Our Task has a huge mission, and to avoid spreading ourselves too thinly, we must be selective in the programs we undertake. Our programs are crafted as a partial answer to the question: What can I as a young person do that is meaningful? Each program works to support young people in their endeavors to strengthen our human relationship with the planet and create positive cultural change. We address our mission by mobilizing a community of young adults, by filling gaps in their knowledge about what is happening to Earth and what it will mean if we continue with “more-of-the-same” policies, by helping them to develop and advocate for alternative policies ("Plan Bs"), and by developing youth leadership skills. Specifically, we are:
Our human ecological footprint has reached a totally unsustainable 1.5 Earths. Our global culture is consuming at unprecedented rates. Our resources are being depleted beyond recovery. These are serious problems that demand action, especially by young adults. We need our own plan to guide our future! So, Our Task is holding a series of conferences to have dialog on the future of young people everywhere. We want to explore what is happening to our planet Earth and to global civilization. We want to figure out an Earth Plan for our generation. And we want to start taking action! Following the 2013 Conference, Our Taskers will also participate in Power Shift, Youth Building SDGs, and other youth oriented conferences. We are also developing a speakers’ bureau for organizations that want to hear a thoughtful young perspective on the human and planetary future.
The core of the Our Task work is mobilizing young adults (late teens to early thirties). Individually young people feel powerless and discouraged by the magnitude of the global issues they face. Together they feel empowered, hopeful, and influential. We start with social gatherings (Meetups), offering young people an opportunity to get together with other young people who share their passion for environmental issues. Meetups often showcase local community projects that are sustainably minded. They help young people connect with nature and find ways to become involved personally. We then encourage young people to begin acting on their personal convictions through their own community projects. Examples include: a community permaculture garden, a sustainable dinner club, a carpool database, etc. In some cases we produce promotional videos of the local projects!
The Youth Plan B describes how young adults would like to manage human affairs on Earth when it is their turn to lead. It is a work in progress describing what young adults really want, not what someone has taught them to want or what they have been told to settle for. It is a “living document”, an ever-evolving compilation of ideas, from the minds and hearts of those who have a huge stake in the way we interact with the planet. It is a distillation of young people’s most noble, uplifting, and treasured dreams stripped of assumed constraints of “feasibility”, disbelief, and past disappointments. It is the dream that drives our action.
We are all encouraged to think globally and act locally. But how does a person think globally? We are developing on-line resources to help Our Taskers think globally. Our first is “Global Thinking 101”. This crash course outlines our current global “Plan A” (more-of-the-same), its unacceptable consequences for Earth (including humans), and the alternatives (Plan Bs). We include links to other informational materials as well. Knowing what is happening to the planet is a crucial first step toward taking action and redefining our futures.
The Youth Leadership Council consists of young Our Taskers who have demonstrated a strong capacity for global thinking and leadership. Our current Leaders provide energy and vision for the youth mobilization campaign and provide input in the composing of the Youth Plan B.