2019 Natural Capital Symposium

March 18-21 | Stanford University

Every year, leaders from around the world come together at the Natural Capital Symposium to drive innovation and empower decisions informed by nature’s benefits to people. The Symposium provides a unique opportunity for scientists, NGO’s, government decision-makers, private industry, and practitioners to converge and collaborate towards our shared goal of a more sustainable, livable planet.

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The science of understanding nature’s benefits to people requires a diverse range of perspectives, and there’s no better place to cultivate interdisciplinary endeavors than at the Natural Capital Symposium. From scientists to software engineers and executives to implementers, our global community meets each March to develop new knowledge and apply it in scalable ways. Join us March 18-21, 2019 at Stanford University to continue our conversation around supporting both people and nature.

With a focus on Sustainable Development and Sustainable, Livable Cities, the Natural Capital Symposium is designed to foster meaningful dialogue across sectors. The Symposium features interactive sessions, topical working groups, and inspiring keynote addresses. In 2018, more than 350 participants from 33 countries attended the event.

2019 Natural Capital Symposium Timeline:

  1. September 2018:
    Registration Opens
    Call for Abstracts
    Scholarship Program Applications Open
  2. November 5th
    Abstract submission deadline
  3. November 30th
    Scholarship application deadline
  4. December 21st
    Early-bird registration deadline
  5. March 1st
    Registration deadline
    Poster submission deadline
  6. March 18-21, 2019
    Natural Capital Symposium
    Munger Conference Center
    Stanford University

We are pleased to offer scholarship opportunities again this year to support attendance and travel for students and practitioners from low-income countries. Please check back in September for more information about the scholarship program.

Visit our YouTube page to see more of last year’s event, and join in on this year’s conversation with #NatCap2019.

Watch this space for more information on the 2019 Symposium as the date draws closer!


Send us a message at natcap2018@gmail.com, or fill out the form.

Key Themes

The 2019 Natural Capital Symposium is broadly organized around the theme of brining natural capital information into action. Featured panel sessions will cover regional topics such as opportunities in India and Latin America, as well as pathways to impact through working with multilateral institutions. This year’s event will also feature several other sessions around shared outcomes such as livable cities, sustainable development, and resilience. We will be updating this website on a regular basis with more information about sessions and speakers.

Featured Panels

I. Natural capital approaches in India

As one of the world's fastest growing economies with rich swaths of biodiversity and ecosystems still intact, India represents an exciting, and urgent, opportunity for accelerating uptake of natural capital approaches to link ecosystems and human wellbeing in decisions.  Speakers will discuss inspiring science and policy work underway from watersheds to cities, and challenges that must be met in order for India to grow sustainably into the next decades.


*Additional speakers to be confirmed soon

II. Promoting green, inclusive growth through multilateral development institutions

Multilateral Development Banks and Development agencies hold huge potential to promote inclusive and sustainable growth, fight poverty and inequality, and protect the planet. Speakers will discuss ongoing work and opportunities to further amplify approaches for including the values of natural capital in their policies and investments, including harnessing new technologies and data science in easy-to-use tools, standard frameworks and guidance for assessment of green infrastructure approaches, and building capacity among leaders to mainstream these approaches regionally and globally.   


Leaders from the World Bank, Inter-American Development Bank, Asia Development Bank, and the Global Environment Facility are confirmed


We are now accepting abstract submissions for short talks at the 2019 Natural Capital Symposium. Talks will be accepted for roundtable sessions on 1) Livable Cities and 2) Sustainable Development. We are seeking a diverse range of talks under the umbrella of those topics, so we encourage you to submit your talk even if you are unsure of its relevance. Additionally, we are accepting talks for general ecosystem services/natural capital lightning talks. Talks may also be accepted into other panel sessions when appropriate and space is available. Submissions will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The submission deadline is 23 November 2018. All submitters will be notified about talk acceptance status by 14 December 2018.

Submit an Abstract


We are now welcoming abstract submissions for the Symposium’s poster session. Posters on all topics relevant to natural capital and/or ecosystem services. The deadline for submitting your poster abstract is March 1st, 2019.

Submit a poster


    • We are pleased to announce a scholarship initiative to at least partially support the registration and travel costs for attendees from low-income countries or other circumstances where the costs of attending and/or traveling to the event present a barrier to their attendance. The application period for these scholarships is October 1st - December 7th, 2018. To apply, please complete this short application form.
    • The number and extent of scholarships given is entirely dependent on the amount of funding we have available to disperse. If you are interested in sponsoring Symposium scholarships, please contact us by email.

Tracks & Sessions

The Natural Capital Symposium runs a full program of sessions from Monday-Wednesday. Thursday has a more flexible schedule, which includes working groups, workshops, and additional training sessions. The full program is split across three simultaneous “tracks.” We expect to release a draft schedule in the coming months. Attendees are encouraged to pick and choose which sessions they would like to attend, across all three tracks. Additional information about each track, can be found below.

Pathways to Impact

  • P1: Global BES Modeling and Application
  • P2: Scaling Approaches w/ the U.S. Forest Service
  • P3: Latin America Showcase
  • P4: Latin America: Human Health and Ecosystem Services
  • P5: Infrastructure and Sustainable Development
  • P6: Urban Ecosystem Services
  • P7: Resilience in the San Francisco Bay Area

New Frontiers

  • N1: Urban Ecosystem Services Roundtable
  • N2: Artificial Intelligence and Ecosystem Services
  • N3: Sustainable Development Roundtable
  • N4: Technology for Private Sector Investments
  • N5: Partnerships for Resilience
  • N6: Lightning Talks
  • N7: Food Security

Approaches & Applications

  • A1: Getting Started with a Natural Capital Approach
  • A2: Ecosystem Service Applications in China
  • A3: TBD
  • A4: Hands-on with InVEST: Marine & Freshwater Models
  • A5: Communicating and Visualizing Results

Special Topics


Venue and transportation

Munger Building 4, 555 Salvatierra St, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

Munger Building 4, 555 Salvatierra St, Stanford, CA 94305, USA

The Natural Capital Symposium will be held at the Munger Conference Center, on the campus of Stanford University.

555 Salvatierra Way
Stanford, CA 94305

To get there by Marguerite Shuttle, take the X or Y to Campus Drive & Alvarado, then walk toward the center of campus on Salvatierra Way. This will take you right into the Rehnquist Courtyard, between Paul Brest Hall and Jacobson-Sorensen Hall. If you are staying at the Sheraton Palo Alto, you can catch the Marguerite Shuttle at the Palo Alto Transit Center (the Palo Alto Caltrain Station). The X and Y shuttles pick passengers up from the driveway adjacent to the southbound platform. Take the Y shuttle to Campus Drive & Alvarado.

Map of Munger Conference Center



Stanford University is easily accessible from both the San Francisco (SFO) and San Jose (SJC) Airports. Please click here for directions to/from area airports to Stanford. Stanford campus is located near the Palo Alto Caltrain station. There are free “Marguerite” shuttles that run from the station to locations across campus throughout the day. The X and Y shuttles stop very close to Paul Brest Hall, the location of the Munger Conference Center, epicenter of the Natural Capital Symposium. Bicycle rentals are available from the Campus Bike Shop.


A block of rooms has been set aside at the hotel properties listed below and can be reserved by using the links below. If booking by phone, ask for rooms in the 2019 Natural Capital Symposium block. Reservations must be booked no later than Feb. 17, 2019 to be a part of these blocks.

The Cardinal Hotel

Book your stay

Phone: (650) 323-5101

Curious about our past Symposium events? Check out the 2018, 2017, 2016 and 2015 event pages.