Proposal for ongoing collaboration

The situation we are facing today requires a resolute collaborative and multidisciplinary approach to meeting the challenges it entails. This is also clearly expressed in SDG 17, which calls for strong ‘Partnerships for the Goals’ as a critical means to further implementing and achieving the SDGs (UN, 2015). As the Environmental Physiotherapy Association (EPA), we are therefore planning for and propose a larger collaborative project consisting of three main parts to accompany the implementation of the EPT Agenda 2023. We hope that this collaborative project will significantly support the further advancement of sustainability and environmental physiotherapy education both during and beyond the core action years of the Agenda.

Part 1: Refining the Environmental Physiotherapy Agenda 2023

As the first part of this larger environmental physiotherapy education project, we aim to continue refining the EPT Agenda 2023 throughout the year of 2020 by drawing on the feedback of all supporting organisations and participating institutions. This is with the intention to more clearly reflect the aim of the Agenda in the context and realities of entry-level physiotherapy education around the world, but also to reflect and continue the collaborative effort that this Agenda has already been and is intended to remain throughout.

We will also continue to establish working relationships with other professions and experts working with related issues to help further refine the EPT Agenda 2023 and the integration of environmental and sustainability perspectives into entry-level physiotherapy education.

Part 2: Development of an online, open-access environmental physiotherapy inspiration-base

The second and central part of the project consists in the development of a dynamic, open-access, online inspiration- and collaboration-base focussed on the integration of environmental and sustainability perspectives into physiotherapy education. We hope to make this available throughout the process of its development, but should this not be possible for technical or other reasons, we aim to create a publicly visible version ready by the end of 2024.

The primary aim for this inspiration-base is for it to contain information on the content, methods, advantages and challenges of environmental physiotherapy education, alongside other aspects emerging from this earliest stage of development and implementation between 2020-2023. In conjunction with this, we also hope to add interactive functionalities to it that would allow, for example, elements of it to be used as a toolkit for teaching, learning, and collaboration, with emergent content being made available throughout the development process. In this way, we hope that the inspiration-base will grow into a vital tool and resource for further research and development in environmental and sustainable healthcare education in physiotherapy, as well as other healthcare professions.

Crucially, we hope to develop this inspiration-base by drawing together the feedback from partnering educators and institutions, as well as via ongoing collaboration with them throughout the development phase. Further detail on this process will be provided to all participating institutions in time and are arranging all necessary means to coordinate this endeavour. As an element of this second part of the EPT Agenda 2023 project, we also hope to conduct various forms of meetings or symposia in which key stakeholders from participating institutions and supporting organisations can meet and exchange experiences, challenges, and ideas. Information on these opportunities will follow in due course.

Our intention behind creating an 'inspiration-base', rather than a 'knowledge-base' is related to our very acute awareness of the risk of perpetuating colonial patterns and the hegemony of particular knowledges over others in tertiary education, as discussed in the 'Challenges and Reservations' section of this Agenda. To foster diversification, we do not seek to represent absolute knowledges or truths, but engage and inspire each other in an open, non-imposing way that leaves ample space for, and thrives on, questioning, change and difference.

Part 3: Summary report

The project will conclude with the production of a report towards the end of 2024 to document what has been achieved throughout the core years of the EPT Agenda 2023. This report will reflect what content and methods have been used and developed throughout this period and what challenges have presented themselves along the way. In conjunction with the online inspiration-base, the purpose of this report will be to summarise and critically reflect on the next steps required to refine the integration of environmental and sustainability perspectives in physiotherapy education and beyond.