The perfect startup for wilderness

Zoltan Kun February 14, 2014 5

The European Wilderness Society is quite a new initiative, which is very much based on the enthusiasm of a few individuals who are committed to implement some of the resolutions of the Wild10. What can our Society learn from the start ups of the for-profit sector?

While attending a start-up conference in Budapest, I received various pieces of advice what makes a startup promising. The Wikipedia describes a startup as ‘a company, a partnership or temporary organization designed to search for a repeatable and scalable business model’. Startup can come in all forms and sizes. I sincerely think our society can learn a lot from the culture and set-up of startups.

There are several conditions which should be met in order to begin with a startup

CONDITIONS FOR (FOR-PROFIT) STARTUP

OUR SOCIETY

Define your target 5% wilderness
Look at examples how this is done globally checked!
Spent 2-3 years of your life on implementation we are committed
Trust yourself checked! we have the necessary knowledge
Don’t be surprised if you end up somewhere else then the original target we are prepared for surprises
Don’t feel disappointed if you fail, but learn from your failures and go for the next target we learned from our previous mistakes and ready to learn more :(

One of the key conditions which has not been mentioned yet: the people are as important as the plan they are working on! The key to succeed is to have committed initiators and a good team! I believe this crucial success factor is where our society is the stronger! We have team members who worked together for years and proved their commitment to wilderness. We have even made our own personal sacrifices, which made us hungry for success.

So the European Wilderness Society holds the attributes of for-profit startups with the commitment to a cause: protecting Europe’s wilderness! But….

‘Conservation without money is only conversation’ I heard this term first time from a colleague in Poland, who – despite graduated as an economist – decided to work in the nature conservation sector (we would call him a white raven in Hungary). So where will the ‘dirty’ money come for our society to accomplish our target of protecting 5% of Europe as wilderness.

I believe our cause and the organisational set-up could be really attractive for an evolving sector, the Venture Philanthropy. But this is a story for a next blog post!

5 Comments »

  1. Jim O'Donnell February 14, 2014 at 21:56 - Reply

    You need long-term committed funding. What people need to realize is that to achieve this goal you will need several decades to be honest. This is a giant, visionary project with payoffs far, far into the future. Funders need to commit to that long haul.

    • Zoltan Kun February 15, 2014 at 21:54 - Reply

      We indeed need funding to implement our vision! and I hope this funding will shortly be secured. But we might also be able to learn from startups here: a) seed funding to start, b) angel phase, c) the BIG implementation. BTW if you are able to bring us closer to enthusiastic donors, please don’t hesitate to make the introduction :-)

  2. Michal Vydareny February 17, 2014 at 13:20 - Reply

    5% is a big challenge. The Europe needs a lot of funds to achieve this target. We, regular people, don’t have money to support such a goal. But what I believe we can do is to use less water, more recyclable materials, avoid car driving for a short distances, etc etc. All of these will help to protect the areas as well. Our small cent to the big world.

    • Max A.E. Rossberg February 17, 2014 at 14:52 - Reply

      Hi,
      At the beginning of the millennium, there was no designated wilderness area in Europe. Today, the European Wilderness Preservation System has in identified and / or designated almost 1 million hectar and not only in Eastern Europe but also in Austria, Germany and Switzerland. Having a dream is the first step in achieving a much larger goal. Join us and be wild and help us reach our goal.

      PS the German Government just confirmed their goal of designating 2% of Germany as wilderness areas :-)

  3. Vlado Vancura February 18, 2014 at 13:01 - Reply

    Hi,
    Yes I agree that 5% is a big challenge, but it is kind of logical step to pay our debt to the European nature. There are not so many people aware that in the coming few years we Europeans will reach the point when 5% of European territory will be covered by asphalt, concrete, infrastructure, etc. We have more than just moral obligation to go to the direction of protecting 5% of Europe as a wilderness!
    How we Europeans can ‘teach ‘people at other continents how they should protect they biodiversity and wilderness if we have still such big gaps here at our continent. We Europeans should be frontrunners to create and implement positive examples. Come, join and become a wilderness advocate…

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