Natural Capital Symposium 2019

400 people from 30+ countries converged at Stanford University

Fostering Dialogue, Cultivating Change 

From everyone at the Natural Capital Project, sincere thanks to the attendees, presenters, and facilitators of the 2019 Natural Capital Symposium. At the Symposium, leaders from around the world come together at Stanford University to drive innovation and empower decisions informed by nature’s benefits to people. This year, 400 people from academia, NGO’s, government, and private industry came from 30+ countries to work towards our shared goal of a more sustainable, livable planet.

We were honored to officially welcome our newest partner, the Stockholm Resilience Centre, at this year’s Symposium. Read more.

Impact through Action: Videos from #NatCap2019

Check out all the 2019 videos!

Gretchen Daily opens the 2019 Symposium

Spotlight Panel: Natural Capital Approaches in India

All People, All In: Leading the Charge for a Livable Planet
Laura Huffman, The Nature Conservancy

Laura Kwong explores virtual reality in the Communicating and Visualizing Natural Capital interactive session. Photo Credit: Sarah Cafasso

Anne Guerry, NatCap Chief Strategy Officer, introduces the Natural Capital Project approach on Monday Morning. Photo Credit: Justin Warren

NatCap Managing Director Mary Ruckelshaus discusses the global reach of the Natural Capital Project network. Photo Credit: Justin Warren

Symposium participants learn more about Stanford’s Geospatial Center. Photo Credit: Sarah Cafasso

Panel discussion on Building a Resilient Food System in the New Frontiers Track. Photo Credit: Sarah Cafasso

Attendees from the Chinese Academy of Sciences mingle at Monday’s happy hour and networking session. Photo Credit: Laura Kwong

Monday’s poster session highlighted the diverse work of the NatCap network. Photo Credit: Laura Kwong

Overheard at #NatCap2019


What a treat to be introduced by the great Gretchen Daily at the Boething Lecture this evening. Capping off an uplifting day full of inspiring thoughts & voices!


Incredible talks in the Positive Futures for Tansformative Change track at . Speakers with great approaches to scenario planning and fielding questions from the audience. “Scenarios help look ahead, for better planning today”


in conversation with Gretchen Daily : smart strategies are insufficient to meet our goals, we need to encourage bold leaders and innovative new programs to achieve and


A really important message from at – our focus on the regulating services provided by natural capital must be coupled with recognising the importance of nature and it’s diverse values in the economic, cultural and spiritual lives of people.


Leading science by on how Nature’s Contributions to People underpin the economy and global . Key to developing biosphere-centered scenarios, to complement conventional human-focused scenarios. Ping Rob Dellink


How can we leverage + to inspire deep transformation?

Grateful for the inspiration: by in my experimental Coms&Viz session

Poems about People and Nature: A Selection from Tuesday’s Poetry Reading


If you shared a poem during the Symposium (or if you’d like to do so now) and haven’t yet shared it with the organizers, please email so it can be included in our collection.

By Adeniran Akanni, Chief Scientific Officer, Lagos State of Environment, Lagos, Nigeria

There is so much questions than answer.
The more I find out, the less I know,
Yes the more I find out the less I know.
And I ask myself time and time again
Why there is so much questions among men
What do we search?
How do we search?
How far must we research?

Prerequisites for Preservation
By Naima, Climbing Poetree

we’re gonna need to get organized
live beyond boundaries
soften our hearts
talk to each other

we’re gonna need to leave behind our baggage
relinquish our comfort
release our control

we’re gonna need to give up our addictions
confront our pain
ask for help
give more than we take

we’re gonna need to dream bigger
work harder
get dirty
take time

we’re gonna need to remember
we’re gonna need to forgive
we’re gonna need to let go
we’re gonna need to let go

we’re gonna need to feel fully
revive our intuition
make up our minds
enact change

we’re gonna need to look at ourselves
reconcile our ignorance
sacrifice shame

make amends

we’re gonna need to need less

peel away the nonessential
go hungry
break a sweat

we’re gonna need to heal our fears
tell our secrets
share with our enemies
love ourselves

we’re gonna need to study existence
refine our dreams
mediate our shadows
cure our disbelief

we’re gonna need to practice magic
we’re gonna need to cherish water
we’re gonna need to grieve
we’re gonna need to move on

we’re gonna need to stay focused
we’re gonna need to be strong
tend our commitment to beauty
fuel our devotion to truth

we’re gonna need to pray
we’re gonna need to follow through

endure burning
we’re gonna need to

we’re gonna need to trust

we’re gonna need to give light
we’re gonna give light
we are light
we are

The Reputations of Birds
By Joanne Arnott
For Ale*

Clay-coloured Thrush in a flowering bush
Great-tailed Grackle screech and staccato, massing, encompassing the sky
Long-tailed Manakin in private glen, swift-dancing twosome, threesome, something for the ladies
White-throated Magpie-Jay, elegant matriarch, mother of the clan

? Whose song causes the heart to lift?
? Whose presence engenders baleful looks, tension, thoughts of foreigners, aliens, thieves, bravado?

In the more-or-less harmonious strivings
the to-ing and fro-ing
the how-do-we-share-the-lands

? Do we think of the birds?
     ? How do we think of the birds?
     ? What do we think of the birds?

*Written for Alejandra Echeverri about her ecological research

By Rudyard Kipling
(‘Brother Square-Toes’—Rewards and Fairies)

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:
If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!