Giacomo Losio loves the environment. Growing up in a big family in Italy, he credits it with playing an important role in keeping his family close. “Mountains, open grounds, and woods played a pivotal role in helping me develop a strong relationship with my five brothers and sisters. Not just this, but these places fostered a sense of community and respect among the people we lived with and I want children of future generations to experience that too,” said Giacomo. In the face of climate change, biodiversity, and the economic crisis, his passion for working to support the environment has grown. With so many ideas and voices circulating within the environmental arena, Giacomo and his illustrator partner, Giulia Barbieri created TIME-hive Arena, the card game that protects wild nature. Their work focuses on addressing issues at the crossroads of environment and education.
There is so much noise around the environment already that it becomes difficult to find simple steps that create a big impact. Giacomo knows this firsthand and has devised a way to address the problems at a grassroots level.
From his previous experiences, Giacomo knew there was a gap in environmental education in primary school curriculum. “I just tried to develop a solution that teaches about the environment through a simple card game. Thanks to the use of images instead of words and by playing and having fun during the learning process, children understand things, even complex topics, such as the wild honeybees’ life. These insects are nowadays at serious risk due to climate change, urbanization, pesticides, pollution, and parasites … and we want to make people aware of how to really protect them by positioning wooden shelters for wild colonies that need a safe place to thrive,” Giacomo shared. His choice to educate primary school children stems from his desire to mold them into environmentally conscious individuals early on. He adds, “The future generation has to know the difference between greenwashing and real biodiversity conservation and we must start from primary school.”
Education is just the tip of the iceberg for Giacomo. His organization, Taller delle terre Aps, develops and tests sustainable projects, such as tableware made using a circular economy process and ‘plastic-free’ models of consumerism for households. The Taller delle Terre nonprofit organization ran its first crowdfunding campaign aptly titled, TIME-hive Arena, from September through December 2021, followed by participating in a booster lab program at the Bocconi University of Milan.
“After successfully incubating our card game solution, we have been working hard to raise further funds,” said Giacomo. In fact, part of the proceeds collected from the sale of the cards is going to the positioning of wooden shelters for wild honey bees, in particular ‘Domus Mellifera’ shelters developed by WBA Onlus. To create more impact, Giacomo’s team has been going strong and established 5 wooden shelters by the end of 2022: a map will be published soon on the website.
“I select local Italian suppliers that use specific plastic-free raw materials that are environmentally friendly and I made a partnership with an organization of researchers and entomologists – WBA Onlus. People often come up to me and question the price of the card game, comparing it to the ones which are way cheaper but not safe for the environment. You cannot expect me to build a game promoting conservation while making it from hazardous substances. Moreover, one shelter takes 130 euros to build from scratch and our card game is priced at 25 euros. We aim to make big impacts and that requires effort and funds.”
As a small organization, Giacomo’s nonprofit needed funding in the beginning. While scouring the Internet, he stumbled upon The Pollination Project. “Because of The Pollination Project, we will be able to run the 5 shelters smoothly. A lot of enterprises in Europe liked our solutions but couldn’t support us because they were looking for bigger projects with a larger impact to fund and communicate through their CSR channels.”
Giacomo is already dreaming of what he can do to help create a brighter future. “As you probably know, in addition to the climate crisis, there is a lot of disorder in Europe right now, creating pessimism among people and communities. However, we are hopeful to get enough funds in the short term to develop further card and board games and an educational platform with illustrated videos and illustrations for primary school children.”