HomeNewsPartnership with The Nature Conservancy seeks economic solutions to “wicked” problems

Partnership with The Nature Conservancy seeks economic solutions to “wicked” problems

This announcement is adapted from the original and republished with permission from The Nature Conservancy.

Conservation faces a moment where the need to be able to bring world-class economics to “wicked” problems on a rapid time scale is paramount. Typical partnerships between universities and nongovernmental organizations often involve lengthy discussion and analysis, sometimes taking years to arrive at useful recommendations.

Opportunities to influence major decisions for conservation, climate change and human well-being increasingly involve issues related to economics, from subsidy design to corporate practice to financing options. In these fast-paced contexts, windows of opportunity arise — and close — quickly.

To break the mold of classic university collaborations and address the need for timely recommendations, the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment and The Nature Conservancy will facilitate onetime workshops between leading economics, finance, conservation and policy experts to tackle specific, decision-driven challenges. The project leads are Jessica Hellmann, director of IonE; Steve Polasky, University economics professor, IonE fellow and co-founder of the Natural Capital Project; and Heather Tallis, lead scientist at The Nature Conservancy.

The workshops — collectively dubbed Wicked Econ Fests — result in recommendations and the hand-off of advances in economic, finance, policy and conservation thinking to The Nature Conservancy and partners who can drive recommendations to action.

IonE and TNC will host several workshops each year, providing economically viable guidance on a variety of critical environmental issues, such as how to revive the Gulf of Mexico dead zone and rebuild soils, as outlined in the first Wicked Econ Fest report.

Thanks to the Craig and Susan McCaw Foundation, founding donor of this innovative partnership.

Photo by piranka (iStock)

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Institute on the Environment