alliance of award-winning conservation and development
We aspire to see every field practitioner with a footprint in our world working to
conserve and develop. Finding the balance.
It should be our obligation and our standard. No matter setting, scale, organization or funder.
By sharing an uplifting, new vision for our fields. By testing bold work and ideas at the convergence of conservation and development practice. By piloting breakthrough design innovation. By influencing next-generation practitioners, scholars and funders.
We hold ourselves accountable to what actually works.
And stand up to challenge what doesn't. We design for impact, not for discipline.
We work as a matter of course to protect and sustain all life,
human and wild.
Because lasting progress
depends on it.
Our alliance of world-class practitioners is rethinking stale conventions that have proven over time more protective of our fields than inspiring of game-changing impact. We're testing and sharing refreshing, new ideas for how to make bright change to the course of work globally and break through. It's common sense and cutting-edge.
Why It's Different
We're a ground-up collaboration of practitioners, not a top-down coalition of brands and organizations. We're aspiring to break the binary between our fields, not settling to bend it. We want to close the gaps, not bridge them. We're exploring our convergence, not integration. We're challenging trendy fixations with "integrated development" and "community-centered conservation" that keep each of our fields at the center of their own models. We're fully open-source, putting the inspiration for change in the hands of field colleagues worldwide eager to fix, act and impact, not in research agendas, on executive flip charts, in guarded memos, atop lecterns or in published manifestos. We're not focused on headlining events. We're working quietly in service and in hand with our field colleagues to inspire and effect change.
Have 1 Minute More? Take A Closer Look!
Who: We're collaborators, a world's-first alliance of award-winning conservation and development practitioners working in some of the toughest and most remote parts of our world to help those under threat.
What: We're doing breakthrough work that marries some of the best and most innovative thinking across our disciplines to make a case for why and how every practitioner, and indeed every organization, with a footprint in our world – where vulnerable human populations live in close proximity to wildlife and wild places – should be working for the benefit of human and wild. We're pioneering bold new ideas and cutting-edge work that show it can be done.
Why: We can conserve and develop. We can lift people and communities out of hardship, poverty, and resource scarcity. And we can protect vital and critically endangered species and their breathtaking habitats, whether savanna, rangeland, forest, mountain slope, waterway or ocean. In fact, we must. Approaching conservation and development as fundamentally distinct enterprises, or even simply as complimentary fields, fails to reflect that security and sustainability by their very nature – for all of life – are negotiated, not acquired.
How: We're thinking up, testing and sharing new ideas that are a bold rethink of conventional practice. We're using our own portfolios of work as a kind of open-source innovation testbed for breakthrough design. We're changing the way conservationist and development practitioners think about their work, envision their role and understand their responsibilities. We're inviting our fellow practitioners to imagine a time when we're not constrained by long-held expectations of what our work needs to look like to get funded. We're changing the way we actually design work on the ground so that it's more balanced, more innovative and more creative. We're freeing ourselves to boldly "equalize" conservation and development objectives and to expect balanced outcomes. And we're inviting donors to realign their funding scopes to be real partners with us in driving big, systemic change, and an accelerated, more enduring impact.
Where: We're collaborating in East Africa to start. In Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania. As we expand our alliance, our work and ideas will reach across regions and continents. As will our advocacy.
What Changes for Practitioners: An awful lot! (See what's being said around the world to news of our launch! Go to "News Is Out!" under the FAQs tab.) It means we'll no longer be in stunted conversation about whether we conserve or develop, how we can "integrate" this or that element of each other's approach, whether we can "manage the trade-offs," or how we must merely consider the "human dimensions of conservation work" or the "environmental dimensions of development work." Instead, we'll be in a much bigger, more ambitious, more important and far more visionary conversation about how we ensure that every one of us, no matter our business card or logo, is working at all times and in all places for the benefit of human and wild. And not just saying it, but really doing it. And embracing the change it inspires to our organizations and our fields.
Bottom Line: We're working to demonstrate the difference a transcendent mindset and approach make to the nuts and bolts design of our work, and to the ground impact we have. We're putting our heads together to test, refine and share new ideas and frameworks that change how practitioners work. When the needle moves by instinct and experience, we conserve and develop. We diminish neither, and strengthen both. So, let's do it. Let's inspire, equip and empower every field practitioner to simply design for impact. Not thru a steady drip of cautiously "integrated" projects, small-scale experimentation, brand-driven partnerships, or short-lived revenue strategies, but as a matter of course. And let's do it because an enduring impact depends on it.
It's common sense and cutting-edge. It's what should define a world-class practitioner.
To dive into the appeal for a new standard of practice, read Elizabeth's
"A Practitioner's Case for Working Differently," available for download under the Resources tab.
For a quick Q&A on why our vision is different – in important ways – from anything else now or before it,
including today's "integrated" approaches, jump to FAQs!