Executive Director and Chief Legal Counsel, Our Children’s Trust
BACKGROUND / Professional and educational background:
Julia Olson graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder in 1993 with a B.A. in International Affairs and from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, with a J.D. in 1997. Julia worked for 15 years representing grassroots conservation groups in the Western United States. She helped protect rivers, forests, parks, wilderness, wildlife, organic agriculture and human health. After becoming a mother, and realizing the greatest threat to her children and children everywhere was climate change, she began focusing her work in that field. Her work has led her to the intersection of human rights and environmental protection and she is passionate about working for youth. Julia also teaches environmental courses as an adjunct instructor at the University of Oregon School of Law.
Julia is the lead attorney on the case by 21 youth and Dr. Hansen against the United States, President Obama and his agencies.
ACHIEVEMENT / What does the project/initiative/startup/company you will be presenting at the Positive Economy Forum consist of?
Our Children’s Trust, founded by Julia, elevates the voice of youth to secure the fundamental legal right to a stable climate and healthy atmosphere for the benefit of all present and future generations. Through her programs, youth participate in advocacy, public education and civic engagement to ensure the viability of all natural systems in accordance with law and science.
LOCATION / Where do you lead your project/company (city, region and country)?
Our Children’s Trust is based in the United States and works with youth and legal partners globally to secure youth’s fundamental rights and science-based action by governments of the world to protect the climate system and oceans.
IMPACT / How do you evaluate the economic, social, politic and environmental impact of your project / action?
The impact OCT seeks is a systemic and comprehensive shift in government policies away from climate destruction and towards climate stabilization and ocean protection. Julia seeks to secure the basic and fundamental human rights of the youngest generation and future generations in the face of climate destabilization. Her work on behalf of and alongside youth uses democracy, inalienable rights claims in the judiciary and civic engagement to secure intergenerational justice.
QUOTE / A sentence, quotation or a word that best describes you
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead