About The Program

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The vision of the Program on Conservation Innovation (the PCI) is an international society in which innovative women and men step forward to implement highly effective conservation initiatives – initiatives that can effectively address the complex, emerging threats to open landscapes, waterscapes, and biodiversity. In doing so, these men and women will be taking their places in a long and distinguished tradition of North American and global conservation innovation.


The mission of the PCI is to build knowledge about highly effective conservation science, education, governance, protection, and stewardship practices and to communicate that knowledge to conservation practitioners, decision makers, and citizens in the United States as well as across the globe.


The PCI has five overarching goals:

  1. to conduct research that informs advanced conservation practice and focuses attention on the outstanding innovation in the field
  2. to educate present-day and future conservation practitioners and involved citizenry regarding emerging approaches to conserving land, water, and biodiversity
  3. to award and recognize exemplary conservation initiatives
  4. to convene focused leadership dialogues on critical conservation challenges and inventive solutions commensurate with those challenges, and
  5. to broadly communicate with a global audience regarding important conservation innovations that may be commensurate with the complex challenges of our day. 


To achieve our goals, the Program on Conservation Innovation is pursuing the following set of programmatic objectives.

1.  Research

  • Conduct research on present-day conservation initiatives and innovations (for example, ongoing large landscape conservation efforts such as Wildlands and Woodlands in New England and the Crown of the Continent initiative in Western North America)
  • Conduct research on historic conservation initiatives that illuminate the process of conservation innovation (for example, the 1634 establishment of the Boston Common)

2.  Education

  • Develop school curricula that focuses on citizen science, and on the past, present, and future of North American landscapes
  • Develop university and professional level curricula regarding advanced practices in conservation

3.  Awards Program

  • Advise the Kennedy School's Innovations in American Government Awards Program regarding environmental infrastructure and transportation projects, helping to recognize and replicate advanced practices and promising innovations in these fields

4.  Leadership Dialogues

  • Organize, in conjunction with the Lincoln Institute for Land Policy, annual dialogues with senior conservation executives regarding critical issues in twenty-first century conservation 

5. Communications Initiatives

  • Publish periodic updates and host internet broadcasts with leading conservationists
  • Contribute to electronic publications sponsored by the Roy and Lila Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government
  • Prepare publications, lectures, and electronic media related to PCI work for both general and research-oriented audiences.