Today, a global plague and far-reaching civil unrest are transforming everything we once thought we knew about life. The systems we exist under, which once seemed so certain, are looking increasingly shaky. Our college educations, now reduced to a $40,000 Zoom call, have not prepared us for this – rather, they’ve given us quite a lot of baggage to unlearn.

What are we supposed to learn now?

At the Overstory Alliance, we’re putting together a slate of Unlearning Courses – free, short, digital co-learning programs led by and for young people. In one course, learners will discover the systems that truly make modern life tick, in all their oppressive and temporary glory; in the other, they’ll learn strategies for dismantling these systems and building better ones to replace them. Learners who join us in both courses will leave with both the knowledge and the skills necessary to mold this world into something we all want to live in, and a host of new connections they can partner with to bring the change we all deserve.

The Unlearning Format

4 weeks per course, with online sessions twice a week (3-4 hours of material per week)
Each week, a new guest speaker will guide learners through a relevant topic that they happen to be an expert in and take learners’ questions
Interactive discussions cap off each week of the program, allowing learners to process information and reach novel conclusions together
The week-to-week structure is flexible; learners can direct their unlearning efforts in ways they decide is best for the group and for themselves
Designed to be accessible online first, but with opportunities for in-person gatherings and events in the Twin Cities area.

Seeding the Future

Four weeks beginning October 19th, 2020

Now, perhaps more than ever before in our lifetimes, it’s become clear that the status quo of our world isn’t working. The biosphere is dying, people are being violently oppressed in the streets, and hundreds of thousands are dying preventable deaths. None of us want this, yet it all feels so inevitable.

The good news, however, is that it truly isn’t. We can imagine a different future for ourselves and our planet; we can unlearn the destructive patterns that have gotten us here; and better yet, we can build that future together.

Join the Overstory Alliance for a four-week program that will challenge you to envision different futures than the ones we already know, and will train you in various techniques that you can use to bring about the world we deserve. At the end of the program, put your new skills to work in the Intervention Incubator, a marathon multi-day session of brainstorming, planning, and creating aimed at designing systemic interventions that can move our world towards the better future we demand.

How We Got Here

Four weeks beginning September 14th, 2020

Modern life is weird. Most of us are funneled through it via industrial-size education systems, pushed into unfulfilling jobs to make money for rich people we don’t know, and expected to use retail therapy to fill in our emotional gaps. None of it feels right – but we’re told all our lives that this is it, this is normal, and this is what we should aspire to.

But what if that story was wrong? What if industrial-capitalist society was actually built on an unstable framework that exploits people and the living world, separates us from the Earth and from each other, and perpetuates itself by violently repressing any alternative?

As exciting and terrifying as it may be, it’s true – and we’re now living in a time when all of it is threatening to change. But if we want it to change for the better, we need to study how we got here in the first place.

Join us for a four-week whirlwind journey through the untold history and present of modern life.

How We Got Here is currently finished for 2020.