Panda Labs | WWF
© Georgina Goodwin / Shoot The Earth / WWF-UK





━ we use design thinking methodology validate solutions or projects in the cheapest, fastest and easiest way - leveraging WWFs unique assets.
━ building influential collaborations, attracting finance as ‘risk capital’, rapid prototyping (with a fail fast mentality) and scaling successful solutions.
━ using a structured 4 phase approach, from establishing the right to play in the innovation space, ecosystem building, protortyping and scaling validated ventures and solutions.
Panda Labs Partners

© Panda Labs


Our focus: People as nature protectors

We need to experiment with new human-centred solutions that are designed using a rights-based approach and in partnership with communities - the gatekeepers of global biodiversity hot-sports, in order to ensure the security of vital ecosystem services.

Around the world, local and indigenous communities in developing and emerging economies are at the front line of natural resource conservation. These communities are  the gatekeepers of our most precious landscapes and seascapes with customary rights to the territories and natural resources. Many directly derive their livelihoods from their natural environment and have been protecting the natural resources they depend on for centuries. This ranges from hunting and gathering to farming, forestry to ecotourism, from artisanal mining to fishing, recycling plastics to protecting wildlife corridors. Local and indigenous people living in biodiversity hotspots are also vulnerable to overconsumption of natural resources due to economic scarcity and social disparity. Therefore they are critical allies as environmental stewards. However, at the same time they are at risk of being left behind if conservation efforts fail to involve them directly and trigger solutions with verifiable benefits for at risk communities.

At the same time there are people and markets who are prepared to pay for the important environmental services that communities can provide and potentially trillions of dollars available to enable development at scale for the poorest, most vulnerable people. Currently, credible value transfer for communities for conservation impact is difficult and faces numerous barriers, including:

  • Verification of Impact (environmental and social) and verification of social safeguards

How do those paying for a sustainable service or product that supports nature conservation, know they are getting a return/impact? How do we measure, link and verify social and environmental impact in a transparent, trustworthy and accessible way

  • Value transfer / Ease of payments / incentives / funding for conservation.

Complex, dispersed, long distant supply chains mean transacting value from one party to the other can be extremely difficult. Often the incremental dollars gained from selling a sustainable product or service in markets that value sustainability do not make it back to the producers to create a sufficient incentive.

  • Access to responsible markets for small scale producers.
  • Participation in solution design by communities and land rights holders. Particularly technology-based solutions.

Join the Panda Labs Taskforce

We are recruiting 8 young professionals to work part of the global Panda Labs team for a period of up to 6 months. You will be part of a global taskforce for innovation working across continents. The mission starts off as an internship programme where we cover your living expenses, local transport to the field, national and international travel for workshops or meetings relevant to our work. This is a unique opportunity to truly support global collaboration on the most urgent environmental challenges using innovation as the main tool in your tool kit.

Applications are open until July 25, 2019. We expect successful candidates to start in August, but are flexible to timings as we understand there may be delays to to visas or other commitments.

The Taskforce: 8 internships in Panda Labs Hubs for impact at scale

Bringing the regional Panda Labs Moonshot to life:  

  • Working with your distributed team, coordinate the regional Panda Labs moonshot
  • Connecting the existing innovation projects and experiments related to the Moonshot challenge
  • Engaging and manage key stakeholders in the development of the regional Panda Labs Moonshot - local communities, businesses, funders, investors, WWF programs
  • Promote the moonshot and constituent challenges to partners and funders around the world
  • Launch the regional moonshot challenge
  • Sharing learning, knowledge exchange, shared communication between the regional experiments and pilots (Panda Labs teams)
Support Panda Labs Kenya and as a regional Hub
  • Building WWF Kenya’s/ the Panda Labs Hub profile in the innovation sector
  • Convening influential partners and position WWF within innovation priorities
  • Assist innovators and entrepreneurs to develop proof of concept, test and validate solution through seed funding
  • If applicable - scale and replicate validated solutions through leveraging WWF network and assets

Working with
Confrey Alianji - Innovation Strategist WWF Kenya
Irene Mwaura - Project Officer-Energy and climate change
Mentor and support team
Tobias Trier Fuglsang - Advisor Innovation and Markets WWF Denmark
Reece Proudfoot - Innovation Strategist WWF Australia.

The role

  • Proactively create editorial content (stories, photos, advocacy images, contests, campaigns, audio,video, infographics, etc.) to support the roll the Panda Labs Moonshot
  • Adapt for media pitching, web and social media, posting daily to respective channels;
  • Adapt multimedia assets from the WWF Network
  • Design and implement digital media campaigns according to Panda Labs goals, with partners
  • Coordinate and manage the creation of digital content such as websites, blogs, press releases and podcasts, infographics, videos etc.
  • Work to drive interaction and experiences with the Panda Labs
  • Regularly keep an eye on trends related to innovation, entrepreneurship, impact investing, design thinking. Capture insights and feed #PandaLabsRadar community.
  • Develop and monitor ROI and KPIs
  • Maintain and manage social media channels and fora relevant to Panda Labs.
Working with:
Alexandra Dumitrescu, Panda Labs Digital Fundraising Lead and the Global Panda Labs team

Mentor and support team
Anorah John - Innovation Specialist WWF Australia.

The role:

  • Initiate and develop relationships with people in the WWF network and worldwide innovation space; Liaising and updating stakeholders on ongoing Panda Labs works;
  • Support in setting up the Panda Labs communications strategy to nurture interaction across the globe and a dynamic learning and knowledge sharing culture; Develops the logistics and operational framework for Panda Labs team interactions in close collaboration with Panda Labs support team.
  • Making sure teams are talking to each other. Proactively reach out and build relationships within the Panda Labs network.
  • Crucial contribution to bringing the moonshot to life by further shaping, implementing and enabling sharing learning between Panda Lab practitioners worldwide;
  • Is the gatekeeper of the Panda Labs community and leads database at local and global level. Engages communities on the ground and supports external relations of the Panda Labs team.
You are:
  • A talented networker and entrepreneurial thinker makes it easy for you to work with many different types of people and to explain even complex relationships simply and clearly. You are a proactive, self-driven character, aiming to get things done fast and in high quality.
  • Minimum 1 years experience successfully leading people and a dispersed team;
  • Experience with complex projects and change management initiatives
  • Experience with relationship building at all levels of the organization
  • Strategic thinker, innovative, and passionate about learning
  • Skilled in project management, leading a team and working as a member of a team, prioritizing assignments, managing conflict, learning quickly and incorporating prior experience to new problem-solving strategies
Working with: Anne Merkle, Global WWF-Impact Hub Lead and the global Panda Labs Team
Mentor and support team
Reece Proudfoot - Innovation Strategist WWF Australia.


The Role

  • Manage and develop a business strategy for the product/initiatives portfolio to ensure the best positioning in the marketplace, drive growth of the Panda Labs community and while helping to shape Panda Labs prototypes into investable businesses.
  • Analyze the market to gain an extensive understanding of the business impact investment environment and drive competitor analyses for panda labs prototypes. Seek opportunities for scaling.
  • Support business plan modeling of community enterprises, access to market strategies and supports venture design; Work closely with practitioners from the Nature Pays hub and Markets Practice.
  • You are a commercial acumen with strong analytical skills;
  • Compilation of financial projections and budgets as required; assists in the compilation and review of project/prototype budgets;
Working with: Noah Walker (WWF - BCG DV)
Mentor and support team:
Clara Chirculescu - Head of Finance, WWF Romania


The role

  • Act as a liaison between the field teams operating in 4+ WWF country offices including partners working on developing technology prototypes that support the Panda Labs Moonshot strategy
  • Support and build capacity to adopt meaningful technology that improves team processes, communication and data flows
  • Connect with experts within WWF as well as partners from innovation clusters to makers to share ideas, updates and feedback; Participate in product development workshops ref. wildlife monitoring tools, impact monitoring, development of field pilots.
  • In cooperation with WWF specialists and the Taskforce members, research existing conservation technologies and methodologies, with a particular focus on IoT, FinTech, embedded systems, space technologies, AI & ML, blockchain for social and environmental impact.
  • Intensively collaborate with worldwide R&D practitioners in order to improve or scale Pand Labs prototypes.
  • You have experience in engineering and are a problem solver
Working with: Aurelie Saphiro, Spatial Science, WWF Germany

The role

  • Facilitate and guide the development of the Panda Labs Moonshot strategy of WWF related to sustainable livelihoods creation, green business models, and innovative financing and contribute to policy documents of other conservation staff, where relevant
  • Monitor and analyse drivers and trends of sustainable development and propose ways of how they can be used to WWF’s conservation objectives.
  • Guide the development of innovative approaches in the field of greening and sustainable enterprise development.
  • Actively support the integration of socio-economic aspects into conservation programmes and initiatives, working closely with WWF’s Nature Pays initiative.
  • Convening influential partners and position WWF within innovation priorities
  • Develop proofs of concept, test and validate solutions, work closely with the Taskforce team and Panda Labs worldwide practitioners to scope seed funding and risk capital community enterprises
  • Scale and replicate validated solutions through impact investment spin out / spin in joint ventures

Working with: Oana Mondoc, Communities Development and Innovation, WWF Romania

Mentor and support team:
Tobias Trier Fuglsang - Advisor Innovation and Markets WWF Denmark
WWF Nature Pays Hub (UK)

This position will be working with WWF VN and an international WWF support team on launching Panda Labs Vietnam and running human-centred innovations to solve problems around plastic waste in Vietnam.

People in coastal communities and remote locations in Vietnam can play a crucial role in reducing plastic waste through collection and separation and recycling of post-use plastics before they enter waterways. However there are currently not enough incentives for the collection of post-use plastic in remote and regional locations and often costs associated with the collection and transport are prohibitive. This means plastic waste ends up in rivers and flows out to oceans in monsoon season.

The role

  • As Panda Labs Intern at WWF Vietnam you will be working within the following areas:
  • Building WWF VN profile in the innovation sector
  • Build up local capacity to work on innovation at WWF VN
  • Work with the WWF Vietnam team to convene influential partners in the innovation ecosystem around plastic waste
  • Assist with the development of a concept for a human centered plastic waste innovation challenge in Vietnam and South East Asia with participation from key stakeholders e.g. local communities, businesses, funders, investors
  • Assist with coordination of the design challenge in Vietnam together with partners
  • Identify successful prototype solutions that can be scaled  through existing WWF programs, partner procurement contracts etc.
  • Sharing learning, knowledge exchange, shared communication between the regional experiments and pilots
This role involves field work in the Mekong Delta - Long An Province and/or Con Dau Island

Working with: Benjamin Rawson - Conservation Director, Long TrinhThi  - Mekong Delta Landscape Manager, Thuy Nguyen Thi Dieu - Program Coordinator, Oceans (WWF Vietnam)

Mentor and support team:
Tobias Trier Fuglsang - Advisor Innovation and Markets, WWF Denmark,
Reece Proudfoot - Innovation Strategist WWF Australia.


The role

  • Drive, define and ensure the execution of the Panda Labs Moonshot roadmap
  • Act as project owner for R&D projects and orchestrate marketing efforts and deliverables (business case development, requirements gathering) during the development milestone process
  • Intensively collaborate with Panda Lab team worldwide to support implementation of platforms, products and services emerging from Panda Labs hubs
  • Engage and build strategic relationships with key and channel customers
  • Deliver product launches and training to a wide internal and external audiences
  • Represent the Panda Labs products and prototypes to internal and external partners worldwide
  • Provide end-to-end project management
  • Collaborate with internal teams to design, develop and implement digital projects; Scope project requirements and prepare budget; Develop a detailed project plan and monitor progress
Working with: Anorah John, Innovation Specialist WWF Australia
Mentor and support team:
Markus Steinbrecher, Head Marketing Analytics and Applications, WWF Switzerland


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Are you an investor interested in high impact projects and ventures or an entrepreneur who wants to get involved in developing "moonshot" solutions to empower and value communities as global environmental stewards?