At WILDLABS, we are building a community around conservation technology. Over the past four years, we've seen our community thrive, bringing together over 3,000 global members who openly share information and collaborate on technology solutions to pressing conservation challenges.
Through our online platform, conservationists are connecting directly with technology experts in over 750 discussion threads, explaining the challenges they face and sourcing support to solve these problems. Information shared in 3,750 member posts and 476 curated resources in our community have been viewed over 400,000 times by 100,000 visitors, helping to democratise access to lessons learned and crowd-source advice from engineers and scientists.
It’s a tribute to everyone in the WILDLABS community that we have established ourselves as the primary location for conservation professionals and technologists to come together. There is no other place covering topics as diverse as building VHF tags and camera traps from scratch, tackling the challenge of battery waste in conservation, tag designs for tracking pangolin, member organised swap meets for second-hand, unused conservation tech kit, and roadmapping the future of tracking technologies, and how to successfully scale and achieve sustainability for open source conservation tech projects.
In 2018 we launched our Virtual Meetup Series to pull these conversations into real time, inviting community members along with leading engineers, conservation practitioners and academics into a virtual room to discuss today’s cutting-edge conservation technologies.
These virtual events compliment in-person workshops and events at conferences like the London IWT Conference 2018 and SCB ICCB 2019, opening up participation to a broader cross-section of the community so that members without the capacity to travel can participate in the discussions that are shaping the future directions of the conservation technology sector.
One virtual room, seven critical topics selected by popular demand, 24 leading engineers and conservation practitioners, and hundreds of participants across the globe. Our virtual meetups are more than just a standard webinar.
WILDLABS has always been focused on delivering conservation outcomes, and increasingly we are focusing on delivering programs that help incubate and scale appropriate solutions to identified conservation challenges.
The 2017 Human Wildlife Conflict Tech Challenge, run in partnership with WWF, was the first programme in this vein, and our Community Review offers an update from our two winning teams as they embark on field tests to refine their solutions.
In 2019, we partnered with the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office to launch the WILDLABS Tech Hub. Through this program, technology companies (large and small), the UK FCO, and the WILDLABS conservation partners collaborated to focus their resources in an accelerator program to support the development of four innovative technology solutions tackling the Illegal Wildlife Trade.
The WILDLABS Tech Hub program sought to help four innovative technology solutions tackling the Illegal Wildlife Trade achieve sustainability by offering long term access to cloud infrastructure, opportunities for further investment, and the establishment of new partnerships to help scale implementation.
Looking to the future, we recognise that delivering solutions at scale is not just about working to identify what solutions are likely to be most widely adopted. It means maturing our community, so that we incorporate each other’s ideas into our solutions and so in turn, WILDLABS becomes a launch pad to build partnerships that consolidate our efforts and deliver solutions to meet the breadth of the needs of our community. It also means working closely with our technology partners to ensure they not only deliver solutions that work in our challenging environments, but that integrate with one another, allowing conservation practitioners to pick the set of tools they need for the place they work.
As ever, we exist because of our community. Thank you to everyone who has contributed to our success this year and a large welcome to all those thinking of joining the WILDLABS community.
Download the WILDLABS Community Review 2018-19 to learn more.
The problems faced by our planet cannot be solved by any one sector working alone. To find solutions will need new voices and new approaches. Discover how the WILDLABS community is bringing people together to build the solutions needed.