We had a lovely surprise a few days ago when we picked up the phone and Juan Serantes was on the other end of the line. Juan is the technical director of an initiative called Ruta Siete and it seems he had seen the Mirlo Positive Nature website. The philosophy we’re trying to put across in the web and how we’re working to “change the way we relate to one another” had struck him as “different and coherent”.
Juan is convinced that the most important steps we take in life are the ones we take in contact with other people (life’s “click moments” come from contact with people: a teacher who marks our exams, something a friend said to us, an example we saw in a book…). That’s just what we think too; so we thought it would be a good idea to get to know each other a bit better, face to face.
Juan Serantes told us that Ruta Siete is a very special community that combines a passion for virtual networks with local actions in which groups of young people “get their hands dirty” helping to build a better world. It’s part of a programme of social innovation organised by the Vice Chancellorship of Culture, Sport and Integral Care of the University of Las Palmas de Gran Canaria and the University Foundation of Las Palmas, which brings together lots of young managers who are active in the areas of social change, the economy and the environment. All sorts of people are involved in it, all united by a number of shared ideas: a sense of belonging as individuals to a community, caring for the environment, and the need to break away from the myth that being a millionaire is a sign of a successful life.
It all begins with a journey that aspires to be one of those “click moments” we were talking about, a journey that will really turn our lives around. 45 university students are going to share a 35-day trip around the Canary Islands working to help improve the environment of the communities they pass through.
“When lots of people get together and they all have the same goal, that’s when our strength to promote change increases exponentially”.
It’s a really intense experience involving cooperation, initiative and creativity, and the young people have the opportunity to take active control of the processes for change. The lessons they learn will last long after the journey is over, they’ll still be part of this “virtual village” where they put their shoulder to the wheel whenever one of their neighbours – or one of their neighbour’s friends – needs a helping hand.
More and more young people, collaborators and initiatives are joining and being added to this nomad adventure. Everybody has the same objective; they all want to assume their own responsibility and to take a leading role in building a more collaborative, sustainable and just world. Clearly this philosophy is totally in line with the “Mirlo spirit” and we are really enthusiastic about the possibilities for collaboration that we’re beginning to see.
Picture: Ruta7 at Flickr.