and schooled in the benefits of a first-class education that they have become devoid of the natural self-interested peripheral vision as to what is really happening outside their world of plenty. The cold chills of fear; the hair-raising instinctive response has been de-activated. The moral compass that sustained life, even wealthy life, for thousands of years got stuck in a time warp of abundance, so that their survival guide mode of thinking forgot the years of Rice and Salt.

They only had a year to wait for this memory to re-emerge as COVID-19!

“Adults keep saying. We owe it to the young people to give them hope. But I don’t want your hope. I don’t want you to be hopeful. I want you to panic! I want you to feel the fear I feel every day. And then I want you to act. I want you to act as you would in a crisis. I want you to act as if our house is on fire. Because it is!”

Greta Thunberg said these very words before taking part in a ‘school strike for climate’ at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

Of course, no one expected her to use DAVOS as a radio beacon to rally her troops, the IPCC had been sitting in council for years drafting the act of Environmental Climate War and the UN had been offering mediation and counselling at all levels of government as well as the Davos Billionaires: the movers and shakers of nations opened the door to all comers. It took Rutger Bergman Davos 2019: Historian Rutger Bergman berates billionaires at World Economic Forum over tax avoidance, to point out the elephant in the burning room. Point blank Bergman confronted the hypocrisy present saying that as long as it did not involve tax issues tackling any new human issue now with hope, would be a waste of everyone’s round trip fuel bill for the 1500 Lear Jets that they had arrived in.

eduCCate Global decided to PANIC immediately after Greta coined the phrase “Our House is on Fire!” at DAVOS, at 14.57, January 25, 2019. In 2019 EduCCate Global evolved from a mere “kitchen table idea” into a proper “mum’s hub” with kitchen table activity and a hive of cameras, computers and old Ford vans outside for missions into the countryside. Melanie Harwood had success with her UK based Start-Bee Handwriting Method and Denise Meissner had already built a successful SEN Toolkit, called Q-Charm, for the American SEN Market.  The two social entrepreneurs joined forces in 2017, to build a Social Duo-Preneurship, as they recognised a need for children to have better basic writing skills that would help them develop as confident communicators as well as deeper cognitive thinkers. This led to a chance meeting with a UN side agency manager, Angus Mackay, and an idea to develop their very own Climate Change Teacher Course in a collaboration that rapidly went viral. Reworking of the then UN CC learning platform, which had been pretty much stuck for nearly 10 years and with low engagement, revealed that, though the content was adequate, the modules were actually developed for and presented to the LEDC Regional and Local Councils, and could be used by school teachers as a very basic Foundation Course but was not being used as effectively as Denise and Mel’s handwriting courses. In 18 months this fortuitus collaboration led to 329,000 schools adopting the new methods and a ticket for CEO Melanie Harwood to attend the UN COP 25 Madrid Event.  Harwood says, “COP is a glorified EXPO, where one listens to a lot of talk but then there is just no tangible action in evidence before, during and after the event sadly.  It seems to be nothing more than a PR opportunity so that was what I used my attendance to achieve”.

Working with the UN had many advantages not least the ability to trial, test and reflect. UN- fortunately there were negatives too, as became apparent. EduCCate Global was moving too fast to stay controlled and the UN team, with its bureaucratic mindset, could not update and innovate the content that schools were demanding.  Melanie Harwood was also finding other partners wishing to join its momentum. Prominent among the extreme growth that was taking place was the need to respond fast, with a lead management structure that would facilitate action quickly. Development of an international outreach via a new communications portal and the building of new Climate Change Teacher Training Inset CPD alongside ePackages which could also double up as blended learning programmes to be delivered both in and out of school, which encapsulated a wider range of Inputs and Outputs that could be rolled out internationally, needed to be created. This requirement needed to be high quality, scalable, user friendly and communicative at a price point that made sense.

The idea to teach the best 1% of schools was ditched because it meant entirely focusing on fee paying independent schools only. This runs counter to what the eduCCate Global philosophy is about and there is a strong empathetic need in the team to be inclusive. Ignoring the many great schools that can also show leadership in meeting the Climate Literacy Challenges would be foolhardy and they knew that this is an emergency that needs all hands-on deck. Tomorrow’s best future thinkers, leaders and doers will come from all walks of life and exclusion should never be the aim of education. A simple metric was found that satisfied this constraint but allowed inclusivity. 3.5% has long been argued as the crucial first adopters’ percentage required to encourage a societal shift. From there, the metric grows organically to be all inclusive. But starting where they were, was always going to be the first rule learned at the kitchen table, as many hard lessons were learned in those old UN collaboration days.

“Mum's hub” in this context is misleading, as both Denise Meissner and Melanie Harwood are usually well fitted for the role of trail blazers, one deeply immersed in the delivery and psychology of teaching and the other a practiced communicator whose passion for facilitating change is unparalleled.  Together this formidable team were ready to move at great pace beyond the first horizon and into a world of possibly built on core MATT subjects. They recognised, as part of their very first trial of the UN initiative, that the coming 21st century teaching syllabus required new and more innovative teaching practice and courses to facilitate meaningful changes. PANIC (Problems, Adaptations, New International Curriculum) is the result.

EduCCate Global have now developed, trialed and delivered their Certified Carbon Literacy Teacher Training Course, in partnership with Nottingham Trent University and Manchester Cooler Systems. They are on course to launch this globally via a new Learner Management System that can instantly translate all their courses into any one of up to 52 international languages. 

Melanie Harwood is working with Robert Mackay, a Transition Engineer & Transformation Specialist, on the development and build of the Transition Engineering Teacher Training, Year 6, 7, 8 and 9 Lessons to prepare pupils for the GCSE and A Levels in Transition Engineering.

The job market is screaming out for these Transition Engineers and eduCCate Global intent to deliver them!

 eduCCate Global (EG) is a Not For Profit Organisation. It has considerable experience in conceptualising, developing, building to final, trialling and launching: CPD Teacher Training, Lifelong Learning Training Programmes for adults, education and learning programmes for children and learners between the ages of 3 to 19 years of age. Notably, eduCCate Global is the creator of the Certified Climate Change Teacher Course and partnered with UNITAR (UN CC:Learn) to deliver it’s concept to more than 329,000 schools in 43 countries.

 

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