BISD Launched in Panama

The Brigades Institute for Sustainable Development Launched in Panama

Orion Haas 01/13/2009

Last week, 14 Global Brigades students completed the first ever Brigades Institute for Sustainable Development (BISD) event in Panama dedicated to rethinking the way youth, and the entire world, does development work. This workshop challenged the perspectives and pursuits of students, Global Brigades and the entire development world. Students found the conversations mind -blowing, frustrating and inspiring. These debates and discussions left many of us with a new outlook on what we do and a new perspective into the future of our Earth.

The one week program took us into the jungle to hike into the mountains, walk along the rivers, study the ecosystem, learn systems-thinking and debate the foundation of global development and sustainability. We slept in hammocks and tents, star-gazed and welcomed the New Year from our partner organization Earth Train‘s beautiful rainforest accommodations. We even saw a sloth and its baby up close! The setting could not have been better for one of the most important Global Brigades events of the year.

This past week was the first time that Brigades has ever partnered with another organization to provide an educational opportunity for our students. While Global Brigades offers thousands of students the opportunity to get their hands dirty and implement development projects, sometimes we do not have the time to pause and create open dialogue about why we do what we do. BISD did this and also set the stage for great teachers and development professionals such as Nathan Grey, David Stroh and John Perkins to share their knowledge and experiences with all of us. This was a truly inspiring and transforming experience.

With such powerfully positive feedback from students following the first ever BISD event, there are sure to be more opportunities to come in the near future. We encourage you to keep your eyes open for the next events and to join Brigades students from all over the planet in our ongoing discussions about how to make this world a better place.

Orion Haas is Director of Student Empowerment for Global Brigades as well as Program Director for the Brigades Institute for Sustainable Development. For more information about his programs, contact him:

Images taken by student and Public Health club president Laura Solia during BISD this January in Panama.






One thought on “BISD Launched in Panama

  1. The medical program in Panama heaved growth so much for the impact in the communities and working with Nobe-bugle tribes and Farmers, we are making such an impact that ministries of Health Panama, Police of Santiago, the Convener of Santiago City , Red Cruz and the Panamanian Air force they support us with 100% they have offer there help and not only that but they ask me to please let us work with you because they had seen the way Global Brigades work and they love it
    Adding to I am going to revolutionary the way of doing medical brigades in Panama my next step is Global Air force Medical Brigades (Helicopters Brigades) All of my groups love the idea that way I will provide medical services in Island and places with not access Our new partner to work with is the Air force of Panama they have offer me full service to fly with my group so I will be doing my first brigade in August with the first club they ask me they will love it to do it so hands on an let’s keep working to made this family Big and service our communities people

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