ZSL Project SIARC EDI training workshop

Facilitation of an equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) training workshop for ZSL’s Project SIARC, with the aim of building capacity and developing best practice guidelines for the Project.

This two-day in-person workshop was held in Bangor, North Wales, which is where Project SIARC has its Cymraeg base. Delegates included ZSL staff, relevant academic and delivery partners, and several local community partners including fishers and local council representatives. The first day was dedicated to building bridges across the sectors and communities, and started with a short introductory talk to define EDI. This was followed by a series of activities that, through humour and connection, created a safe space and lead participants to recognising the value and challenges of holding conversations with people from different cultures and backgrounds to their own. Shared discussions around implicit bias, social norms around bias, and a demonstration of the reciprocity of bias (it’s not only what you think of others, it is also about what you think they think of you) provided participants with the opportunity to deepen their learning of active listening and self-awareness.

The second day was devoted to specifics about Project SIARC delivery in North Wales. Encouraging conversations highlighted the trust that was already built and the energy around delving deeper into understanding and implementing meaningful educational and conservation actions in the region. The word cloud around the main challenges (shown below) highlights that the primary struggle in this Project is the perennial, universal problem of having enough time to do everything.

As a deeper understanding of EDI issues surfaced through these open discussions, elements that could be incorporated into a more general EDI guidelines output began to emerge. Practical guidelines were requested around co-creation collaborative processes, active listening, further training and access to EDI mentors, along with a base line for EDI best practice around language and accessibility. There were several specific mentions of discomfort being part of the journey and the need for adaptability. The group was left energised about the impact that their ideas may have on strategic development, and open for more dialogue in due course.

This workshop was funded by the Welsh Government’s Nature Networks Fund, which was delivered by the National Lottery Heritage Fund, a National Lottery grant from National Lottery Heritage Fund and a grant from On the Edge.

“Thank you for a [transformative experience], I learned a lot and most of it will stay with me” – Marine conservation researcher  

I liked the interactive approach and storytelling elements – really powerful” – Marine project manager, ZSL    

“Thank you from my heart for making what could have been a really difficult couple of days flow so well and mean so much to everyone” – Senior Technical Specialist, Conservation & Policy, ZSL