Currently Ecosystem Restoration Camps has over 400 members from over 30 countries. We are humbled and grateful for your ongoing support, as your membership enables us to build our first camp in Spain, and spread awareness and knowledge of ecosystem restoration in the world. An important question for us is what motivates you to be a member of Ecosystem Restoration Camps, and what do you hope to gain from your membership? To understand these motivations and needs from members we sent out a survey in October 2017.
From all members an impressive 116 people from 15 countries filled out our membership survey. In this post I want to share what members told us. And based on your input we are now working on a member first webinar series, in addition to the courses starting at Camp Altiplano, and on setting up a task sharing platform. We thank you for taking the time to share with us, and invite you to always feel free to get in contact.
Of the survey respondents 60.9% feels either informed or well informed, and another 19,1% feels just informed enough. This response shows that most people feel generally informed enough, but improvement is possible.
According to the survey 66.7% receives our information via our newsletter, which is a very important communication channel. We currently offer both a newsletter for all and a Members Network Update, and will keep offering regular news via these channels. Then 63.2% receives updates via Facebook, and 50% receives information via the website. Another channel we use regularly is Instagram. To make sure anyone can follow our Instagram updates we have improved the Instagram feed on our website. We also update our Blog with articles from camp. We are constantly thinking about how to communicate the progress made at camp, and how to make it easy for the campers to integrate this need for communication with their daily work.
Results show that people would prefer educational courses both in person at camp and online, such as live meetups and a monthly webinar, rather than other membership ideas like the right to make more decisions. A small number wants to be able to decide over new camps and new board members. We very much want to focus on education as a way to spread permaculture & ecosystem restoration camp skills and knowledge, and we are looking forward to our first PDC to be offered from June 17-28th. At the same time this year we want to create an online platform, and start offering webinars and other forms of educational content.
The majority of members who responded – 63.6%, shared with us that they would be happy to spread the word on Ecosystem Restoration Camps. The majority – 59.1%, also wants to support us as a volunteer at Camp Altiplano and 43.6% is happy to take part in polls and surveys to provide feedback. It is great to see so many of the members also want to be active volunteers, both at camp and in other ways.
Out of the 116 people who responded to the questionnaire as a whole, 99 responded to this question and only 33% had no time available. 66% were willing to spend 4 hours or more per month to help Ecosystem Restoration Camps. At the same time, 22.6% of member respondents want to become and active online volunteer.
We will use this information to identify ways to better engage the diverse skills, motivation, and knowledge of our members. And offer more opportunities for learning, exchange, events, and connections with the global restoration community. One of the actions we would like to take is to make it easier for us to share tasks with members who have indicated they want to be active, and want to share their skills. This could be simple online work such as a photo editing, translation, social media jobs, and so on.
Support at camp is mostly offered in the form of permaculture and restoration, some are interested in food preparation and storage or running the market garden. And some of you just want to support financially as a member.
Education is an important pillar for Ecosystem Restoration Camps. It is important for us to know what your needs are, and what you feel is important for us to offer to the world. Clearly, the kind of training respondents of the members survey would like to see is first of all ecosystem restoration – 83.6%, secondly techniques for sustainable living – 69.1%, and thirdly community building for example social permaculture and possibility management. Also high on this list are techniques for food preparation, alternative economics, and other permaculture courses. It is inspiring to see how broad the interests are, as ecosystem restoration is one step in redesigning our human presence on the earth, but definitely not the only one. We will start with PDC’s and ecosystem restoration, but will most definitely keep a broad view on what we could offer.
Most of you would want to do at least a one week (28.7%) or two week (21.3%) programme if you would be interested to come to Camp Altiplano for training.
Then lastly, we were positively overwhelmed with all the comments and extra feedback you shared with us. A selection of a few of the extra comments given in the survey:
“I am trying to line up my life so that all my time and all my efforts go toward the same goals as the ERC. There is no more important work than this. My eyes have been opened the same way John’s were while filming what became Green Gold. There is no turning back. I try to open as many other sets of eyes as I can in my day to day living. “
“I am a cyclist and travel around promoting solutions to climate change. Next year I hope to be cycling from Norwich in England to the climate summit in Poland in an electric velomobile. I cycled to the climate summit in Copenhagen in 2009. See zerocarboncaravan.blogspot.co.uk”
(…) I’m working as a digital nomad online, do you have a coworking space near camp where I can safely work on my computer for 20-40 hours a week? This kind of service would enable myself and other digital nomads to participate! In fact, a great idea for your camp is to build a coworking space for digital nomads to work/live/pay rent. Contact me if you want to discuss. I started a FB group called “Ecologically Digital Nomads”- please join the discussion, these are your ideal clients!”
“Preparing for a camp can begin at home. Maybe we can develop an online training for that?”
“Make it as scientific as possible, especially when teaching or making videos about soil health.”
“I don’t have time to be involved but I always think of you and always talk about you.”