THE PERFECT PLAYGROUND

Benedetta Mazzini from Wild Places Safaris was one of the delegates at this year’s revamped Conservation Lab. She tells us what the experience meant to her…

Forever in search of inspiration, new lessons to learn and sharing with others, I have found The Conservation Lab the perfect “playground”.

I always felt and thought that the best moments, the best intuitions are those that are unexpected, the unscripted ideas.

A mix of brain, laughter, adrenaline, big hearts and a bit of shyness.

This is what comes out when you use an innovative and original way to work such an un-conference, putting together a very different group of people, all very interesting and all very unique in their own way.

For some it might seem a bit strange and difficult, at first.

If you’re not used to speaking your mind, if you’re not used to “having an audience”, it takes a bit to open up, but the genuineness of the people and the incredibly friendly environment that Ryan, Serge and the team created so incredibly well, helps to let loosen up and you end up being yourself and feel free to talk.

When you walk into a room where there are men such as Dereck Joubert, Colin Bell, Map Ives and Christiaan Bakkes, you just have to listen, absorb and learn.

Everybody is “tuning” up and that’s when things start to really happen, ideas, different points of view, different opinions, because no-one thinks it’s really “the moment”, no one thinks it has already started yet.

It’s like an orchestra tuning up and it’s thrilling.

Some things aren’t made to be planned out in details.

Enjoy to share, give as much as you can and be inspired by the moment.

This is maybe a naive way to describe it, but it’s really how I feel about this Conservation Lab project.

I feel privileged I had the chance to be there, I’m lucky to have the honour to know these gentlemen I have mentioned and even more lucky to have met new people that inspire me, that move me, that can really make the difference and lead us with their ideas, suggestions, their courage to fight our way back.

So thank you, Conservation Lab: it was an overwhelming, useful and beautiful experience.

benedetta