Why it Matters

Grand Challenges of Conservation

We are in the middle of a period of extraordinary change on the planet, a sixth great mass extinction. Unlike the previous mass extinction events, this is the first extinction in Earth’s history that is driven by the actions of a single species. During this period, the earth has been fundamentally changing physically, chemically, biologically, and ecologically. The problems of extinction and habitat destruction are increasing exponentially, while our solutions are incremental. Conservation remains at times technophobic, risk-averse, reactionary, intransigent, and uninspiring, but it is changing. Much as humans have caused these problems, we have the ability to solve them.

Grand Challenges of Development

Most stereotypes of the developing world paint a simple picture of a subsistence farmer with impoverished children. However, when we dig deeper into the data, we find the developing world contains substantial complexity that belies traditional stereotypes. In fact, many of our assumptions about the developing world and how to address its problems may be wrong.