Building the Ecosystem

For 3 days in late September 1986, a group of about 60 distinguished scholars and scientists addressed capacity audiences at the Forum on BioDiversity at the Smithsonian and the National Academy of Sciences on the importance of biodiversity on our planet. That meeting on biodiversity, along with one just prior in May 1985 that formed the Society for Conservation Biology, launched the field of conservation. 

Much as the biodiversity meetings 30 years ago defined and created the field of conservation biology, we now hope to transform it and define its future. Conservation X Labs seeks to harness, build, and mobilize a ‘tribe’ of conservation visionaries, solvers, and doers that will bring a new wave of innovation to conservation, what we call Conservation 3.0.  This  tribe will be a community of practice for the next generation of conservationists to accelerate and substantially increase conservation’s impact.

The digital makerspace

The Digital Makerspace is our primary platform for sharing technology projects, launching conservation challenges to seek new solutions, and encouraging mass collaboration and building a new multi-disciplinary community. The Digital Makerspace employs the practice of open innovation & mass collaboration to reach improved solutions and rests on the Conservation X Labs’ beliefs that (1) good ideas can come from anyone (2) that the democratization of science & technology can revolutionize how we address conservation challenges, and that (3) entrepreneurial opportunities can attract new entrants and help achieve scale for conservation solutions.

The Digital Makerspace convenes the Tribe to ideate on new conservation technology solutions; provide tools, processes, and connections to advance and develop technology solutions; and facilitate marketing opportunities and access to additional resources to distribute and/or commercialize the solutions and maximize conservation impact.

Check out the Digital Makerspace at!

Conservation X University

Conservation X Labs has developed a new Massive Open Online Course, Innovation & Design for Grand Challenges, through the Coursera Platform and Duke University, to help accelerate the growth of this tribe.  This course will study current global challenges in conservation and development, including changes currently transforming both sectors, and explore how to create and harness technological, behavioral, and financial innovations to improve the efficacy, speed, cost, sustainability and scale of current solutions.  The course will cover principals of design for the bottom of the pyramid, on harnessing and developing disruptive technologies, principles of behavior and marketing, and overcoming the challenges with setting up social ventures.  The course will guide participants in how to question assumptions within conservation and development, and disrupt traditional conservation & development models, and create and execute new enterprises to replace those models. 

You can take the course here:

New COnservation Tech Club DIY Guide

Keeping with the DIY ethos of the conservation technology community, Conservation X Labs developed a DIY Kit for students interested in creating conservation technology organizations. 

The guide provides resources for students familiar with and completely new to conservation technology, and focuses on enabling students to create conservation technology clubs. 

Download the guide HERE.