Reflections from the Monsoon Academy 2019 in Goa
Earlier this week, we returned from our first Monsoon Academy in Goa, hosted together with our partner Tandem Research. With participants from all over India as well as Bangladesh, the Academy focused on planning for climate resilience in urban areas of the subcontinent. Over an intensive 3-day curriculum, we learned and discussed resilience vocabulary and communication, climate science, urban resilience frameworks, and got creative in the design, planning and problem solving of resilience issues. We complemented the theoretical exercises with field-visits to Betalbatim Beach, Dr Ali Salim Bird Sanctuary and Imagine Panaji Smart City Ltd. offices. Gaining a better understanding of the connection between communities and their environment as well as the needs and benefits of ecosystem (especially mangroves) conservation in the face of sprawling cities was critical to the participants who mostly work on water issues or in coastal cities. As an example of resilience governance, the Smart City initiative in the Goan state capital provided valuable insights into approaches to urban planning and development.
Our participants especially valued the engaging and interactive sessions and exercises, learning from each other and the teaching team. The session content and progress on climate resilience concerns in urban areas was well appreciated, especially the "studio" sessions, which guided participants to develop and present their own ideas.
Once they have had time to reflect on the course and its content, the participants can get in touch with their assigned mentor to further discuss work/studies and career related questions. Our mentorship program, which will continue until mid 2020, provides one-on-one guidance from our senior teaching team, ensuring that new insights and knowledge from the Monsoon Academy can be transferred to the workplace.
The tranquil setting and excellent catering at our venue in South Goa ensured that we were well prepared and looked after to engage in demanding sessions and exercises, and to enjoy the evenings exchanging experiences among the group. We are excited to start planning next year's Monsoon Academy now and look forward to being back in Goa in August 2020!
Watch out for info on the Monsoon Academy 2020, which we will publish on the website and our social media accounts in the autumn.