The Earthshot Institute's mission is to foster scientific research and technological development that will catalyze planetary regeneration.
Our distributed community connects academia, the technology sector, and locally rooted organizations with impact on the ground. Earthshot Institute Labs gather diverse areas of knowledge and applied skills, cultivating collaboration that leads to scientifically informed and locally attuned regenerative action.
why open science?
PACE & SCALE
To move as swiftly as our current crisis requires, and to reach the planetary scale we aim for, we must reach beyond the traditional institutional boundaries of science and technology.
Just as open-source code is shared freely, the data and knowledge generated by open science live in the public domain. The science of planetary regeneration is too important to our common future to be held privately by any one group. It must be shared.
Science and technology can be used to liberate or to oppress, to lift many or empower a few. By keeping our doors open, we invite broader participation and closer scrutiny.
To find the balance between transparency and sharing on one side and privacy and data sovereignty on the other, we engage our diverse participating communities in conversation and collective governance.
how Earthshot Institute labs work
LIFECYCLE OF A LAB
Each lab focuses on a well-defined scientific problem or technological need that stands in the way of planetary regeneration. Through data-analysis and modeling, labs forecast alternate futures, revealing the ecological, social, and economic impacts of potential paths.
A community member identifies a scientific question or technological need that stands as a key barrier to ecological regeneration. The proposal of a new lab to solve the problem is shared at an event and here on our website.
Community members extend their skills and knowledge to meet the new lab’s needs. The team commits to working together.
Input from our council of advisors helps hone the plan. Research and development are carried out and documented.
The Institute and its community assist in circulating and activating the lab’s findings through publication, product launch, or acceleration into a new phase of work.
how labs aggregate
MODULES IN A LARGER WHOLE
While each lab dives deeply into a single node of a larger interconnected system, the datasets and models gathered by all labs integrate incrementally into a larger whole — Earthshot Institute’s open-science platform for big data and simulation. As this platform extends, it becomes an increasingly useful tool for understanding how impacts cascade through ecological systems, providing vital guidance in a range of fields, from ESG investing to policy and legislation. The EI Open Science Platform thus builds both the social-economic case and the practical capabilities for planetary regeneration.
Coastal Wetland Forests
The goal of our lab is to create a high-spatial resolution map of coastal forested wetlands at global scale. If we know precisely where these ecologically critical but fragile forests are located, we can manage freshwater flows to counteract saltwater introgression due to rising sea levels, and we can assist in their migration inland, preserving their critical function in protecting coastlines and sequestering carbon.
Across the continent, a number of first nations are in the process of reintroducing bison to the grasslands in which they were once the primary grazer and an ecologically vital species. Initial experiences and evolutionary considerations suggest that this may be ecologically beneficial in terms of grassland biodiversity, carbon cycle, and resilience to climate change. However, these questions have not yet been studied at scale. In this lab, we will leverage remote sensing to scale up from ground measurements, establishing the large-scale patterns of bison impact.
Beaver dams are known to result in greener, more drought-resilient waterways in semi-arid environments. We are using computer vision to spot dams in satellite imagery, generating a large dataset that we can use to train models that will tell us what the ecological effects of a dam will be at any point on a waterway. The goal is to create a tool to guide efficient restoration through the introduction of small dams.
Bundled Ecological NFT
Markets in voluntary carbon credits are increasingly providing a flow of capital for regenerating ecosystems. The problem is, thriving and resilient ecosystems are not just carbon. We need to find ways to structure credits to incentivize the diverse and functional ecosystems we want, not merely high-concentrations of carbon. We will design the technological tools to support a market in bundled ecological credits.
We are building an accurate and global model for predicting potential rates of reforestation and resulting carbon sequestration. Such a model could have a transformational impact on global reforestation efforts by opening new streams of financing in the form of carbon credit futures.
Impact & Risk
Leveraging The Earthshot Institute’s broad scientific and technical expertise, the Impact and Risk Lab helps investors and governments who earnestly want to forecast, measure, and address the socio-ecological risks to and/or impacts from their work. For a given system, we build simple process-based models to identify key socio-ecological risks and outcomes. We then draw on big data to improve and train our models, generating quantitative predictions and developing measurement systems for verification.
Register for the
Earthshot Institute Launch Event
Fri April 22