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The Future is 10 Years Old Right Now

Is anyone else finding that your new, isolated, small world is causing you to look at the bigger picture? While tourism is quiet, the air is more clear, and the lions lounge on the roads of Kruger National Park, some of us are looking at the broader trends and what might be ahead. No one can really predict it. Will we want deeper experiences in nature? Will we contemplate how to travel differently so our steps on the Earth will be feather-light? How is this giant pause affecting the world’s kids and their future?
I have been spending some time these last four months, teaching some of those kids online. I teach them about tropical rainforests, hummingbirds, big cats, and ecosystems that are struggling. I focus on the stories of how things have gone right or where there are mighty efforts underway to steer things in that direction. I tell them about animals that were on the brink of extinction when I was their age and how humanity has turned things around. They are drawn to my classes because they know I am a wildlife biologist and I can tell them tales from the field and I can describe adventures to far off places. For the kids who already know they love nature and animals, I validate that interest and tell them that they have so much more access to information than ever before. They are amazingly astute about what can be done to rescue endangered species and are full of inventions to clean the oceans. I give them examples of young adults, not much older than they are, who are already changing things for the rest of us. I can tell you what some of the world’s kids are doing during this giant pause. They are using this time to delve deep into their interests and they are going to be a force to contend with in a few years.
So, if you are wondering what the future might look like when our world regains its footing, listen to what kids are thinking about the big picture. And while you are at it, encourage them. They are preparing to make a difference while the world is quiet.
Terry Lawson Dunn, Founder


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