11 November 2022

Frequently asked questions about Unearthodox.


What is the difference between funding Unearthodox and funding a minimum viable product? 

Funding is essential for an organisation to meet the challenges of our times. This includes covering necessary operating costs, a skilled-up team that also has wellbeing and the right treatment of people at its heart. Our work is your work – our team lays the deep foundations for minimum viable projects (MVPs) and the Unearthodox core is essential to incubating truly transformational projects and long-term change. Our role in transformative innovation means that there are opportunities to invest in all parts of the value chain, as well as to link you to our innovators and other members of our investor community, and to directly fund MVPs.

Can I fund both?

Of course! We hope that the projects that we source via innovation challenges and incubate through partnerships along our value chain are rigorous and attractive. However, we like to remind potential investors that many of these projects would not exist or would remain disconnected without Unearthodox having the resources to invest in its team, create the foresight for overarching themes and incubate early-stage ideas.

What happens if I invest in Unearthodox and you produce things that don’t align completely with my areas of interest?

We are strong believers in unrestricted funding and hope that the outcomes we are working towards will align with investor aspirations. However, should there be a mismatch along the way, please engage with us to let us know. We treat our investors as co-creators of change, so we will always engage openly with you before we work together. 

How is working with Unearthodox different to what I could do by giving my money directly to innovators?

The projects we incubate have been rigorously tested for their positive impact for nature and people. They have been through an arduous process involving a large number of diverse stakeholders who have not only helped ensure the quality of the project but have also contributed to building an ecosystem for uptake. By funding the Unearthodox core, you are assured access to this high-quality and international network. Furthermore, we bring a wealth of conservation knowledge to support each innovator in developing their work as well as ensuring that the innovation sourced is as transformative as possible. 

Can I take equity in the final products/enterprises?

No. In general, there is no share structure or equity to invest in the projects we incubate. We have, however, worked with impact-driven, for-profit companies with share structures that might be open to equity funding. Equity stake in the final products can be discussed on a case-by-case basis when relevant but there is no general rule or guarantee that our projects will have equity to invest in. This is still an evolving question and we, alongside our investors, are open to how we explore the answers in these hybrid spaces of not-for-profit/for-profit evolution. 

What level of involvement can I have?

We are very interested in funder involvement and have a strong track record of involving our funders in project development. We believe in and practise co-creation and open innovation, and we value the experience of funders and impact investors. We see these as key components of the nature conservation impact landscape and are eager for your input. Ways to participate can range from taking part in specific meetings to more regular involvement across a number of projects or sitting on judging panels for innovation challenges. The financial and non-financial engagement needs for supporting social change are many and varied.

Do I get to help decide what key areas you work in?

Yes, anyone can be an innovator! We encourage all parties in our ecosystem to contribute to our evolving programme and to suggest overarching themes for the future. However, everything that we work on must be tied to the regeneration of nature including people, and we work through our own bespoke methodology for refining and selecting thought leadership themes and pathways towards incubating new ideas. 


What is an Unearthodox convening?

An Unearthodox convening is a gathering of diverse stakeholders and individuals to advance an idea or project that we have chosen to bring into our programme of work. Convenings are important steps in the co-creation process and contribute to the development of new insights, ideas, strategies, approaches, networks or platforms. A crucial element of Unearthodox convenings is that they are safe spaces to bring together a diverse range of actors from a variety of sectors who are not necessarily accustomed to engaging with each other. Unearthodox convenings are normally designed by our core team together with partners and expert consultants or are part of a process in which we have a strategic role. They often carry appropriate Unearthodox branding or co-branding but may be led and organised by one of our key partners. 

How do you select ideas?

Unearthodox seeks to create a balanced, diversified portfolio across a number of systemic issues. We have an internal methodology that has been refined over the past decade and is informed by best practices from innovation, social sciences and co-creation. Our work is informed by an overarching project under which we develop several more projects that deliver meaningful change towards regenerative futures.

Unearthodox incubates ideas that meet the following criteria:

  • Unearthodox’s approach is needed to shift views and inspire change. 
  • Unearthodox’s theory of change applies and makes sense.
  • The idea is feasible and practical.
  • The idea is ambitious, innovative and global in scope.
  • The idea complements Unearthodox’s portfolio and builds on expertise.

Want to get in touch?

Email the project team at  info@unearthodox.org
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