The Restoration Generation

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The Restoration Generation: Mirlo - a brand capable of attracting collaborative crowdfunding for local conservation projects

Santa Cruz, Spain
Project Stage:
Start-Up
Budget: 
$1,000 - $10,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

We're building a brand which will hopefully be capable of attracting crowd-funding for local conservation projects through a social network. The idea is to empower people to affect positive change in their natural resources , tourists to give something back to the surroundings they have enjoyed and the disenchanted to create something in their locality where the current crisis may have failed them.

About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

The idea was borne out of the devastating forest fires that swept the Mediterranean last year, the resulting public appetite to restore their local landscapes, lack of funds from the authorities to do so and the despondent feeling of helplessness generated by the economic crisis. The same emotions were apparent during the proposed sell-off of public forests or the ash decline in the UK. There is a clear desire to act and it is that demand that gives us the leverage to create projects of a positive, collaborative nature.

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

Following Mahatma Gandhi’s famous advice to "be the change that you wish to see in the world" we have pulled together a team and started a small show-case reforestation project in Spain. We have created an on-line community, collaborative agreements with local public bodies and copmpanies and already successfully planted out our 1st trees. We will undertake the 1st few projects through micro-sponsorship (http://mirlo.co/store/) but the plan is to encourage ideas to come in from the network and, if feasible, to bid for crowd-funding to pull them off.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

"The day has come at last! With all your collaboration and all your support, we’ve managed to raise enough money to plant out in the Corona Forestal in La Orotava. And tomorrow, Saturday, we’ll be heading off with a group of mirlos and collaborators to plant the first trees in the zone. You can’t imagine how excited we are! From the mountains, we’ll be publishing photos in Twitter and Facebook and we’ll tell you all about how we’re getting on. The hashtag we’ll be using will be #CoronaForestal2013, note it down! We encourage you all to participate in our social networks, whether you’re out planting trees or not" A total of 520 trees will be planted in a total surface area of 3500 m² of forest, enough to prevent 139 tons of CO₂.

Spread Strategies: Moving forward, what are the main strategies for scaling impact?

Mirlo envisages that in the next 7 years (with the right support) we could have leveraged: - Geographic spread across 7-10 countries - adoption of the idea by other 'challenger brands' - 800,000 CO2Tons fixed - 2,000 ha restored - 115 direct employment - 690,000 people being ‘mirlo’ (supporters/crowdfunders) - 1.0 M€/yr improving of flow of ecosystem services - 33.3 M€ of natural capital created - 2.9 M€ direct income for the communities - 16.3 M€ direct income to Positive Footprint
Sustainability

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

We believe mirlo will be successful if we are able to create a brand that is popular, fashionable and desirable for users of social networks and Internet to form part of. The dependency on crowdfunding is a deliberate positioning for mirlo; not just as a means to fund our projects on-the-ground but as a powerful collaborative social force for good. Crowdfunding platforms such as ‘Kickstarter’ have been hugely successful and the projects that have used these sites have often hit their funding targets in record time and spectacular fashion. The trend has spread into social and NGO functions, an example of which is ’Kiva.org’ very little crowdfunding airtime dedicated to projects of a positive natural impact, local conservation, tree planting schemes and none of these offer the chance to belong to something like mirlo or offer the chance for the customer to suggest their own project.
Team

Team

Currently, and for the first 2 years it is not envisaged that mirlo will require full or part-time staff/employees. The projects, as they arise and achieve ‘fully funding’ status, will be implemented by the four main partners and where necessary mirlo will call on the expertise of a network of consultants (already working with partners in existing businesses and initiatives). An example of the flexibility and workability of this model can be seen in our first on-the-ground project in Tenerife where we have used the skills of two local consultants (one forester, one sociologist) to leverage the support and collaboration of a hotel, a tourist hub and a tour guide company to allow a focus on foreign tourists as the ‘public’ for our crowdfunding efforts