Gender Equity and Sustainability
Gender Equity and Sustainability may not at first seem related, but let me influence your opinion with some data. The fastest way to create an unsustainable disaster is to ignore 50% of a populace. This is the point of the UN SDG 5: Gender Equality
At Mezzacello, we refuse to believe that any young mind (regardless of gender) is less valuable than any other. In fact, we bank on this. We encourage young minds to work, lead, follow and support each other – just like in nature.
The simple fact remains: Genius has no gender.Jim Bruner
Follow Mother Nature
Nature treats the natural world in just this way. We ask guests and kids to look at that behavior and model it. Try to understand every piece of humanity by the poetic application of data, and an eye towards systems engineering.
When you want to understand a complex situation, we find it makes most sense to try to understand the patterns, process, and structure of the issue. By creating a simple systems model like this, gender becomes nothing more than a pattern.
The Process is Teamwork, The Structure is Equality
Once we have a pattern, it means nothing without process and structure. The process we are looking for here is curiosity and teamwork with the application of the scientific method and data. The structure is equality.
If every mind is valuable and creative then the pattern is a useful metric, but the simple fact remains: Genius has no gender. This becomes most obvious when we model the benefit of working together for the benefit of all.
Of all of the innovations I have implemented at Mezzacello, I am proudest of this one. I create an environment where young minds are equals; as leaders and followers. There are no hierarchies, just processes, structures and patterns that empower that working relationship and makes it efficient and equal.
The Next Big Innovation
In 2022 I invited six kids back to Mezzacello who attended my 2021 camps and showed great promise. The fact that two of the six were boys and four were girls was just a pattern. They really made a HUGE impact on the 2022 camps!
They brought their passions, strengths, insights and even their fears to help other kids feel more comfortable in an unknown environment like an urban farm. Most of these campers were from the inner city.
What better way to encourage equality – and reinforce gender equality – than to defer to my young interns to share a peer-peer mentorship moment? I was rewarded handsomely. This is the future I want to live in.
People showing up and helping others. Others accepting people as they are and growing positively through that honest interaction. Their gender remains irrelevant and I am so proud of that.