& Another Thing: An honest place for conservation issues
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By Kirsty Crawford
Hands up if you shudder at the word ‘networking’?
The environmental sector is vast, with people invested in some way at many different levels. Those with a passion for the environment but working in a completely different industry, school pupils looking for a guide to their future career, students and graduates, those at the beginning on traineeships - looking for their first entry role, mid-career ecologists and conservationists and those who’ve spent nearly their whole working life in the outdoors.
But what do these people look like? What skills and qualities do they have? What makes a conservationist. What, perhaps, even is conservation?
After speaking with many of the people listed above and those simply passionate about environmental change, it became clear that something was still missing. Our platform, ‘& Another Thing’ is an honest place for conservation issues, in the broadest sense. It was created from many conversations with friends and colleagues that inevitably ended with those words ‘oh, and another thing…’. There was always much more to be said. Not just about conservation as a stand-alone term, but about how we, the conservationists, really feel and what we need from a community.
Together with my friend and former colleague Laura, we set up this new platform, hosting online events and workshops. We aim to provide a welcoming space for environmental issues, and for those who are looking to connect with people but might not know where to begin. Laura and I worked together at ZSL London Zoo and we have, at certain points, experienced a feeling of being on the fringe of the area we are so passionate about, not quite sure where to fit in.
We have a focus on conservation issues, career changers, those looking for a place to network without having to have their ‘network’ face on. While trying to empower and understand the issues of those studying, working in or wishing to transition to conservation- related fields, we are opening up the conversation to offer personal development, discussions and workshops on a range of issues.
We strongly feel that there is a need for an informal and social space, to offload and meet like-minded individuals. We run monthly ‘Big Chat’ events and have a newsletter and community forum to answer questions. Past events have included ‘Women in Conservation Workshop’, ‘Burnout and Resilience in Conservation’ and social events like our festive fundraising quiz.
We seek to speak, share and solve, covering topics in length such as diversity in conservation, the decision to attend university, inequality in volunteering and resilience for environmentalists. We aim to give time and a listening ear to any topic which the community feels is relevant and try to dispel the notion that environmental groups are closed networks.
To find out more and join our ever-growing community please sign up to our mailing list here follow us on Instagram:
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