“No one will protect what they don’t care about; and no one will care about what they have never experienced” (David Attenborough)
Monday 1 March OutBe was born, the innovative start-up connecting science, nature and people through outdoor sports. They describe themselves and their project as a benefit start-up which wants to inspire, connect, and involve everyone in acting for the environment and for the well-being of people in a simple, measurable, but impactful and fun way.
“For us, it is important that both Out and Be are highlighted concepts, with equal value. Out because of the outdoor environment we love, explore and protect; and Be, because we are part of it, and by protecting our Planet, we take care of ourselves as well.”
To be able to protect nature effectively, you need to know it inside out. But if the planet is too big to be monitored and restored by scientists alone, then the many curious people who love and experience the outdoors every day come into play. Thus, the outdoor sports we love become the perfect opportunity to study and protect nature, making us and the Planet feel good. It is called citizen science.
CITIZEN SCIENCE: A DEFINITION
The idea behind OutBe revolves around the concept of citizen science and its encounter with outdoor activities; what do we mean by citizen science? To give an idea of its importance it is sufficiently to think that an active proposal to the European Commission calls for 20% of marine data to come from by citizen science by 2025. Let’s try to provide a definition of this wide notion.
According to Wikipedia®, “Citizen science is scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur (or nonprofessional) scientists. Citizen science is sometimes described as “public participation in scientific research”, participatory monitoring, and participatory action research whose outcomes are often advancements in scientific research by improving the scientific community’s capacity, as well as increasing the public’s understanding of science.”.
We might add that it uses the collective strength of communities and the public to identify research questions, collect and analyze data, interpret results, make new discoveries, and develop technologies and applications. All of this is done to understand and solve environmental problems.
In a nutshell, we could say that it’s the practice of public participation and collaboration in scientific research to increase scientific knowledge. Through citizen science, people share and contribute to data monitoring and collection programs.
In this light, Outbe aims to learn and share new ideas that can be used to protect the nature in the belief that actions must be practical and tangible if we really want to implement the change that our planet needs.
WHAT’S BEHIND THE PROJECT
The idea originated in the Mediterranean, but its scope is broad and international. The project started with Luca Tixi, marine biologist and outdoor guide, founder of Outdoor Portofino, and developed with Arianna Liconti, marine ecologist and participatory science enthusiast. The new start-up wants to put at the service of environmental research those who love, explore and live nature, through the creation of a platform of connection, advice and training between the realities of science, sports and companies wishing to support concrete actions for the protection of nature.
They refer to it as an ‘ecosystem‘, inspired by the marine ecosystem that fascinates them and hosts them in their adventures. In this way, research leaves the walls of the academy and the sportsmen and women become the eyes and hands that science needs, increasing the data and actions required to understand and protect nature.
The goal is to create a model that links marine research, society, policy and the economy through the active involvement of participatory science in the open air. In simple words: a new model of interaction between people and nature, where outdoor sports and ecology meet.
OutBe currently collaborates with institutions that are the foundation on which the whole project came to life:
– Istituto per lo studio degli impatti Antropici e Sostenibilità in ambiente marino (IAS)
– Università degli studi di Genova
– European Marine Observation and Data Network
– Outdoor Portofino
“Whether you are a scientist, a business manager, an outdoor guide or an enthusiast, our ecosystem is open to everyone who wants to act for the environment and their well-being in a simple, measurable, yet impactful and fun way.“
OutBe today is a small, dynamic under-35 team; a social community on Instagram (@outbe.earth) and Linkedin, which aims to tell stories to inform and inspire projects between sport and nature conservation; and an outbe.earth website, where the ecosystem will be articulated to match and support the different realities to study and protect the environment, outdoors.
“The adventure starts today, but even more than that, it is a call to adventure, an invitation to change the way we live and protect nature, in nature,” says an excited Luca, co-founder and CEO of OutBe.
The start-up is aimed at sportsmen and women, projects, organisations and companies, and opens the doors of its ecosystem on www.outbe.earth.
Urkell Journal Team