Around the time our last newsletter was published 20 early-career conservationists had just completed our first ever Becoming A Conservation Leader Programme. At the time of writing, a further 23 participants have just reached week 9 of the programme. In light of the Covid-19 restrictions we decided to push forward with another run of the programme to provide an extra opportunity to learn from home, and with that in mind we have just begun recruiting a third cohort who will begin during the first week in May, and so far 22 people have signed up. We have been pleasantly surprised at the uptake of the programme, especially as participants are from all over the UK and beyond – including Spain, Honk Kong, Brazil, The Netherlands and Mauritius. This is brilliant as it means we are already beginnng to develop a network of like-minded conservation leaders with a truly international scope and we’re getting some lovely feedback which is boosting our confidence and giving us a clearer sense of direction to take the academy in. 

We had planned to hold get-together events at the beginning and end of the programme, but with the social distancing measures now in place we have decided to plan a bigger event in the future for everyone who has taken part in the programme in 2020 – we’ll keep you updated! 

With Becoming A Conservation Leader now running smoothly, Tim and I are beginning to think about how we can develop the academy as a whole. Our first step is to develop our website as a hub, and we will now be writing a monthly blog which will include what we hope are thought-provoking opinion pieces on leadership in conservation. Hopefully these will be of interest to all our followers, but will provide key messages to early-career conservationists to help inspire them to think differently. CLICK HERE to see the latest entries. We also have a wish-list including putting together some more interactive materials, such as short video tutorials, our own podcast and a series of one-day workshops and events covering a range of leadership topics and other key conservation skills. We’re looking into how we could work with our key contacts and organisations to widen our skills base too. We’re also thinking about what the next step might be for people who have completed Becoming A Conservation Leader or are slightly further ahead in their careers. There is so much scope for development with this project and we hope the academy will flourish in the coming months and years. 




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