BiodiverCity: Celebrating Mumbai’s Best Kept Secret
The contagious enthusiasm and positivity from the immersive boat ride experience pushed us to find new avenues to engage with Mumbaikars. We believe in the spirit of co-creation and collaboration. So at Echoes of Earth, we set out to show what a harmonious balance with nature looks like – a “BiodiverCity”. To encourage conversations on what young people can do to celebrate and spotlight Mumbai's biodiversity, our intensive in-person workshop was split into two segments.
To lay the groundwork, the Storytelling segment had Karthik Chandramouli an expert on wetlands conservation and 4 youth speakers Ganesh Nakhawa (a Koli spokesperson), Prachi Shevgaonkar (founder of Cool The Globe App), Priyal Soni (psychologist and nature buddy at Wildnest Tours and Photography), and Rashmi Singh (founder of Mumbai Ploggers) on the panel. These “storytellers” spoke on using their arts, skills and platforms to make Mumbai’s biodiversity more visible and celebrated. Their stories sparked inspiration for the participants to collectively come up with their own ideas, which led into the second segment - the Idea Jam Workshop.
The main prompt for the 80+ attendees was - “What is your superpower (your strength/skill)? Using your superpowers, bring us your solution to make Mumbai’s biodiversity more visible!” The speakers and MMM team broke them into groups and acted as facilitators to help participants think about solutions in four methodical steps: What, Who, How and When. Within 30 minutes, we had 8 brilliant ideas on the table!
To add to the audience’s experience and make it truly wholesome and immersive, we also chose this opportunity to showcase our Biodiversity Map and exhibit the works from the Make Art for Mangroves. Not only this, we also had a talented live illustrator Nitasha Nambiar capture the whole session on a canvas/whiteboard in real time!
The winning idea from the Idea Jam was Dekha Undekha - a pitch for an awareness campaign around Mumbai’s biodiversity. The threefold strategy will work on raising awareness, fostering appreciation and encouraging conservation while keeping civic participation at its core. This important development is a first of its kind for us at MMM as our community-centric approach has driven active youth participation towards solution building. In the days to come, MMM and the winning participants are working on incubating this idea further. Stay tuned for more updates on this soon!