WildHub Festival 2021: a summary to celebrate!

Enter this colourful door and see the highlights of our second community-led WildHub Festival, held last November! Here is a summary of the nine events organised by our Session Leads and their Session contributors, with links to the many amazing resources and recordings.
WildHub Festival 2021: a summary to celebrate!

Our festival was a success with 30 members contributing and an estimated 140 participants - all tuning in from around the world, representing our global community: from Argentina, Canada, Cape Verde, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Italy, Kenya, Lao PDR, Mexico, Nepal, Pakistan, Scotland, Singapore, Sweden, Taiwan, Tanzania, Timor-Leste, UK, US, Vietnam, to Zimbabwe!

We opened our festival this year with an interactive workshop organised by professional coach and WildHub Key Creator, Ross Rowe, on Communicating with emotional intelligence (link to recording), who facilitating this session from Australia. Ross was assisted by WildHub member, Fahri Budiman, who is assistant In-situ Conservation Division Manager at Yayasan Ekosistem Lestari in Indonesia. Together they presented a practical framework for clear communication that includes observations, impacts and feelings, which I have personally used  in my daily interactions since this workshop - a vital part of our 'toolbox' as conservation professionals, in my opinion! The workshop recording also includes input and insights from our members Kay Farmer, Eden Plummer, and  Ussi Abuu Mnamengi - who tuned in from the UK and Tanzania. 

The day continued with a session by Wildlife Vets International (WVI), organised by WVI's Executive Director, Olivia Walter. Their panellists Andrew Greenwood, Jane Hopper, and Nic Masters passed on wildlife veterinary knowledge relevant to professionals who need it most: those on the ‘front-line’ of the conservation of wildlife and their environments. This session focussed on what role disease plays in the conservation of threatened wildlife (link to recording).  This session was attended by conservation professionals (e.g. veterinarians) from across the world: India, Italy, Lao PDR Singapore, Taiwan, Tanzania, UK, US, and Vietnam! Audience feedback included:

I've broadened my horizons, thank you!" (Dang Quang, Vietnam)

In the evening of our first day, we had a Fireside Chat, organised by environmental educator, author-illustrator, and WildHub Key Creator, Alan J. Hesse, and his colleagues at Authors & Educators on a Mission (link to recording): Kevin Albin, Gloria Barnett, and Neil Kitching. This chat was moderated by Lucy Tallents, Founder of VerdantLearn, and resulted in wonderful recorded snippets of the evening when this group discussed the topics of the intersection between creative writing and climate education (link to recording) and how writing books can influence climate and environmental education and action (link to recording). 

Below my favourite part: 

One child had come back and said: "I really liked this book, because it made me feel that I could make a difference to the world". When you get a comment like that, [as an author] you think "Okay, I think I'm on the right lines now' (Gloria Barnett, Author). 

The second festival day was opened by the Conservation Leadership Programme (CLP) team who facilitated an interactive session exploring leadership styles and skills to help you along your conservation journey (link to recording). The wonderful CLP team consisted of: Kate Tointon (Fauna & Flora International-FFI), Sherilyn Bos (BirdLife International), Henry Rees (FFI), and Leala Rosen (Wildlife Conservation Society). Their Leadership styles exercise is a useful tool for professional development and team building (we're going to use it for our annual meeting at WildTeam!). Participants tuned in from Colombia, France, Germany, Indonesia, Mexico, Nepal, Timor-Leste, UK, and the US! 

We closed the second day with an inspiring session organised by Senior WildLearning Specialist, Beth Robinson, on the topic of adult teaching and learning in wildlife conservation (link to recording). Bellow are some of my favourite recommendations from panellists:

Craft time for learning" (Meaza Demissie, Program Manager, TNC)

Regarding the design of any learning initiative, a recommendation was:

Begin with the end in mind" (Jamie Copsey, Director of Training, IUCN SSC CPSG)

Other panellists included Lucy Tallents (Founder, VerdantLearn), Helen Gath (Conservation Training Officer, Durrell Conservation Academy), Stuart Paterson (Executive Manager, CLP - FFI), and Mark O'Connell (Senior Lecturer in Practical Ecology, University of Gloucestershire). Beth was assisted by Conservation Officer at the Scottish Wildlife Trust, Mary-Anne (MAC) Collis  and their participants were based in Canada, Cape Verde, Ecuador, Ireland, Kenya, Scotland, Sweden, UK, and US.

Ross and his team consisting of Fahri and Ussi, continued to lead their interactive workshops during the mornings of the third and fourth festival day. Workshop topics included Responding to bullying and harassment (link to recording) and The meaning of work and life for conservationists (link to recording) and these sessions were joined by members in Indonesia, Tanzania, Kenya, Pakistan, Singapore and the UK! 

On the third day, in the afternoon, session lead Molly Maloy (Conservation Leadership Manager at Denver Zoo) facilitated a panel discussion on Inclusive conservation (link to recording). Insights were shared by Ana Di Pangracio in Argentina (Deputy Director and Biodiversity Coordinator, FARN), Moreangels Mbizah in Zimbabwe (Founder and Executive Director, Wildlife Conservation Action), Erim Gomez in the US (Assistant Professor of Wildlife Biology, University of Montana), and Pamela Herrera in Costa Rica (Community Outreach Program Manager, Macaw Recovery Network). Molly organised her session due to the popular "ask for help" content she shared with us this year on "The term stakeholder no longer used?" which gained many responses and led to a rich discussion within our WildHub community. 

We need to look back at history and educate ourselves and understand, especially the people in the Global North.[..] Indigenous peoples and local communities have always cared about their land, they have always looked after their natural resources, their wildlife, their forests, their water sources, for many generations and they did that very well" (Moreangels Mbizah, Founder and Executive Director, Wildlife Conservation Action)

We closed our WildHub Festival 2021 with a Social using our community space on Gather.town and discussed the future of our WildHub Fika activity. Building upon the recommendations made during this last session, we are organising regular WildHub Socials, with the first ones today (an overview of our Socials can be found on our brand-new Events page here!). A big thank you to Lucy Tallents for facilitating this Social and your valuable contributions throughout the festival!

Many thanks to our brilliant team of WildHub core community members who made the WildHub Festival 2021 possible: all the organisers, co-organisers, panellists, moderators and contributors of each session. You all made it a true member-led festival, organised by members for members, representative of our global community of 2300 members across 120+ countries! Thank you for supporting & celebrating our community!

Lastly, I would like to take the opportunity to thank our WildHub Community Advocate, Lara Reden: thank you for all your help in organising our community's festival this year! 


Go to the profile of Lara Reden
about 1 month ago

Thanks, @Thirza Loffeld for such a thorough recap and for everything you do to make events like this possible! It was a pleasure to help.