A journey to dream of sustainable education and entrepreneurial systems
Family. This is what I would call the environment at Enzyme. In a professional way of course, where the main partners have been able to create the conditions for the perfect workplace. I used to work with them for almost two great years, before taking a break in July 2018. I saw Enzyme grow, and I like to think I was part of this success that now transformed it into a well established and international company.
Why the heck did I leave then?
I felt like the current and ever-worsening climate emergency situation needed to be tackled -or at least tried to be- from a different point of view. Already in 2015 I’ve had the same feeling, when I started a fundraise to support The Rainforest Foundation UK, by hiking the whole length of New Zealand (https://youtu.be/P29Gnr-tqGg), but after a self-critical assessment I realised it was not as successful as I hoped.
In order to be sure to have a heavier impact on people consciousness regarding the critical situation we ended up in, a different approach was needed. Thanks to the extensive information of the past years, where I was always hungry for articles, magazines, videos, podcasts and everything that had to do with science related to environmental topics (both pro and con), I slowly came to realise that a project carried out with a school would be more effective.
This is how the EartHigianelli Porject came to life.
I am grateful to Jorge and Eugenio as they let me write an entry about this project, as my second-ever article on the blog (previous one about the amazing Exhibition Hub Project done with Enzyme http://www.weareenzyme.com/geometry-challenge-solved-with-grasshopper-and-archicad/), but also as we always keep in touch in order to grow together and experiment together. The successful 2019 AAVS Osaka is another great example.
The EartHigianelli Project
This project aims to spread an alternative pedagogic method (consolidated by the Artigianelli Institute of Trento for more than ten years), in order to create an ecosystem that gives young people the necessary skills to face modern challenges, in terms of innovation but above all of sustainability. The creation of a school network extended to several schools, in several countries, with the participation of companies and universities coming from different backgrounds would guarantee a growth of the social intellectual wealth, fundamental to lay a solid foundation for a community with certain values which, in a positive feedback, would benefit the community itself. Overcoming traditional educational offers, now inadequate for the historical context, is necessary in order to promote the education, among other values, to live in a sustainable way.
The role of the companies that decide to take part in this process will be to guarantee the scope of the activities that will be carried out at school, that is the objectives of the challenges that teams of students will be called to reach and solve. As already happened in the past with excellent results, multidisciplinary groups composed of high school students, university students and experts of the company itself will work in synergy in different activities during the school years.
The methodology chosen for the initial promotion of this project is the media event, or a cycling journey from the equator (Quito, Ecuador) to the end of the world (Ushuaia, Argentina). This event aims to raise initial funds to create an economic base that can be used to finance new activities (workshops, conferences, labs, etc.) that will be activated at the school in the near future. During the itinerary Lorenzo will mainly search for two situations: on one hand he will try to be a witness to the environmental problems that afflict South America, on the other he will come into contact with those realities that could benefit or contribute to the realization of the project. Associations that work with local communities for sustainable development, companies that collaborate with them, schools and institutions will be the focus of the encounters. The school will act as the media promoter of progress during the 10,000 km expedition, publishing and sharing updates, but also communicating the benefits of this new school ecosystem.
At this time of writing, I am on my rest day in a campsite in a small town in the centre-north of Argentina. I have covered more than 5000km since the beginning of this journey, when I left Ecuador in mid October. A countless amount of situations is making this experience inestimable. Travelling through countries at the bike speed makes possible all those encounters and situations that a normal tourist won’t be able to fully experience. A bit less than 3 month still are on my way before reaching Ushuaia, in the very bottom of the continent. I will soon go through the mesmerising Chilean National Parks (there are 17!) hoping to be able to get in contact with the inspiring Tompkins Conservation, a foundation created by the late Douglas Tompkins (founder of The North Face and Esprit) and his wife Kris Tompkins (ex CEO of Patagonia), that together have helped creating 11 national parks as well as carrying out key conservation projects. The past three months through Ecuador, Peru and Bolivia have taught me valuable things, not last how to enjoy a simple life, made of simple but important little things.
Videos and pictures are collected in an Instagram account and on the Facebook page (https://www.instagram.com/progetto_earthigianelli/ and https://www.facebook.com/earthigianelli/) where I also constantly share updates as a sort of diary, in order to keep interested people up to date. As mentioned in the project brief, a fundraise is also active, money that will entirely be used by the Artigianelli School in Trento-Italy, to carry out new activities and workshops that will be focused on sustainability and sustainable entrepreneurial systems. Donation are collected through the online GoFundMe platform, found at this link https://www.gofundme.com/f/earthigianelli-project. Several institutions, schools and companies have been contacted in order to launch the basis for this network of entities that could share knowledge and enrich young generations through shared projects. Enzyme is in a way already part of this concept, thanks to its fantastic collaborations with OwnAcademy (http://www.weareenzyme.com/when-kids-rethink-the-city-with-archicad/)
Recent and continuing events happening throughout the world should really make us consider a (sometimes) drastic reconsideration of daily routine. Several articles have been written to discuss this topics, as well as about the implications of what the current habits will do to the planet if no changes come (very) soon. I would be more than happy to share them with you, just send me an email at email@example.com or reach out on social media!
Also, if you are interested to know more about the EartHigianelli Project, you can download the full document here https://drive.google.com/file/d/1Rv-iSpIKsmXnKNIf46lmQd1GCeRIUEXJ/view?usp=drivesdk
Many thanks for taking some time to read this architecture-off-topic news!