UNESCO Futures forum-workshop in Laoag: We build our cities

UNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshop

Where do governments or even ordinary citizens fail? As opposed to long-term, we tend to plan short-term. To be able to see what lies ahead and sketch a system to reach our preferred future was the focus of “Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures”, the first ever futures forum-workshop in the Philippines, organized by UNESCO in collaboration with Northwestern University and the City Government of Laoag, held at the Laoag City Hall Auditorium last week.

World-renowned futurist Dr. Sohail Inayatullah engaged participants, which included representatives from local government units, the private business sector, non-government groups and the academe, both from here and abroad.

“Back to the future — we are past our prime, we need to return to simpler times,” Dr. Sohail Inayatullah says of the need for transformation.

UNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshopUNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshop

Prior to the workshop proper, futurists from the Tamkang University, the Hawaii Research Center for Futures Studies, Chung Ang University and Laoag’s Northwestern University shed light on futurology as a tool for recognizing issues.

Project NOAH Executive Director Mahar Lagmay, globally-recognized architect/urban planner Felino “Jun Palafox Jr, Dean Mario de los Reyes of the University of the Philippines School of Urban and Regional Planning, WWF Moncini Hinay of WWF-Philippines, Makati City Urban Development Officer Merlina Panganiban, Laoag City Mayor Chevylle Fariñas, Albay Public Safety and Emergency Management Office Statistician John Eugene Vincent Escobar presented more or less climate change status and disaster management in some parts of the country.

UNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshopUNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshopUNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshopUNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshop

Looking back at the outputs, we arrived at a future of a participatory governed, forward-rallying society. Hereafter, the future is something You and I build.

UNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshopUNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshopUNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshopUNESCO "Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures" futures forum-workshopWith fellow local participant.

Photographed by Alex and Blauearth
© Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014

The Camp for Earth Little Rays of Sunshine

Camp for Earth collage 1

At the exuberant first CAMP for EARTH in Ilocos, “little hands and little steps” were the focal point of the summer camp out.

More often than not, parents underestimate the child’s thirst for knowledge. The initiators, non-government entities Laoag Eco-Adventure Movemnent (LEAD) and Project 101, in partnership with the Northwestern University Ecotourism Park and Botanical Gardens (NUEBG), see so much promise. The stimulus of fun in action expectantly help “rewire” young minds for a cleaner and happier earth.

The youth are a bundle of thoughts and passion — it amazes the volunteers of the said pilot project to no end.

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Experts such as manager Michael Calaramo of the NUEBG, the search and rescue crew of the Philippine Air Force 505th SAR Grp and the SAR unit of the Philippine National Police-Ilocos Norte, and celebrity cake artists Ace and Kit Mandac of Ava’s Cakes and Partyshop were tapped to share their skills on select lively topics relevant to skill and idea building and empowerment.

New friendships were forged as well.

Camp for Earth collage 2Camp for Earth 63Camp for Earth  69Camp for Earth 124Camp for Earth  70Camp for Earth 101Cupcake BaseCamp for Earth 33Cupcake Design ClassCamp for Earth 39Camp for Earth 45Camp for Earth 40Camp for Earth 36Cupcake Tree design by LukasSnowman Cupcake by DragonCamp for Earth CupcakesCamp for Earth 5Camp for Earth 15Camp for Earth 17Camp for Earth collage 3Camp for Earth 19Camp for Earth 13Camp for Earth 14Camp for Earth 25Boodle Fight

The 3 R’s and the concept of sustainabilty were introduced and practiced while at camp. A commemorative group tree planting activity before the graduation ceremonies made the event more meaningful.

Picture 328Camp for Earth collage 4Dish GardenSpoon RelayCamp for Earth collage 6YannaCamp for Earth collage 5

On a personal note, words are not enough to describe how proud I am for the first campers for earth. The summer heat was not a damper to their spirits. Congrats, eco-campers!

Camp for Earth wishes to thank Viajero Outdoor Center in Cagayan de Oro for the outdoor gear gifts, Northwestern University President Ms. Liza Nicolas, Mrs. Erlinda Gloria, Raine Mateo Calucag, Philippine National Red Cross Ilocos Norte Chapter, the volunteers and facilitators, Ms. Alma Ajero, Crystal Dew, Leah’s Empanaditas, Red Dot, the NUEBG staff, Mr. Butch Nicolas, Mr. Reny Tan, the little campers and their parents.

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Photographed by Blauearth © Blauearth™ All Rights Reserved 2009-2014