September 18, 2019
With MobiliCAMPUS, ITDP Brazil Builds the Next Generation of City Leaders
With a new learning platform, ITDP Brazil responds to intense demand in sustainable mobility
ITDP’s Brazil’s new educational platform, MobiliCAMPUS, launched this year to booming popularity, so much so that students had to be turned away and the spots available had to be doubled. With misinformation and nationalist sentiments taking hold in so many corners of the globe, grassroots efforts like this free-of-cost learning platform show the power of collective action and the need for non-biased and non-political information and knowledge sharing. As places often on the frontlines of the extreme effects of extreme weather, cities are increasingly leading the political battles against climate change. Initiatives like these demonstrate the value and importance of on the ground work to empower citizens with knowledge that they can use to enact change.
An E-Learning Platform for Sustainable Mobility
In early 2019, ITDP Brazil launched an e-learning platform, MobiliCAMPUS, to provide a meaningful learning opportunity for anyone who wants to learn more about sustainable mobility. The course is aimed at all aspects of the mobility world: from government workers, like city planners or other civil servants, to academics and university affiliated students and practitioners, and private sector members working in transportation, technology, and housing, and urban planning. The program provides four courses; Public Transit, Sustainable Urban Development, Cycling, and Walking. Students are given three months to complete the course material which is designed to take between 30 and 40 hours. The content is based on ITDP’s publications as well as references from other institutions. The platform presents course material in videos that the students watch and also offers a media library composed of videos, infographics, and databases. The online portal provides students in interactive component (forum) where they can stay in touch and message each other, about coursework or other common interests.
MobiliCAMPUS advertisements helped attract over 1000 applicants for each course.
The Next Generation of Brazilian Leadership
Within two days of the initial MobiliCAMPUS launch, the platform received about 500 applications from people all over Brazil. Overall, the first offering of MobiliCAMPUS received 1,075 registrations from people from 189 different cities of all 26 Brazilian states and the Federal District. From that group, ITDP picked 150 students based on their gender, race, region, order of registration, and their sector of work in order to secure diversity and ensure rich exchanges. From the 150 selected for the first class, roughly half were men and half women, 65% white, 23% mixed race, 9% black, 2% Asian, and 1% indigenous. The participants came from 21 Brazilian States and 57 cities because the selection of students was made to guarantee an equitable distribution of demographics.
The second course was offered in July and received a similar level of interest with 1,084 registrations. To respond to the high demand, the second course was offered to 300 people. Similar to the preliminary course, the students who were chosen to take the course reflect the diversity of Brazil with 58% being women, and over 50% not white with 37% mixed race, 7% black, 4% Asian, and less than 1% indigenous. The northeast area of Brazil, known for its cultural significance and high rates of poverty, is the second most represented region representing 20% of the students.
The third, and final course offering for 2019 has closed and students will have until the end of the year to complete their work. Registration remained very high in the third round, with many students who were not able to take the courses re-applying.
MobiliCAMPUS’ many registrations show how eager people are to arm themselves with knowledge in the face of climate change
Each course has exceeded numbers for registration and students who have taken the course have provided glowing feedback, with the average score rating at 4.5/5. There is a long waiting list for the 3rd round of MobiliCAMPUS, offered this fall. MobiliCAMPUS will continue into 2020 with the option of adding more placements for students and perhaps more modules. This high demand demonstrates a need for knowledge and greater capacity building in Brazil. Says Brazil’s Program Director, Ana Nassar, “The tremendous response shows that people are eager to learn more about sustainable mobility. This shows that many eager civil servants have armed themselves with knowledge to make their cities better in the face of climate change. For us, we hope to continue to offer coursework and work on ways to connect past students with each other to further add value to their past participation.”