After personal reflection and gaining valuable insights from the conservation community, I have decided to close Primate Education Network (PEN) and will continue to be your advocate through my new organization, Design Pathways.
The very thought of closing PEN made this the hardest letter I’ve ever had to write. So much of what we create in the world is what we personally needed for ourselves. More than 20 years ago, I started my career as an educator. I founded and led PEN to train and champion other educators and conservation practitioners like myself.
Along with PEN's advisors and Regional Coordinators based in 7 countries, I built a home for educators who felt isolated in remote and rural regions of the world. We created a community for you to collaborate and learn together.
For 7 years, PEN worked diligently to understand and address our community’s greatest challenges and needs. I want to take a moment to recognize the progress we’ve made.
- Trained 700+ educators and practitioners across 70+ countries through an online course and in-person workshops in Brazil, Peru, Colombia, Vietnam, Uganda, and beyond.
- Highlighted 30+ educators through our storytelling blogs and crowdsourcing contests.
- Curated 250+ publications and 200+ education materials in 12 languages.
And we shared this amazing journey with our generous partners and supporters. I am incredibly grateful to every educator who spoke their truth and shared their struggles and wins with us over the years. PEN was a great success in addressing the needs of its time.
Looking ahead, our community must learn from other organizations working across conservation actions, species, and sectors. I founded Design Pathways to help leaders and their teams get unstuck and design the best conservation actions, including education, for their context to change behavior more effectively.
This shift from PEN to Design Pathways is also inspired by my personal evolution as a leader and search for a more sustainable model that relies on both grants and paid services. My purpose remains the same: to transform the way you learn and help you achieve breakthroughs in designing behavior-driven solutions.
So what does all this mean for PEN members like you?
- You will benefit from free member access to our Resource Library and Bibliography on PEN’s website, but no new content will be added.
- With PEN’s team dissolved, we will no longer be able to answer your emails and requests.
As PEN closes and I officially step down as the Executive Director, I want to thank you for helping me fulfill our mission. My work continues to be inspired by your passion and commitment to conservation.
I look forward to the future with great enthusiasm and am excited to support you with more impactful learning experiences at Design Pathways.
Please join me in taking a walk down memory lane to celebrate our accomplishments in PEN’s story timeline and watch our thank you video. Without you, none of this important work would have been possible.
With heartfelt gratitude,
Founder of PEN and Design Pathways