The Luc Hoffmann Institute aims to be the world’s leading catalyst for innovation and transformative change to maintain biodiversity, the foundation for all life on Earth. We create the conditions for new approaches to emerge, identify and mobilise the most promising innovators and ideas, and provide a flow of impactful, de-risked and exciting initiatives for investors.
To contribute to a societal change whereby the role of biodiversity is widely recognised as the foundation for human development, security and continued life on Earth.
To provide a fresh perspective on critical conservation challenges and develop new approaches and solutions that will deliver biodiversity gains in policy and practice.
How we work
The Luc Hoffmann Institute way
How to protect biodiversity, avoid dangerous climate change, balance the needs of people and the natural world, and shape a sustainable future? The institute’s extensive work with the ‘Three Horizons Approach’ supports the assertion that there is a future horizon of biodiversity conservation that can only be reached through innovative ideas and approaches.
However, the path to the future horizon is challenging. Innovators in the conservation space commonly lack the support necessary to launch effective, high-impact ideas to protect nature and natural systems. The best ideas and intentions often fall short in the absence of cross-cutting expertise, relevant networks or seed funding. At the same time, philanthropic investors in the conservation field have to navigate a vast, ever-changing landscape of overlapping initiatives in order to identify high-impact projects that warrant support.
The Luc Hoffmann Institute empowers innovators and investors to populate the ‘innovation horizon’ with new ideas and approaches, giving them wings to develop into relevant, effective and impactful projects and products. It does this through a process of ideation, incubation and acceleration.
Creating the enabling conditions for new and effective approaches to emerge through innovation challenges, high-quality convenings, and challenging and refining ideas.
We apply a structured quality assessment process to each idea using rigorous, standard criteria. Ideas that pass our quality assessment move into our incubator.
Supporting innovators and empowering them to see their ideas grow through business planning, road-testing events, and test projects.
A minimum viable product (MVP) is an idea that has been developed as a proof-of-concept with enough features to illustrate the value and potential of the initiative. It is an efficient way of gathering feedback, obtaining buy-in for the further development of the idea and increasing the chances that it will be successfully accelerated and launched. In many cases an MVP will take the form of a pilot project.
Enabling innovators to bring their products and projects to scale and to market by helping them design funding proposals, finesse funding pitches, develop showcase events and connect with investors.
We help innovators identify investors and secure funding. Success for us is when our innovators’ initiatives are funded and launched.
We consider ‘impact’ to be the direct and indirect long-term effects, both positive and negative, intended or unintended, of the institute’s work with partners. When we speak of ‘impact’, we tend to refer to the significant positive changes that we are helping to bring about. We acknowledge that the impact of the ideas that we successfully incubate belongs to those we have supported, but we monitor the progress of ideas that we have helped launch so that we can understand their impact.
This is the first stage in our incubation value chain. In this stage, the Luc Hoffmann Institute creates the conditions for new ideas to emerge (e.g. via innovation challenges, tailor-made platforms, events, and specific methods or techniques), bringing together innovators, experts, investors and other stakeholders to help innovators formulate impactful ideas. More on how we select ideas can be found here.
Incubation is the process through which we support innovators with an impactful idea to meet investor requirements. Incubation is also the second stage in our value chain (ideation – incubation – acceleration). In this stage, we support and work with innovators to ensure their ideas are relevant, scalable, and impactful. We empower innovators to see their ideas grow. Activities we conduct in this stage include for example…
…business planning to develop ideas, road-testing events to verify ideas with experts and relevant stakeholders and creating test projects as minimum viable products. The process ends when the innovator has a ‘minimum viable product’ ready for acceleration. Our model draws on private-sector incubator and accelerator models for start-ups.
This the third and last stage of our value chain (ideation – incubation – acceleration). In this stage, we are supporting the further development, validation and successful funding of the most promising initiatives. Products and projects are brought to scale and to market and we help innovators identify sources of funding. Activities we are conducting include for example…
…assistance in the creation of detailed funding proposals, help with the design of fine-tuned funding pitches and showcase events and individual referrals to investors. Successful acceleration ends with the launch of a fully funded initiative. The institute seeks to co-invest into the initiative, to demonstrate our support and play a role in the monitoring of the impact over time.
Our treasure chest
Innovators and investors who partner with the Luc Hoffmann Institute gain access to our treasure chest, a unique combination of expertise, tools, networks and frameworks. Founded in collaborative principles and drawn from systems thinking, design practice, and impact creation, our treasure chest helps innovators unlock the potential of new ideas and bring concrete next steps in complex, contested and ambiguous situations. Our treasure chest offering is tailored to individual situations and may include:
- Applying systems thinking to your idea
- Producing a theory of change for maximum impact
- Convening the right stakeholders
- Co-creating a solution
- Communicating complex issues
- Other offerings based on your needs