I am delighted to announce that Nessie Reid has taken on the role of Global Environments Network (GEN) Director. Nessie joined the GEN community in 2013 when she was a participant at the third Global Environments Summer Academy (GESA) and she has actively participated in the network ever since. After she took part in a GEN alumni event at the 2017 Conservation Optimism Summit, we invited her to join the Global Diversity Foundation team as GEN Coordinator. As part of her work with us since last May, she excellently delivered the programming and co-facilitation of GESA 2018 and helped to coordinate the first Mediterranean Environments Regional Academy (MERA), which took place in Morocco in November.
Having a GESA alumna assume the role of GEN Director is a natural progression that embodies the spirit of peer-to-peer learning that I have promoted since 2011, when I organised the first GESA as a Fellow at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society in Munich. After spearheading the first five summer academies from 2011–2015, and supporting efforts to organise Global Environments Regional Academies and Community Exchanges in the Dominican Republic, Canada, Spain and the United States, I was happy to see the enthusiasm of numerous GEN alumni as they worked to make GESA 2018 and MERA a success. With her strong background in spiritual ecology, group facilitation, network management and event organisation, Nessie is the perfect candidate to take this process forward in collaboration with Emily Caruso, Susannah McCandless and other members of our growing GEN family. I look forward to working with her over the next few months to envision the future of GEN, which will continue to sponsor our now biennial summer academies as well as regional academies in various parts of the world.
As a member of the GDF management team, I will continue to play a role as GEN advisor and mentor. This will provide me the opportunity to continue collaborating closely with GEN members and—I hope—to see many of them again in future events.