Apply to participate in Make for the Planet, a Conservation X Labs event at the Earth Optimism Summit

If you are you a hacker, coder, maker, engineer, designer, entrepreneur, creative thinker or tinkerer, come celebrate Earth Day weekend 2017 by creating solutions to challenging conservation problems in front of a global audience! Multidisciplinary teams will compete in an on-site event called Make for the Planet over three days of Smithsonian's Earth Optimism Summit in Washington, D.C. (April 21-23, 2017). Equipment will be available to create prototypes and models of hardware and/or software solutions to specific conservation problems. Space and registration is limited! Visit the Make for the Planet website to apply for participation no later than March 1, 2017 (11:59 pm, EST). 

At a Glance

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Date and Location

Friday, April 21, 2017 - 8:00am to Sunday, April 23, 2017 - 5:00pm

Ronald Reagan Building
1300 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20004
United States

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Event Details

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On April 21-23, 2017, the Smithsonian Institution is convening the Earth Optimism Summit, a nonpartisan gathering of global thought leaders, practitioners, pioneering scientists and researchers, environmentalists, artists, civic leaders, industry participants, media, philanthropists, and other conservation-minded citizens. The premise of this conference is a changing of the tone of conservation from pessimism to optimism and to celebrating successes in conservation.

In the middle of this conference, and potentially in other cities, Conservation X Labs, in partnership with the Smithsonian, will be holding Make for the Planet, a conservation technology competition that is focused on finding creative solutions for the planet. We will bring together hackers, engineers, physical, biological, and social scientists, conservationists, designers, artists, creative thinkers, students, and entrepreneurs to rethink solutions to conservation challenges posed by experts, and revolutionize our very models of how we solve conservation’s wicked challenges.  
Fifteen teams of 4 will be invited to compete, create, and pitch their innovative solutions & prototypes to a crowd of potential supporters. Teams will also have access to the Earth Optimism Summit - there is no restriction on age, discipline, geography, or occupation. The selection process will be highly competitive, and we encourage potential participants to form multidisciplinary and diverse teams that bring together engineering, conservation science, social sciences, and other disciplines. Teams will have access to problem sets two weeks before the event, access to leading conservationists and innovators during the event, and access to equipment on site to create prototypes and models of hardware and/or software solutions. Teams will compete for cash prizes (currently $5,000). Finally, Conservation X Labs will also be launching a digital makers space that weekend to help build a community around these innovations, and carry the momentum forward.

The currency of your ideas matter more than who you are. We encourage multidisciplinary teams since innovation tends to happen at the boundaries. Teams must apply by March 1st to be considered for an invitation. At Conservation X Labs, we believe in the power of ingenuity of humankind. Make for the Planet builds on an aspect of optimism – the range of solutions and technologies that are in diverse fields can be applied to greatly improve the efficacy, speed, cost, scale and sustainability of conservation efforts.