These days, everyone is looking back on the past year, so it is my turn to do that too. Year 2018 was marked with only one thing worth mentioning – Rhizome Association. Every day, from the moment I opened my eyes, to the moment I went to sleep, Rhizome projects have occupied most of my brain power. So here is what we did in the first 365 days of Rhizome…
“To give somebody your time is the biggest gift you can give.” Franka Potente
Rhizome was officially founded on January 1st, 2018 (check out our official declaration here). At that time, we had 12 members, and 5 of us were elected as Board members. Three other members joined before summer, and additional 6 after our Foundations course in Croatia. We celebrated our 1st birthday with 20 active members and re-elected 4 members of the Board to lead the development of Rhizome in 2019.
Everything that follows below could not have been done without the time, energy and skills of our active members, the essence of Rhizome Association.
“Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” Arthur Ashe
Essentially, we started from scratch. The first few months looked much like baby steps towards being functional.
We stumbled and fell, but we got up and tried again. We got our basic collaborative tools to work together. We designed our logo. We started our website, our Facebook page, our Twitter, our Instagram, our LinkedIn page, and our YouTube channel. We found and contacted almost 2000 university programs, FabLabs, and DIYbio groups, as well as student organizations that might be interested in our actions. We wrote a dozen project proposals and sent many more LOIs to potential funding organizations.
We had no replies to our requests, we had negative replies. We had people expressing interest, and then never hearing back from them. We had cancellations and accidents. We had equipment broken, programs reduced, budgets constrained. But we continued.
And we did what we could. And we achieved more than we could have done by ourselves, with the help of our partners, and our generous friends and supporters. We received funding from the King Baudouin Foundation, we completed a crowdfunding campaign, and we raised money during the science outreach event. We even presented our projects at the Global Community Biosummit at MIT in Boston! We contacted partners in Croatia, Cameroon, and Greece to expand our impact. We published 230 posts on Facebook and Twitter, reached 400 Facebook followers, created 6 promotional videos, and written 16 blog posts on our website.
“Success is no accident. It is hard work, perseverance, learning, studying, sacrifice and most of all, love of what you are doing or learning to do.” Pele
Here is what we achieved in less than 12 months:
- We built the Rhizome Foundations course and were happy to spend 2 weeks in Split teaching programming, electronics, lab skills and scientific communication to our first 8 participants.
- We started the ITeachLikeThis Twitter project, and have so far hosted 9 passionate educators who shared with the world how and why they teach.
- We created a unique pop-up arts-science event Microbes of MedILS were exhibited microbe art during one weekend at the Mediterranean Institute for Life Sciences.
“After climbing a great hill, one only finds that there are many more hills to climb.” Nelson Mandela
A new year ahead of us means many more opportunities to grow, to challenge ourselves and those who wish to learn with us.
Tweet with us and share your passion for teaching. Join our Science Survival Kit summer school. Explore arts&science and the wonderful world of microbes. Help us raise funds so we can take the Foundations course to the developing countries.
We value your time, as well as your financial support. Every bit you donate to us via Facebook or HelloAsso will be carefully invested in the equipment and to help reduce the costs of our school for those in need.
Keep in touch with us on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn). That’s the best way we to follow our work, to share it with your friends, and to support our vision – future education, based on active learning, skills development and interdisciplinary projects in science, arts, and civic engagement.