Executive Education

Courses designed to improve effectiveness of conservation leaders by building on and complementing their technical skills.

ALU will work with experienced conservation practitioners and business leaders to design short courses that address current talent pain points in the sector. Built on ALU’s unique learning model, courses will range from a few days to a week and provide skills that existing conservation leaders can immediately apply to their work.

Short courses to be launched will include

Beyond the Donor Box: Market-based Approaches for Financing Conservation

Many conservation professionals in Africa are asking the question: “how do we become more financially self-sufficient, and not so reliant on a donation-driven business model?”

In this short course, participants will explore cutting edge ways to finance conservation in Africa. It will look at approaches that utilize market forces and the wealth-generating capabilities of “natural capital”. The course will examine case studies of organizations have successfully set-up sustainable financing models through payments for ecosystem services.

Through this course, participants will learn how to apply these approaches to their own organizations and learn how forward looking producers, communities and investors can work together to develop new financial tools to move beyond donor based funding and instead leverage markets to benefit both conservation, people, and organizations.

The Business of Conservation: The Triple Bottom Line

Explore this cutting edge, business approach to conservation which accounts for profit, people and the planet in your organization’s bottom line.

This short course will focus on learning from entrepreneurs and practitioners who have successfully started and run triple bottom line businesses in various sectors across Africa and around the world. Seminars will focus on examining how they did it, examining their successes and failures with the aim of applying their lessons to the conservation sector.

Participants will then work in a dynamic, real-world context, engaging with stakeholders as they develop triple bottom line solutions for their organizations. Combined with tailored feedback and individual coaching sessions, participants will gain meaningful insights and practical tools to integrate this approach into their conservation organisations.

Conservation Leadership for a Technology-Driven Future

In this short course, participants will examine how emerging technologies can shape Africa’s environmental future and the ethical leadership implications in a world of rapid change.

The aim of this course is to help conservation leaders in Africa understand how to apply emerging technologies to overcome the continent’s greatest conservation challenges like the illegal wildlife trade. This course will create a point of connection and inspiration, a catalyst to accelerate an African culture of conservation innovation, and a platform for members of the conservation community to discuss the potential of rapidly changing technologies.

This course will showcase the latest in emerging technologies including artificial intelligence (sensor networks, real-time big data analysis, autonomous drones, etc.) and digital biology (lab grown rhino horn, invasive species control and disease vector control, carbon consuming algae, etc.), to demonstrate how they are being used to disrupt the conservation industry, prevent poaching, and overcome some of Africa’s greatest environmental challenges.

This course is ideal for conservation intrapreneurs looking to disrupt their industry, triple bottom line business leaders charting a new strategic direction, or conservation innovation leaders mapping future product and service development paths for their organization.

The Conservation Conversation: Effective Communication for Stakeholder Engagement

Communicating effectively has become a key tool in engaging stakeholders around a common cause. Employees, local communities, funders and governmental decision-makers all need to be engaged effectively in order to maximize impact in conservation.

In this short course participants will develop their skills to be persuasive and thoughtful communicators. Participants will learn how to present convincing, uniquely-expressed opinions, backed by relevant evidence, that engage the interests and needs of a diverse audience of conservation stakeholders, e.g. employees, communities, funders, politicians.

Participants will also deepen their understanding of arguments, advance their critical thinking skills, and learn to use frameworks based on evidence when considering key debates that currently shape conservation.

Design Thinking for Conservation Innovation

This course will provide training on how to be an effective leader in conservation by becoming a better problem solver. Participants will learn how to integrate proven tools for nimble innovation practices and problem-solving into their conservation organizations, specifically: design thinking. The course will take participants through an immersive design challenge to solve specific problems for their conservation organizations. Here, they will learn and experience the power of human centered design as a creative approach to problem solving in conservation.

The course will help emerging leaders and established professionals rapidly skill up in designing interventions for conservation innovation. The course centers on our unique approach to change-making through Design Thinking and is designed for purpose-driven leaders and passionate communicators who seek to solve Africa’s greatest environmental problems. Using applied systems thinking, action research and the ideation process, participants will uncover new ways of thinking through the complexity of the environmental issues at hand.

Data Driven Decision Making for Conservation

In this short course, participants will learn how to use a framework for logical and critical thinking to make effective conservation decisions. They will learn how to use an efficient data analysis process to generate data visualizations that explain conservation challenges to relevant and important audiences. They will review data-driven decision making tools and learn how to use them to justify decisions they will make.

Participants will also leave with a powerful new toolset that demonstrates how environmental assessments are carried out with methods such as risk analysis, life cycle analysis, and cost benefit analysis.

Fighting Poaching with Dollars & Sense: The Economics of The Illegal Wildlife Trade

In this short course our overarching question is: ‘How can we better understand the economics of wildlife trafficking, from subsistence poaching to international organized criminal networks?’ To answer this question we will examine the cash flow of poaching, from the challenges of addressing subsistence poaching especially in transfrontier parks where borders are fluid and economic opportunities are few, to following the value chain of wildlife trafficking from the local village to the sale to customers in East Asia. We will develop new frameworks for understanding poaching behavior, their preferences and motivations, profiles of the end user, and study the dynamics of online and physical markets for selected illegal wildlife products. We will also explore innovative interventions to monitor online sales of prohibited goods, and novel economic approaches that disincentivize poaching behavior while providing sustainable economic opportunities to local communities.

Innovations & Issues in Protected Area Management

In this course, participants will explore innovations in the approach to the management of protected areas (PA) and efforts to address the tension between restoring natural migration routes for wildlife and opening borders between countries, especially in Transfrontier Parks. This course distills global experience in protected area planning and management over the past decade, with particular reference to PAs’ relationship to surrounding landscapes and economic activities. With case studies and examples from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Botswana, Tanzania, Namibia and Uganda, we will explore the place of PAs in national and regional land use planning; challenges and benefits facing conservationists and communities, when fences are removed and borders become more fluid for both animals and humans; the different institutional arrangements for establishing and managing PAs; the role of PAs in national economic growth, immigration, and their evolving relationship with local communities.

Proposed locations

Short Courses will be held at places across Africa in places like: Dar Es Salaam (Tanzania), Nairobi (Kenya), Lusaka (Zambia), Maputo (Mozambique), Kruger National Park (South Africa), Port Elizabeth (South Africa) or Windhoek (Namibia).