The ZERI Foundation catalyzed and mentored a broad range of initiatives around the world, ranging from the regeneration of rain-forest in Latin America, to mushroom farming on water hyacinth in Southern Africa, to the conversion of a cement plant into a solid municipal waste treatment facility in Japan, and the approval of bamboo as a building material in Germany. The obvious question emerged:

 

”Why are more people not undertaking more of these breakthrough programs around the world?”

 

As a consequence, the ZERI Foundation set out to design a learning system that would empower the next generation to do what we have succeeded in doing through the implementation of these creative projects: to find sustainable solutions for meeting the basic needs of all with locally available resources. The learning initiative was designed to develop a desire to learn, a wish to get involved, a feeling of responsibility, and a commitment to find innovative and creative solutions for the modern world.

Since all of these innovative projects were thoroughly researched by scientists around the world, there was a strong base of academic knowledge from which to create a series of highly informative and appealing fables. Each and every fable that makes up the first stage of the ZERI Learning Initiative is inspired by a scientist engaged in innovative work that contributes to sustainable development. The fables introduce key concepts that the anyone can use to make the leap from from raw science to implementation. At the end of each fable students are thus increasingly capable of making the same connections that the scientist did. The students can then apply those connections to think creatively about implementing their own projects.

 

Furthermore, profiling these scientists will help to give children a vision of their potential. It makes them aware of the opportunities that there are in the world, and the fact that if they put their minds to it, they can do anything that they want.

A series of fables connects the student's mind with hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of scientific subjects. As a result, confronted with a major challenge, children will rely on a solid academic framework to imagine solutions that have never been imagined before.

 

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