Greetings to all!
I am Neeraja Havaligi, a transplant finding roots in Portland. I am honored to serve GPSEN as its new Executive Director.
From my experiences as a GPSEN Fellow and Board Member (before donning the ED cap), I find GPSEN akin to mycelia, the amazing network that nature has evolved which enriches the soil, connects species and supports biodiversity above and below ground. I believe sustainability education is like mycelia, a critical network system that supports and networks people to better understand, appreciate and value local and global resources that sustain us, nurture innovation and bring communities together to find ways to leave the least impact on these resources and to experience a sense of being rooted in our communities. Done correctly sustainability education can also open us to how we treat and value nature and each other, highlighting the relevance of equity and inclusion to make sustainable living a reality for all in current and future generations.
Sustainability education in my opinion is the bedrock resource, a tool that we have as a species to define how we live (with the smallest footprint) and what we share with other species and with our own (with mindful equity and inclusion). Sustainability education is the tool that roots us, connects us to nature in a way that whereever we go, we regard that place and all communities that the place holds with wonder and respect, which is the first step in walking toward sustainable living and achieving the sustainable development goals.
I am honored to be part of GPSEN’s journey to create networks that facilitate communication, research and innovation and move us together toward equitable, inclusive and sustainable networks of communities.