Goals and Guiding Principles
Only One Sky is an educational not-for-profit created to offer artists, scientists and educators the opportunity to collaborate on imaginative initiatives designed to inspire young people to appreciate our one, shared sky and learn how it works. We want to build awareness of the necessity to work together, across cultures and borders, to protect the life enabling and sustaining resource that is our sky.
What we mean by the term ‘sky’
At Only One Sky, the ‘sky’ is our atmosphere – the thin envelope of gas that extends from Earth’s solid surface to the edge of outer space. It is over, around and within us. We fly through it, breathe it, and drink it. It is the place where clouds hang out and lightning strikes. It is the medium by which hot and cold air warm and cool us. We can see it, hear it, taste it, smell it and touch it.
We are inspired by the beauty and dynamic nature of our sky. Our sky is constantly changing hour upon hour, day upon day, and season after season. As artists it moves us to observe it, paint it, and write and sing about it. As scientists it stokes our curiosities and pushes us to understand how it functions. We respect our sky and we want to care for it and protect it.
Our sky is a shared resource.
The shared nature of our sky presents great challenges since what we do to the sky in London or Beijing directly impacts the sky across the globe.
We seek to build a global community.
At Only One Sky we see an exciting opportunity to build a global community around the idea that our sky is one shared space. Climate change and poor air quality are global problems – problems whose solutions will require unprecedented levels of collaboration across borders and cultures. Through our imaginative initiatives we want to encourage participants to view themselves as members of a larger community, united in a common understanding that we must protect our sky.
Our initiatives will use the mechanisms of citizen science and citizen art. Only One Sky stands at the intersection of citizen science and citizen art. We seek artists, scientists and educators eager to collaborate with us and with one another on original and imaginative initiatives that challenge us to think about our impact on the sky in new ways. We encourage new thinking and new approaches to problem solving.
Ideas to consider when designing engagements:
We want to inspire originality of thought and individuality of reflection so projects should encourage participants to be creative, to challenge ideas and to think for themselves.
Initiatives should promote an understanding of how the sky functions and what its vulnerabilities are. All factual information offered by our projects must be guided by credible science and as that science evolves so will our projects.
We seek opportunities for participants to engage with their global peers. This can be done in a number of ways, for example via web-based art projects, science projects, social media, letter writing and so on.
Carpe diem! We want to encourage the next generation to see the challenges of forging a healthier relationship to the sky as opportunities for new leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation, and we want them to seize those opportunities.