Harnessing the Power of Intergenerational Dialogue through CoalitionWILD’s Global Mentorship Program
By Cidee Despi
CoalitionWILD Communications and Marketing Officer
CoalitionWILD is committed to enabling intergenerational solidarity among passionate changemakers. As part of this commitment, we conduct the annual Global Mentorship Program. The program is a 12-month virtual program building collaborative and cross-generational relationships between emerging environmental leaders and veteran conservationists. CoalitionWILD places an emphasis on co-learning, co-creating, and co-mentoring throughout the program, highlighting the importance of cross-generational interactions and conversations.
Connecting Passionate Mentors with Young Changemakers
This year, the program features a diverse set of mentors and mentees from different parts of the globe. From the British Countryside to the tropics of Asia—the Global Mentorship Program continues to be a platform for genuine collaboration.
When asked about why they decided to be part of the program, the mentees expressed excitement over the idea of being connected with industry experts. “I was interested in applying for CoalitionWILD’s GMP because it was a way of knowing people from around the world at the same time that a person with more experience than me could give advice and help me towards my professional development,” shared Matias Fuentealba Pooley, one of this year’s mentees.
For a lot of the mentees, the program has helped inform their career choices. Jessica Flack shares that the program has helped her in evaluating her early career decisions. Moreover, they find a lot of value in being connected with and mentored by an industry expert. As Pui Yee Leng shares, “after talking with my mentor, I am encouraged to explore more and take action for change. These experiences further consolidate my passion and help my career planning in the long run.”
Overall, the mentees share an appreciation for the program’s ability to build their capacities regarding biodiversity and conservation. “I would like to broaden my understanding of biodiversity conservation in all its aspects, as well as practicing oral communication of the knowledge I am acquiring,” shares Niccolò Delporto. “I hope to engage with Nature protection one day, and I believe that discussing with professionals in the environmental field is crucial for me to shape my ideas through the support of skilled individuals.”
As for the mentors, most of them participated in the program as they are motivated by the power of intergenerational dialogue and by having the platform that allows them to support the next generation of conservation leaders. As Ran Dai, one of the mentors based in China, states, “Being a female researcher in wildlife studies is quite challenging in my environment. I’ve been through many things and understand the importance of necessary guidance for young people who want to enter this field. And so I’ve hoped that those experiences would be of help through a channel like CoalitionWILD.”
More than the intergenerational approach, the mentors also valued the cross-cultural aspect of the program. Gerald Esemonu shares that his primary motivation for joining the program was that he wanted to be connected to a global audience—a goal surely reached given the diversity of the program.
Photo by: Augustin Diesuel
An Avenue for Collaboration and Learning
The program has a lot to offer for both the mentors and the mentees. Many enjoy the Fika activity which involves pairing the participants randomly for a 20-30 minute chat. For Margarette Pauline Tan, it is a challenge for her introverted self, but the Fika activity remains to be her favorite aspect of the program.
The participants also meet monthly for webinars. During the webinars, CoalitionWILD invites experts to speak of different aspects of biodiversity and conservation. The webinar has featured discussions on Nature-based Solutions, behavior centered design, and rewilding among others. Even more exciting topics and speakers are slated for the remaining months of the year.
These program highlights go to show that the Global Mentorship Program is more than just a networking opportunity; it is also a platform that encourages learning and fosters collaboration, and creates solidarity among people of various generations and cultures. By bringing together older and younger generations, we foster a community with shared knowledge and collective experience and fuel their passion for the environment. Through this, we encourage a generation of changemakers who will together work on creating solutions for the most pressing environmental challenges.
The Global Mentorship Program 2023 application is happening soon! Watch this page and follow CoalitionWILD on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn for updates.
Communications and Marketing Officer
Cidee Despi hopes to embody compassion that inspires action. As a development sector professional, she is committed to making social impact where she can, especially when it comes to her areas of interest: the youth, gender and development, and social justice to name a few. She has occupied various roles, from communications and partnerships to project and program management, all in support of impact-driven organizations. On the side, she writes about culture and politics. Currently, she is pursuing her law degree at the University of the Philippines.