Rethinking Conservation Funding Case Competition at Duke: Bringing Crowdfunding, Technology, & Social Media to Conservation

Published: 5 years ago | 0 comments

Interested in an opportunity to provide timely and critical input to the global conservation community?

Join the 2015 Conservation X Labs Case Competition from October 19-26th!
Register here by October 15th

image001The Conservation X Labs Case Competition offers a unique opportunity for graduate and undergraduate students from diverse schools and disciplines to work together in teams of four to five to tackle real challenges facing the field of technology and conservation.

Student teams will work through a real-life case scenario and develop concise, strategic recommendations for Conservation X Labs; the case will require an interdisciplinary approach that may involve issues related to policy, marketing, behavior change, and business. Teams have approximately six days to work on the case study and compete against other teams by submitting their recommendations to a panel of judges. Finalists will have the opportunity to present and discuss their proposed solutions with the client as well as a number of the judges.

Students can register to participate as a self-selected team, as a partial team (requesting additional team members), or as individuals (to be placed on a team). In addition to the obvious educational benefits and networking opportunities, students will also compete for a cash prize of $500 and a behind the scenes tour of the Duke Lemur Center.

Background: Conservation X Labs (CXL) is a startup that is creating a new model for conservation. Founded by Duke Alumni, former Chief Scientist at USAID, and former Rubenstein Fellow Dr. Alex Dehgan, CXL is a development lab comprised of a conservation incubator, a set of grand challenges, and crowdfunding platform. CXL helps develop new disruptive breakthroughs in technology, behavior change, and financial incentives, using the power of open collaborative problem solving, directed R&D, and the market. These technologies aim to improve the efficacy, speed, cost, and scale of global conservation efforts with hopes of bringing an end to human induced extinction. CXL’s goal is to create platforms, coupled with the scientific and technological tools, to empower the larger conservation community.

The Problem: Access to funding and connection to the community- Innovative conservation projects are starving for a lack of funding in the face of over funding of technology startups and generalist crowdfunding platforms like Kickstarter or Indiegogo. Despite this proliferation of funding and media tools, the field of conservation is stuck in the stone-age with complicated, constraining, and ineffective grant processes dominating the landscape. Further conservationists have little ability to share their story with the broader community around their work, their mission, or their accomplishments.

Case Competition: In hopes to better inform Conservation X Labs emerging business model, CXL is partnering with Duke I & E to run a competition aimed at generating new ideas and business models for connecting innovative conservation projects with the broader community and funding them through the internet, social media, and mobile applications.


Case Competition Winners: Lunch and a behind the scenes tour of the Duke Lemur Center with CXL co-founder Alex Dehgan and $500 Grand Prize.

Runners Up: Will also get the behind the scenes Duke Lemur Center tour.

*Alex Dehgan (co-founder) is the former Chief Scientist the U.S. Agency for International Development where he founded and headed the Office of Science and Technology. During his time at USAID, Alex raised $500 million dollars and created the USAID Development Lab which was launched in April 2014.

Interested students please reach out to Xander.Kent@duke.edu to learn more.

Register at http://tinyurl.com/ConXCaseComp.

Key Dates

Thursday October 15th, 6:30 – 8:30PM – INFO SESSION (SIGN UP BY MIDNIGHT)

Come to the Gross Hall Connection Café to learn more about Conservation 3.0, Conservation X Labs, and meet/network with teammates. Food and refreshment will be served.

Monday October 19th, 5PM – KICKOFF

The case will be released.

October 20th, 22nd, and 25th, 5 – 10pm – OFFICE HOURS

Conservation X Labs Team members and MBA students will be on hand to help mentor and work with students to perfect and refine their ideas.

Monday October 26th, 9am – CASES DUE

Slide deck and executive summary due.

Wednesday, October 29th, 6:30PM – FINAL PRESENTATION

Judges (top conservationists & the Conservation X Team) will assemble to hear the top teams present and winners will be announced immediately.

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