We think it’s critical for all non-profits to have a clear goal and roadmap that allows them to succeed and put themselves out of business. At Ghost Bear, our hope is to advance a vision and a project that fosters a society that embraces nature literacy to the point where no one organization is needed to sustain momentum; where society instinctively demands its citizens and its systems to consider nature in every act.

In fact, the only reason we launched a new non-profit was because we failed to find an existing institution that lacked bias and had a willingness to help support the development of a new idea: Nature Labs. If we can prove the idea successful, we hope it becomes a platform owned by everyone and anyone with a vested interest in better education, not just Ghost Bear.

As you know, to help us accomplish this goal, our work will be focused on storytelling that provokes thoughtful dialogue and educational efforts that nurture a deeper sense of connection to, and shared ownership of, the issues facing biodiversity.

We will strive to share better stories of our natural inheritance, engage all citizens in direct conversation about how we can work together collaboratively and create immersive experiences that allow for individuals to rethink their role in our landscape.

Most critically, we will tie together each of these threads by working diligently to equip teachers with the tools to deconstruct the complex and enliven the obscure; to help students understand that we’re a nation of ecosystems and that each one offers an accessible waypoint to tangibly assess the impact of our behaviour.

Education is the most cost-effective strategy to attain society’s stated goals and biodiversity has the power to move the discourse beyond polarity, allowing for new entry points into some of our most challenging issues – from combatting climate change to engaging in reconciliation.

And when will we know that we’ve succeeded in putting ourselves out of business?

When thousands of teachers gain access to critical resources that enable them to deliver better education.

When hundreds of thousands of students are learning to understand and appreciate nature – and put that knowledge into practice by designing newer, better ideas for moving forward.

When millions of Canadians support nature literacy in the classroom and when millions of Canadians act with a foundation of nature literacy, making our environmental discourse constructive and productive.

This is our dream. We hope it’s yours too. Together, let’s make it a reality.