Last week we had our first official guest talk with our growing educator community as part of our prelaunch event series for Wayfinder Society for Environmental Education! One of our main goals for connecting regularly with our Wayfinder Society community is to explore ideas around environmental education.

For our first guest talk, we invited founder of Algalita, 30-year Captain of the Oceanographic Research Vessel Alguita, originator of the Great Plastics Awakening, explorer, educator, philosopher, and our dear friend: Capt. Charles Moore.

As a small team, we value the ability to spend time just talking with each other and discussing our philosophies and how we envision we can spur the change we wish to see in the world. Our favorite moments are often listening to Charles speak about his perspective of the future. He is someone who spends his time learning and thinking about the leading edge, whether it is the ocean, or future tech. He brings his comprehensive understanding of history, interdisciplinary connections, and open mindset to every conversation. We wanted to invite our broader community into this experience by having an open discussion with him. For this occasion with an audience of environmental educators, we centered the discussion around ways educators can help students reframe their thinking as we move towards addressing the massive challenges of plastic pollution, climate change and social influences of tech like AI.

We asked him to start off with describing how he has maintained his curiosity and childlike perspective over the decades of doing emotionally challenging work. His insight was surprising as always, sharing that what has been important to him throughout his career, and what he thinks students today can find helpful, is focusing on developing an “independent state of mind”. Thinking, questioning, and analyzing through our own individual perspectives, and releasing the control of immediate access of information that we get from our phones and the internet. He shared that he has worked over the years to figure out how his unique experience and expertise could provide him with a sense of independence and importance, fitting in and adding to the communities he is a part of.

We went on to discuss how he sees the current state of our world through a historical lens, and what he thinks it means for the future of our work on the issue of plastic pollution, and our sister movement around climate change. He shared an analogy describing changes in society over time as different types of waves found in the ocean: short-period wind waves and long-period ground swells. In his view, the rapid technological changes that we are experiencing today are changes that are taking place more rapidly than ever before. He thinks looking back further in time can help us understand the bigger meaning of these changes, and how the unintended consequences they are creating are interconnected.

We also talked about what it means to live in a world of instant answers, how to deal with delivering bad news, connections between science and philosophy, and how he walks the talk in his own live and home.

Listen in to the whole discussion here!



What is Wayfinder Society for Environmental Education?

Wayfinder Society is a dynamic, free online platform that includes environmental education lessons, activities, and toolkits for interactive classroom learning, based in a growing and active community of environmental educators who aim to cultivate creativity and imagination in their students – helping them become engaged citizens that can impact their local community. With Wayfinder Society, educators can create the classroom they envision in community with Algalita and educators around the world. Together with educators, we are inspiring the next generation of leaders. Wayfinder Society is a program by Algalita, a 501(c)3 non-profit based in Long Beach, CA whose mission our mission is to design and deliver educational experiences that empower individuals to understand the full scope of plastic pollution’s impact on people and the planet, while also providing tangible ways to support solutions.

Whether you’re a public or private school teacher, homeschool parent, informal educator, student, or life-long learner – Wayfinder Society is the place for you. Visit our website to learn more and sign up for our Wayfinder Society educator community newsletter here.


Wayfinder Society’s Free Upcoming Events

Saturday, April 22 // 2-3pm PT
Roundtable Discussion: What is effective environmental education?
Join us for an open discussion about environmental education on Earth Day! At Wayfinder Society we’re aiming to provide a novel approach through our focus on real issues, connections with experts in the field, and a focus on student mental health and positive focus on solutions. What do you think is important for effective environmental education to happen in your classroom?


Tuesday, May 2 // 4-5pm PT
What is Wayfinder Society? Re-run and Lesson Deep Dive
In case you missed us the first time, join us for an introduction to Wayfinder Society for Environmental Education. Learn about our lesson plans, tool kits, how-to guides, grant programs, and student hub.

Tuesday, May 23 // 4-5pm PT
Join us for the official launch of Wayfinder Society for Environmental Education.

Register for an event and invite another educator to join in!