The work of Coffee Kids is premised on the idea that our future–the future of coffee, the future of its growers, and the future of the communities in which it is our grown–is within our control. We follow the words of Warren Buffett, that “Someone is sitting in the shade today because someone planted a tree a long time ago,” and we choose to act today rather than being consumed by worry.

Not that there aren’t plenty of reasons to worry. In Leonardo Quattrucci’s article for the World Economic Forum, he presents ample reason for alarm, concluding that between climate change, aging populations, and declining economic opportunity, “the future is becoming a burden young people are indebted with, rather than a public good to inherit.” Instead of succumbing to this dismal thinking, though, Quattrucci offers three guiding principles that can help young people navigate the world they are inheriting: resilience, sustainability, solidarity.

We love Quattrucci’s approach. You might even say these three words embody the Coffee Kids philosophy. We’ll talk about all three ideas in coming posts, but let’s start with resilience. Resilience is the capacity to grow, change, and adjust to changing conditions. In a world where everything is changing, much of it even faster than expected, resilience is what keeps people and communities from being left behind.

In coffee, resilient farmers are the ones who welcome new varieties and growing techniques, the ones who are excited about specialty as the future, the ones who are able to see coffee as a broader industry rather than just a crop. They’re the ones who want to develop side hustles and diverse plots, making the growing of coffee a part of their income, rather the entirety of their income.

Resilience is a characteristic that is inherent in so many of the young farmers we work with, but it is up to us to match their adaptability with practical guidance and support for putting it into practice. That’s where the business workshops and seed capital we offer comes into play; we have access to the knowledge and resources that will help young coffee farmers adjust to their changing world, and our work involves sharing it with them and supporting them as they deploy it.

Check this space soon for an update on our commitment to sustainability and solidarity.

This blog is first in a three-part series about the guiding principles that can help young people navigate the world they are inheriting.