Ecosposed GCC: the Sustainable Watchdog
Mobilizing the Public Through Education via Social Media
Celine Safadi, Jude AlGosaibi
Critical Thinking, Ethics, Future, Social Impact, Sustainability
This project began when we moved back to the GCC amid the unprecedented global pandemic. We quickly bonded over the loud absence of any eco-friendly behavior or guidelines. With barely a recycling bin in sight, we set to uncover why the region is so far behind its western counterparts. From our initial conversations with locals, it was clear that there was a severe lack of education. While we believed this was a reflection of the society from top to bottom, as soon as we explored the topic on a deeper level, the dichotomies began to unfold. Suddenly we were tasked with the challenge of asking ourselves how might we compensate for the discrepancies between these three different levels (government, industry, and citizen) that should never be mutually exclusive.
We were introducing a topic to region where it was seldom spoken about; we found it difficult to detach ourselves from our biases having lived in New York City as we wanted to encourage productive conversations with people without triggering any insecurities or unwarranted defenses. We also had to analyze the local governments without actively criticizing them in a manner that would seem unsupportive or condescending. After many pivots, our intention became to perhaps "drag" companies who were making consciously unconscious decisions in their business operations until we came across a roadblock: we realized that defamation laws in the region are very strict and very unforgiving. This lead us to creating a social media page that would work as a toolkit in support of the government initiatives to promote education in the field of sustainability on a citizen level in a fun and digestible way.
We identified a disconnect between how three levels viewed sustainability: there is the government perspective; ambitious goals to become a green economy, the industry perspective; aligning with global initiatives to shift into sustainable business models chasing the lucrative returns, and the citizen perspective that was alienated with no education, experience, vocabulary, or behavior on the spectrum of sustainability. Our solution was ecosposed: an instagram page curated to provide citizens with a toolkit for familiarizing themselves with sustainable practices. This includes defining sustainability or greenwashing, learning how to support businesses who deserve their dollar, discerning a bad practice from a good one, immersing them in a new community where they can feel comfortable in this new and inevitable shift - in a fun and digestible way.
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