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
|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!