Future of Conservation NGOs

Bringing together diverse voices to assess systemic patterns and their impact on conservation effectiveness.

Empowering entrepreneurial action to support innovative conservation solutions that foster a harmonious future for both nature and humanity.

Unearthodox project

In a rapidly changing world, conservation NGOs must adapt to stay effective. But what does a thriving future for nature conservation look like?


Future of Conservation NGOs, which is part of the broader Unearthodox initiative, serves as an umbrella project dedicated to exploring new directions for thriving conservation organisations. It brings together a diverse range of voices to examine the systemic factors that influence conservation effectiveness.


An innovation challenge was launched to uncover out-of-the-box ideas and proactive solutions for deep-rooted conservation challenges. The process aims to reimagine the presence, role, and structure of existing conservation NGOs, co-creating innovative, future-relevant pathways.

Rethinking conservation

Future of Conservation NGOs and Impact Hub share a common vision: seeing social challenges as opportunities for transformation. By merging our ecosystems for change, we accelerate inclusive and sustainable innovation on a grand scale. We tapped into our network to initiate a competition and broaden recruitment beyond traditional conservation circles.


Impact Hub Amsterdam’s dedicated scouting team led a campaign that curated over 100 recommendations from Impact Hubs worldwide and reached out to more than 150 organisations, including those not traditionally linked to conservation but aligned with the project’s criteria. This collaborative effort, alongside UX and IUCN CEESP, bridges gaps and fosters innovation.

Accelerating impact innovation

Nine groundbreaking ideas have been meticulously chosen, aiming to challenge and reshape the conventional narratives surrounding conservation. These ingenious concepts seek to revamp existing approaches and envision a more equitable, sustainable, and regenerative future within the realm of conservation.


Each of these exceptional winning ideas is strategically tailored to address one or more of the following four overarching themes: Power and Legacy, Operational and Funding Models, Communication and Narratives, as well as Interdependence and Inclusivity. These domains are in critical need of transformation.


The winning concepts span a vast spectrum of conservation endeavours, spanning from international initiatives to grassroots efforts in rural and urban settings. These innovations extend their impact from the coastal communities of the Maldives to urban populations in Greece. Welcome to the heart of innovative change in the world of conservation.

Key numbers and insights


Participants  from 5 continents, 8 women-led organisation

220 +

Hours of mentoring and coaching to pursue 27 Development Goals 

30 k

Prize funding awarded

(€5,000 per startup) 

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