The future of conservation NGOs

How can we collectively reimagine integrated, innovative and impactful pathways for conservation NGOs in a rapidly changing world? 

We live in times of unprecedented speed and scale of change. Digital transformation, as well as shifting societal norms and perceptions of justice, offer extraordinary challenges and opportunities for change. 

Further, in the recent decade, conservation NGOs have come under increasing criticism and pressure raising questions about organisational culture and racism, colonial legacy, power distribution between Global South and Global North and existing funding models.  As the gap widens between the rapid pace at which the world is changing and the pace of change in conservation NGOs, how can we ensure that the conservation sector remains effective and relevant? What would a successful and impactful nature conservation world look like?


‘The future of conservation NGOs’ initiative being incubated at the Luc Hoffmann Institute will bring together a diverse set of voices to reflect on these systemic patterns and their impacts on conservation effectiveness. It is envisioned that this process will help rethink the presence, role and structure of existing conservation NGOs and co-create integrated and innovative future-relevant pathway(s). 

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14 September 2021

Marcelo Furtado, a visiting scholar at Columbia University, shares his thoughts with the Luc Hoffmann Institute in an interview on the future of conservation NGOs.

Conservation NGOs need a new mindset and strategy: interview with Marcelo Furtado

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15-16 September 2021

Two virtual sessions on: “What is the future of conservation NGOs?” are held, bringing together 41 conservation practitioners, academics, researchers, strategists, activists, fund managers, science communicators, and supporters. The group shares insights, thoughtful deliberations, and the intention to work together to reimagine the conservation sector.

The Luc Hoffmann Institute brings together diverse thinkers to discuss the future of conservation NGOs


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By December 2022, for a diverse set of voices – conservation practitioners, thinkers, disruptors, and leaders – from across different geographies, disciplines and sectors, to have collectively reimagined and identified integrated and innovative pathway(s) for conservation NGOs that meaningfully benefit people and nature in a rapidly changing world.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

Conservation NGOs need a new mindset and strategy
A September 2021 interview with Columbia University visiting scholar, Marcelo Furtado

Whither large International Non-Governmental Organisations?
A September 2018 working paper by Penny Lawrence 

The Latest Trends That Will Shape 2020 and Beyond
A January 2020 GlobeScan Radar Report