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Prada completes Ocean Beyond education programme with Unesco and schools

By Simone Preuss

16 Feb 2021

A year ago, Italian luxury fashion house Prada teamed up with Unesco’s Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC) for the educational programme Sea Beyond, a tailor-made pilot project for secondary schools around the world to raise awareness on ocean preservation and sustainability. The two partners have now announced the completion of the project and presented its last phase.

The aim of Sea Beyond is to educate the new generations about adopting more responsible and mindful behaviours towards the ocean and its resources, promoting sustainable consumption in line with the United Nations 2030 Agenda and its 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

Promoting ocean literacy among younger generations worldwide

During the first phase of the project, which lasted from October 2020 to January 2021 and was delayed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, high school teachers in ten cities around the world (Berlin, Cape Town, Lisbon, London, Mexico City, Milan, New York, Paris, Shanghai and Venice) took part in webinars conducted by UNESCO-IOC experts, in which they received training on how to develop an educational module dedicated to the theme of ocean sustainability.

Each one of the ten schools received a “Sea Beyond” toolkit made of recycled cardboard, containing educational as well as creative materials to enable students to play an active role in a global ocean sustainability movement.

“For the Prada Group, the promotion of culture and education is an integral part of the sustainability strategy. The collaboration with Unesco embraces this path and translates it into a direct channel of communication with students around the world. We are proud to see the creation of an ocean awareness project from what was initially a product innovation and sustainable materials initiative,” commented Lorenzo Bertelli, head of marketing and CSR for the Prada Group, at the beginning of the project.

Student sea ambassadors create awareness campaigns

During the project’s second phase, which started on 25th January 2021, students, as true “sea ambassadors”, have been tasked with developing awareness campaigns focused on ocean preservation as part of an international competition.

An international jury will pick the winning campaign, which will be announced at a virtual event on 26th March 2021. The jury includes Italian writer Alessandro Baricco; aquanaut, oceanographic explorer and environmental advocate Fabien Cousteau; environmental artist Anne de Carbuccia; marine scientist and social entrepreneur Kerstin Forsberg; and Italian gold-medalist free diver Alessia Zecchini.

They will be joined by Prada Group CSR head Lorenzo Bertelli and Vladimir Ryabinin, ICO executive secretary and assistant director general of Unesco, and international personalities who have dedicated their talent and careers to saving the ocean. Brazilian marine activist and artist Patricia Furtado de Mendonça will moderate the event.

The participating schools include Aristoteles Gesamtschule Bernau - Montessorischule Niederbarnim, Berlin (Germany); Protea Heights Academy, Protea (South Africa); Escola Básica e Secundária Anselmo De Andrade, Alamada (Portugal); Agrupamento de Escolas de Vialonga, Vialonga (Portugal); the Kingston Academy, Surrey (UK); Colegio Latino, Villahermosa, Tabasco (Mexico); Istituto Marcelline Tommaseo, Milan (Italy); New Rochelle High School, New Rochelle (USA); Lycée International Saint Germain en Laye, Saint-Germain-en-Laye (France); Shanghai High School International Division, Shanghai (China); and Benedetti Tommaseo, Venice (Italy).

The winning campaign will be showcased on Prada’s and Unesco’s social media channels as well as their websites. In addition, the school of the selected project will receive an award and the sum of 5,000 euros to be invested in educational materials.

The whole event will be live-streamed on www.pradagroup.com, starting from 2.00 pm CET on 26th, March 2021.

Images: Prada Group Sea Beyond