2020 Natural Capital Symposium

March 16-18 | Stanford University

Join us at the 2020 Natural Capital Symposium at Stanford University on March 16-18, 2020. This event is a major convening of leaders advancing the science and practice of incorporating nature’s diverse values into decisions.


Our signature event, the Natural Capital Symposium has grown from one year to the next, with last year’s installment drawing over 400 people from 31 countries worldwide. Each year participants representing universities, NGOs, businesses, governments, multi-lateral development banks, and other institutions learn about and share their own experiences advancing the frontiers of science, the development and application of practical tools and approaches, and how natural capital understanding is being used today to transform decisions.  This year, we will be focusing on two key themes: 1) re-envisioning development planning at national and regional scales and 2) sustainable, livable cities.  To do so, we will explore technology, natural science, social science, planetary health, data visualization, the arts, and more.


The Natural Capital Symposium is a unique opportunity to gather with our growing community of practice to share experiences, trade success stories from the front lines of informing decisions around the world, hear about cutting edge research, and learn how to use NatCap’s approach and software tools in hands-on training sessions.  


Registration will open early Fall 2019. Early-Bird discount ends December 16, 2019. Registration closes February 28, 2020!

Short-Talk Abstracts are due November 22, 2019

Scholarship Applications are due November 22, 2019

Poster Abstracts are due January 31, 2020

For the 2020 Symposium we’re offering a platform for you to design your own workshop. Start thinking about roundtable discussions you would like to host with the NatCap Symposium audience. We’re calling these forums “Birds-of-a-Feather” and we’ll provide the space. The link will be available in late Fall 2019. We will also have sign-up sheets available during the Symposium.

Featured Speakers

  • Thomas Elmqvist, Natural Resource Management Professor at Stockholm Resilience Centre
  • Eric Lambin, George and Setsuko Ishiyama Provostial Professor and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Rafael Monge, Director at the Ministry of Environment and Energy, Costa Rica
  • Taylor Ricketts, Gund Professor and Director of the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont
  • Chethan Sarabu, Director of Clinical Informatics at doc.ai & Pediatrician at Stanford Medicine
  • Jenny Suckale, Assistant Professor of Geophysics and Center Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Laura Tuck, Vice President of Sustainable Development at The World Bank
  • Ouyang Zhiyun, Professor and director, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences


We believe that this movement will be stronger if we can diversify the voices and perspectives participating within it. For the 2020 Symposium we are offering limited scholarships. Depending on fundraising efforts, we may have the opportunity to offer more, but currently have the resources for 1-2 complete scholarships (including air fare, lodging, and registration), and a small number of registration scholarships (free registration only). Please note you can only apply for one scholarship!

Qualifications for a complete scholarship include: citizenship from a middle- or low-income country according to the World Bank classification, representation of need, and clear articulation of how Symposium attendance will benefit your work in the future. If you are not selected for the complete scholarship, we will consider you for the free registration scholarship. Please use this link to apply for a complete scholarship.

For a registration scholarship, preference will be given to those from middle- and low-income countries according to the World Bank classification, but those from other countries are welcome to apply if you can clearly explain how Symposium attendance will benefit your work in the future.  Please use this link to apply for a registration scholarship.

Scholarship Applications are due  November 22, 2019

Fund a Scholar Program

We are pleased to spotlight a few past recipients and ask for your help in funding our 2020 scholars from under-represented regions of the world leading vital work.

A $5,000 donation will fund one scholar from a low-income country, but we welcome any amount that works for you or your organization.

Please Donate


The Cardinal Hotel (please book by February 21, 2020 to take advantage of the group rate)
Nightly rates from $159-$325

Stanford Guest House (Group Code NCS20)
Nightly rates from $174-$214

Cowper Inn (Group Code 15512, please book by February 21, 2020 to take advantage of the group rate)
Nightly rates from $189-$245

If you would prefer to stay elsewhere, we encourage you to search availability at other nearby hotels or the many Airbnb options in the area.


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, venue for the Natural Capital Symposium. Bicycle rentals are available from the Campus Bike Shop.


Please be careful to observe all posted signs! An “A” parking pass can be used for any parking spot labeled “A” or “C” but cannot be used at spots with metered or pay parking. The parking lots closest to the Munger Conference Center are the subterranean Wilbur Field Garage at Campus Drive East and Arguello Mall.

Parking Fee Hours
Wilbur Field Garage: Monday–Friday, 6am–4pm

You are free to park in those areas after enforcement hours.
For more information on Parking Rates and How to Pay for Visitor Parking, Click Here.

Venue Information & Map

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

555 Salvatierra Way
Stanford, CA 94305

Lactation room is located at Law School Crown Quadrangle. Please speak with conference staff for access.
There is no on-site childcare, please arrange prior to attendance.
The Natural Capital Symposium will be held at the Munger Conference Center, on the campus of Stanford University.

Map of Munger Conference Center