Kinship Conservation Fellows 2017

The month-long, in-residence program is delivered by a faculty of global experts using a case study approach where participants design and evaluate market-driven conservation approaches through interactive discussions, system-thinking exercises, and peer-learning sessions.


The program is open to conservation leaders with at least five years of experience. Successful applicants will be familiar with business and economic principles and work in a setting where these principles can be integrated with conservation work.

A key part of the Fellows application is a proposed project describing an environmental issue related to the applicant’s work and the plans to develop a solution using market approaches.

Successful applicants will be familiar with business and economic principles and work in a setting where these principles can be integrated with conservation work. 18 applicants are selected to participate in the training program.

In order to be considered for the program, applicants must meet the following requirements:

  • Possess a minimum of a four-year U.S. college degree (or its overseas equivalent).
  • Have a minimum of five years relevant work experience, after your degree.
  • Be proficient in spoken and written English.
  • Be a conservation practitioner (rather than an academic or researcher).


The Fellows training program incorporates expert-led interactive discussions, systems-thinking exercises, role-play, skills practice, peer learning sessions, and field visits that provide the opportunity to work directly with principles and practices to improve how practitioners interpret and respond to complex environmental conservation problems.

The program integrates leading-edge lessons from the following two themes:

Cultivating Leadership: Tools and Strategies

Exercising leadership in the context of environmental conservation requires learning to deal with complexity, uncertainty, ambiguity, paradoxes, and change. Throughout the month, Fellows become familiar with a set of tools and frameworks to exercise leadership at the individual, organizational, and systems levels. Emphasis is on learning key principles and practices used in the Adaptive Leadership™ framework as well as exploring strengths and talents using Gallup’s strengths-based approaches.

Market-based Conservation Strategies

The starting point of the course is the basic question of “why” market tools. Why, philosophically and practically, can market-based tools best solve some conservation problems (but not all)? We will then turn to the “what” of market tools. What parts of economic theory and practice can be used by conservationists? We will cover the basics of supply/demand, economic valuation, and what economic and statistical tools can be used to further our conservation goals.

For most of our program, however, we will focus on the “how” of market tools. Most conservation professionals now accept that the philosophical and mechanical logic of market tools has practical value, so how are market tools actually performing? Practitioners from around the world will discuss a series of case studies, using inductive reasoning to help you glean lessons that can be applied to your own work. You will learn how market tools have been used in protected areas, watersheds, and coastal fisheries in Latin America, Africa, and Asia; how these tools do and don’t work in the field; and how the lessons of their use can be applied to your project.

The final question we will address is how to “mainstream” your ideas. You will only change the world if you can take your projects to scale: by growing them and turning them into a government policy or standard business practice. You will spend much of your post-Kinship life trying to figure out how to repeat and scale up your successes, and learn from your failures, and we will end the month with a few ideas on how you may start to do this.

Candidates selection

Applicants who meet the above requirements will be evaluated in the following areas:

  • Proposed project viability and appropriateness
  • Leadership potential
  • Potential contribution to the month-long program and to an ongoing community of leaders


The Fellows program will be held at Western Washington University in Bellingham, Washington, from June 25-July 26, 2017. In addition to the stipend, housing for the month is included with the award.


18 applicants will be selected as Fellows and awarded a $6,000 stipend.

View Application FAQs here

Visit program website here

Apply here!


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