NAAEE Affiliate Network Goals, Summary of Feedback and Report


NAAEE Affiliate Network Goals, Summary of Feedback and Report

Members of the Affiliate Network in front of a building, with the Network Logo superimposed

Affiliate Network Goals Executive Summary


Across North America, state, provincial, territorial and regional environmental education associations are supporting the many types of educators who teach concepts we all need to understand: how natural systems work, what we must do to interact responsibly with our environment, and how we can protect natural resources for future generations. These associations, when linked together through the NAAEE Affiliate Network, create an extensive circuitry of programs, initiatives, and supports to energize environmental education across the continent. These network connections allow ideas, learnings, and successes to flow across the network powering ongoing innovation.   

The NAAEE Affiliate Network is part of the largest network of environmental educators in the world, connecting us to over 150,000 educators annually. Collectively, we support educators, schools, and communities to impact conservation, education, social justice, health and wellness, and youth development. 

The Affiliate Network has grown in capacity over the past 5 years.  The number of Affiliate Organizations with paid staff has more than doubled. And NAAEE has increased its investments in supporting individual Affiliates and the network through capacity-building initiatives such as ee360 and staffing dedicated to Affiliate Network activities. To continue innovating and increasing representation and transparency, in fall 2020, an NAAEE Affiliate Network 2.0 working group was established and resourced with a facilitation team to conduct a collaborative three-month design sprint imagining 2021 and beyond. 

Out of this design sprint came new draft network goals for the NAAEE Affiliate Network which were then presented to the full network for feedback over the first quarter of 2021 through the Affiliate Network 2.0 Draft Goal Survey and two listening sessions. Feedback was received from 144 Affiliate leaders representing 48 Affiliates from across the NAAEE Affiliate Network. Of the 48 Affiliates that provided feedback, 42 Affiliates had responses from 2 or more representatives. This feedback was then synthesized into several options for the working group to discuss during its final meeting in April 2021. After taking into consideration adjustments and feedback from the working group, the final iteration of the Affiliate Network Goals are as follows:

NAAEE Affiliate Network Goals

The NAAEE affiliate network advances environmental literacy to create a more just, equitable, and sustainable future. As a network, we collaborate on joint efforts and share learning to:

  1. Build and strengthen the capacity of individual NAAEE affiliates, the Affiliate Network, and NAAEE to advance the field of Environmental Education  
  2. Center social and environmental justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility in our work as environmental educators, individual Affiliates, the Affiliate Network, and NAAEE.
  3. Elevate and increase support for environmental education through advocacy and shared messaging to magnify the reach and impact of our work.
  4. Provide space and opportunity for fostering innovation, shared learning, and addressing emergent issues.

Why Network Goals?

Network Goals can help a network focus joint efforts and investments, increase common understanding, and encourage innovative/spontaneous collaboration and coordination. 

Next Steps

Recurring Process: these big picture and conceptual goals should be the starting place for a recurring process by which individual Affiliates, the Affiliate Network, and NAAEE work together to: 

A. Note past and/or current efforts relevant to each goal 

B. Explicitly define terms within each goal, important everywhere and essential for goal #2 

C. Establish measurements or targets for the goals and timeframe (90 - 360 days) where possible 

D. Indicate which group(s) of people are lead for advancing the goals for the timeframe 

E. Identify approaches (joint initiatives, trainings, convenings, etc) for pursuing the goals


Work Plan to Implement Goals: With the goals finalized the newly established Affiliate Network Working Group will work together with a consultant(s) to create a work plan to operationalize and implement the new network goals. 

To read the full report on the process of creating the Network Goals please visit the attached files. For any questions about the Affiliate Network, Affiliate Network Working Group, or the report itself please contact Bruce Young ( (Affiliate Network Coordinator), Sarah Bodor( (Director of Advocacy & Affiliate Relations), or Katie Navin ( (Affiliate Network Working Group Co-Chair)