Gamifying nature conservation

How could gamification techniques revolutionise the way people interact with and fund conservation efforts? Half of the global population lives in urban areas, largely disconnected from the natural world. The problems facing the planet can feel overwhelming and impossible for individuals to influence. As a result, it is becoming increasingly hard to engage people with and fundraise for conservation. But new technologies and data are available that can track and replicate wild animals and the landscapes in which they live. By using these technologies to tell animals’ stories and by harnessing successful marketplace models and gamification techniques, can we create a brand new revenue stream for wildlife conservation?

The Luc Hoffmann Institute and Internet of Elephants have teamed up to explore these questions in a new venture lab. If you would like to know more please register your interest here.

Who we are working with

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Ideation

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November 2019

The Luc Hoffmann Institute partners with Internet of Elephants to explore a business model that turns conservation data (in this case, acoustic recordings of the sounds of animals in the wild) into a new revenue stream for conservation. A game prototype, ‘Howlers & Growlers’, is designed to entertain and amuse an audience by challenging them to imitate the sound of real animals, with a goal of raising users’ awareness of nature conservation issues.

July 2020

After looking more deeply into business and governance models and theories of change, the Luc Hoffmann Institute and Internet of Elephants launch Gamifying Nature Conservation. The project aims to further research and test the potential for gamification in the conservation sector, to engage and mobilise new audiences, as well as raise new revenue for on-the-ground conservation organisations.

Incubation

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December 2020

Adrian Dellecker, Head of Strategy and Development at the Luc Hoffmann Institute, writes a thought piece exploring the potential power of gamification to create change within nature conservation.

How gamification could revolutionise conservation

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June 2021

Sasha Sebright, MPhil in Conservation Leadership candidate at the University of Cambridge, working in collaboration with the Luc Hoffmann Institute and UNEP-WCMC, writes a thought piece exploring how gamification could help foster human empathy for nature.

Can gamification help bridge the human-nature empathy divide?

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June 2021

Together with Internet of Elephants, the institute hosts a webinar that delves into the obstacles facing fundraising today, and asks if games and gamification could generate new revenue streams for conservation.

Can we redesign conservation funding?

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July 2021

Rafael Mares, Wildlife Data Scientist at Internet of Elephants, writes a thought piece on how harnessing wildlife data through gamification techniques might boost engagement and support for conservation efforts.

Is wildlife data gamification the key to engaging a new audience in conservation?

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September 2021

The Luc Hoffmann Institute publishes ‘Using gamification in nature conservation’ by gamification expert PentaQuest, and Sasha Sebright, an MPhil candidate at the University of Cambridge. The report examines how storytelling and gamification can derive value from, and for, wildlife. It highlights some current and past initiatives, theories and lessons learned from these efforts.

Using gamification in nature conservation

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September 2021

‘Opportunities in gamifying nature conservation’ webinar is held, featuring an expert panel discussion on the findings of the research report, ‘Using gamification in nature conservation’, and a live Q&A.

Watch the full webinar

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September 2021

Sasha Sebright, MPhil in Conservation Leadership candidate at the University of Cambridge, working in collaboration with the Luc Hoffmann Institute and UNEP-WCMC, writes a thought piece exploring the possible unintended adverse consequences of gamifying nature conservation.

Gamifying conservation: What could go wrong?

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October 2021

Maike Gericke, co-founder of innovation studio Scrypt and creative head behind Tiramisu, writes a thought piece examining whether games could increase wildlife awareness, empathy and understanding among young people in a fun and entertaining way.

Could games play a role in inspiring young people to conserve nature?

Aspiration

To generate new revenue for conservation through innovative business models that leverage wildlife data and gamification techniques to reach previously untapped audiences.

Timeline ends here

Related resources

The rise of the wildlife gamer
October 2021 Scrypt/Internet of Elephants report on how game experiences can influence the future of conservation interest

Could games play a role in inspiring young people to conserve nature?
October 2021 thought piece by Maike Gericke, co-founder of innovation studio Scrypt and creative head behind Tiramisu

Gamifying conservation: What could go wrong?
September 2021 thought piece by Sasha Sebright, MPhil in Conservation Leadership candidate at the University of Cambridge

Is wildlife data gamification the key to engaging a new audience in conservation?
July 2021 thought piece by Rafael Mares, Wildlife Data Scientist at Internet of Elephants

Can gamification help bridge the human-nature empathy divide?
June 2021 thought piece by Sasha Sebright, MPhil in Conservation Leadership candidate at the University of Cambridge, working in collaboration with the Luc Hoffmann Institute and UNEP-WCMC

How gamification could revolutionise conservation
December 2020 thought piece by Adrian Dellecker, Head of Strategy and Development at the Luc Hoffmann Institute

Using Games to Make the Case for Nature
June 2019 National Geographic talk by Gautam Shah, Founder of Internet of Elephants.

Gamification is key to nudging collective behaviour
December 2017 TEDx talk by Kerstin Oberprieler, CEO of PentaQuest

Going into Business for Wildlife Conservation
April 2016 Stanford Social Innovation Review thought piece by Gautam Shah