‘GROW – a Toolkit for Green Education’ is currently being developed by Geert Kooistra and Petra Maas in co-operation with the Biblioteca Nacional Aruba. The library has manoeuvred itself into the spotlights with its Green Education initiative. With an invitation to contribute to the 2nd Green Education Conference in April 2013 with a series of lectures and workshops, our Aruban-Dutch alliance came to be.
The in- and output of this conference have been displayed in a publication, putting them in Perspective of Aruba’s development and a fast changing world. The Green Education Aruba book is the first step toward the toolkit and will serve as its introductory story. The first half consists of an essay on which the presentations and workshops were based. The story is interwoven with the images of the presentation.
The second half of the book shows the power of new approaches and crowd participation. Those Inspirational Practices and Initiatives are accompanied by a Vision on the repositioning of libraries as hubs of information and know-how and catalysts between top-down and bottom-up parties and programmes.
Although we are still at a very early stage in the development of the toolkit, the outlines of it are clear. The kit will consist of several worktools, accompanied by inspirational best practice examples from the field. In first instance from Aruba, but we welcome crowdsourcing and will add valuable material from abroad.
First of all there has to be an Evaluation Framework that enables interested parties to identify their point of departure. As said before, Aruba has a progressive wind blowing over it, welcoming initiative and innovation. For libraries, schools or universities elsewhere, the (political) circumstances will differ too much from the one on Aruba, to just copy paste our programmes.
After customization, the green candidate can begin setting its targets using several Tools. One will be on getting started. What are the local stakes and urgencies? On what front can a difference be made? Can you connect to any other sustainability programme running? Another tool will be financial. Our programmes all run independent of public funding, not costing society money. That is essential to the viability and sustainability of a green education programme. How to involve local and international beneficiaries, making the programme a true public private partnership?