Passing the Torch: Dominic Stucker on CEC Young Professionals

 It is a great pleasure to write to you today, highlighting recent youth and intergenerational achievements in the CEC and IUCN, and sketching out next steps and opportunities for your involvement.

Dominic Stucker, CEC Member

I have had the privilege of serving on the IUCN CEC Steering Committee and as the Convener for the Young Professionals Leadership Team for the past four years. In this time, we have seen membership of CEC young professionals increase from 75 to over 300, representing an increase from 16% to nearly 30% of the total Commission membership. We have been active at strategic events, we have published articles, and we have made impacts on IUCN policy regarding youth and collaboration across generations. The cross-Commission, intergenerational platform that CEC established documents many of these successes:

Over the past year in particular, young and senior CEC members were instrumental in founding and catalyzing the IUCN-wide Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability, which went on to organize the Youth and Intergenerational Journey at the IUCN Congress in Jeju, Korea. An interactive and inspiring report on the Journey is here:

As you know, each IUCN Congress heralds new leadership for Commissions. CEC has a new Chair, Juliane Zeidler, with whom I worked closely on the CEC Steering Committee. She is a talented leader, bringing special attention, for example, to development and adaptation to climate change. She is a great supporter of our efforts to promote youth engagement within and through the CEC and wants young people directly involved in CEC projects contributing to the Commission's Mandate in meaningful ways. Learn more about Juliane here:

Juliane has appointed a small Steering Committee, including CEC young professional and former Council member, Grace Mwaura of Kenya. Grace has been a leader in the African Youth Initiative on Climate Change (AYICC) and is currently pursuing a Master's in Nature, Society, and Environmental Policy at Oxford University, UK. WIthin the CEC, she is taking on the roles of contributing to strategy through the Steering Committee and liaising between the Steering Committee and CEC young professionals. While she will not be a convener of the YPLT, she will work closely with the new YPLT Convener(s). Grace is also one of the five co-conveners of the IUCN-wide Task Force on Intergenerational Partnership for Sustainability. Learn more about her here:

Roles of new co-conveners of YPLT
Some of the following tasks can be shared among multiple YPLT Co-Conveners and members of the Young Professionals Leadership Team.

  • lead a strategic discussion and revision of the draft Action Plan in January as it pertains to the CEC for 2013-2016, selecting and refining specific projects for Working Groups
  • convene Skype meetings of the YPLT every 2 months to hear Working Group updates, plan next steps, and learn about new opportunities, especially from the CEC Steering Committee; post meeting notes to the YPLT Wikispace page
  • offer support to Working Groups in their efforts to complete projects; initially, this will include checking in with current Working Group Conveners to see if they want to renew their commitment or step aside for another person(s) to take the lead
  • record achievements on the YPLT Wikispace page and Facebook Group
  • track YPLT and Working Group membership
  • collaborate with other Commissions' young professionals networks and the Task Force, as appropriate

Opportunities for Involvement: Action Planing Skype Meeting, Working Group Membership
We have put a lot of effort into collaboratively creating a draft Union-wide Action Plan for 2013-2016 on youth engagement and intergenerational partnership. In addition to the Commission Mandate, the Plan includes valuable input from young and senior Commission members on project ideas for the YPLT.

Implementation of the Plan may mean that current Working Groups take on new projects and that new Working Groups are formed. The Action Plan is currently being edited by the Task Force and will be shared with Commission young professionals networks in the coming weeks for review and revision of their section. YPLT's new Conveners, along with Grace and me, will invite all of you to an online meeting in February to:

  • welcome new YPLT Co-Conveners
  • learn about the outcomes of the CEC Steering Committee meeting
  • discuss and adapt the Action Plan, as needed
  • invite people to volunteer to be YPLT Working Group Conveners and members

Learn more about the YPLT and current Working Groups here and attend the above meeting to contribute to a specific project: 

Signing Off Grateful
As for me, I am shifting into an advisory role for the CEC's YPLT and for the Task Force. I won't disappear, but - if I am playing my new role appropriately - you won't hear as much from me. Know that I am deeply grateful for the extraordinary efforts that so many of you have made to make the last four+ years such a success. I am thankful for the relationships we have formed and the smiles shared - even if some were emoticons on Skype chats ;) It has truly been humbling to work with all of you and I encourage you to go forward with ever-increasing enthusiasm, insight, and commitment to a thriving planet on which humans live in right relationship with one another and nature.

Thank you,

Dominic Stucker

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