NBS Pitchfest

Let’s create a better new normal than the old normal.

Connecting Nature, The Nature of Cities, and Tangent logos

The nature based economy is an up and coming sector. And we need it. We face unprecedented environmental, climate, and sustainability crises and yet, there are huge opportunities to make positive impacts for our world and better future, including contributions to the green deal and building back better with nature.

The NBS Pitchfest is about creating, collaborating on, and pitching ideas for nature-based solutions (NBS) to the sustainability challenges of our world. An economic or business problem? Let’s find a solution that is based in nature. A tech problem? How does integrating and supporting nature help? Social problem? Urban planning problem? Architecture? You get the idea. For the NBS Pitchfest, we challenge you to identify a social, economic, business, or environmental challenge and propose a (financially, environmentally, and socially) sustainable solution based in nature to address it. Let’s create a better new normal than the old normal.

What’s a nature-based solution? Watch this video. [The video is a creative product of the Nature-based Solutions Initiative at the University of Oxford. Illustrations by Cécile Girardin and Isabel Key; animation by Matthew Mullholland.]

The NBS Pitchfest Process

  • Submit an idea for a sustainable NBS project that would address a real societal challenge. It must have a route to sustainability that is financial, social, and environmental.
  • Bring a team or just pitch it yourself to invite others to the idea.
  • The top 15 proposals will be paired with a mentor/advisor and invited to a pitching workshop, and then a pitching competition at TNOC Festival, 29-31 March 2022. 
  • At TNOC Festival each team will have a 3-minute pitch to present their NBSolution.
  • Two solutions will receive €500 and a publication at TNOC and will be a featured enterprise on the Connecting Nature Enterprise platform.
  • One solution will receive €1500, a publication at TNOC, and a trip to Genk, Belgium to talk about their idea at the Connecting Nature Impact Summit 28 – 30 April 2022.
  • When you are ready to apply, go here: https://airtable.com/shrGyQLCMhI58oRBF
  • The deadline for applications is 18 March 2022.

Criteria and selection:

  • Projects can be from anywhere.
  • Early stage of development (not firm, but within a year or two or ideation).
  • Projects must be clearly centered in nature-based solutions to a specific societal challenge, which can be social, economic, environmental, or a combination. 
  • Projects should be innovative and creative, but also have their feet on the ground … something we could imagine succeeding at (no terraforming Mars, please).
  • Projects should have some sense of scalability—that is, they have potential to grow and expand in application and value. 
  • Preference will be given to solutions that have the potential to be self-supporting; that is, sustainable in a financial sense.
  • Projects will have two rounds of selection: (1) among all proposals, 10-15 projects will be selected for 3-minute pitches at TNOC Festival; (2) three winners will be selected from among the 15 pitches. 

The fine print:

  • The applicant must hold the rights to the intellectual property of the ideas in the proposal..
  • The intellectual property rights to the idea remain with the proposer of the project; CN/TNOC/Tangent make no claims on the intellectual property rights or future financial benefits of the project.
  • CN/TNOC reserves the right to make more or fewer awards than are mentioned in this announcement.
  • All decisions by the judging committee are final.
  • The winning proposal includes an expense-paid trip to Genk, Belgium for one person. Total reimbursed travel costs for this trip cannot exceed €1,000.