Engagement Report: The BioBeo Project

BioBeo is a groundbreaking project undertaken through the collaboration of 15 partners from different regions of Europe, encompassing various educational systems and governance approaches. It merges theory with practice by integrating research, policy-making, and innovative educational practices. The project’s primary goal is to develop and implement an educational program that enhances society’s understanding and engagement with lifestyle, circularity, and bioeconomy, focusing on five bioeconomy themes: interconnectedness, outdoor learning, forestry, life below water, and the food loop. The partnership is dedicated to promoting the bioeconomy concept through this educational program, aiming to improve the coordination between bioscience and education in schools by developing the Circular Economy Science-Society message, with an emphasis on circular lifestyles and behaviors. A key outcome of this collaborative effort is to create a governance framework for society-wide engagement in bioeconomy policy, which includes educational governance.

To develop and pilot the governance framework, the project has conducted desk research to identify institutional and cultural barriers, as well as good practices. The goal is to enhance the governance of bioeconomy-related processes within society by involving European citizens, from young to old, in active policymaking, starting from schools and extending to non-formal and informal learning spaces.

This report summarizes the efforts made to engage children, young people, their parents and families, as well as professionals who can act as key advocates for innovative governance initiatives during the first half of the project. Submitted before the mid-term review, the report will be updated and significantly expanded before the project concludes.

The activities reported have been carried out within the framework of Work Package 2: Innovative Governance, closely linked with Work Package 3: the Education Programme. It outlines the work done on:

  1. Reviewing the current state of student and parent engagement in education, particularly their involvement in policymaking at various levels.
  2. Creating and piloting a training program for trainers who can support those dedicated to innovative governance structures, with a special focus on meaningful student and parent engagement.
  3. Developing guidelines and supporting the preparation of youth engagement activities, which will primarily occur later in the project, with subsequent reporting included in the updated deliverable at a later stage of the BioBeo project.