Turning community-based climate adaptation projects into reality

Do you have a great idea for a climate adaptation project, but don’t know how to turn it into reality? Join the online Dragon’s Den during CBA15 for expert guidance from IUCN NL and Global Resilience Partnership on how to make a powerful investment pitch on June 15.

‘During the Dragon’s Den, participants work in teams to develop ideas for adaption projects, create supporting business plans and learn how to make powerful investment pitches,’ says Jan Willem den Besten, Senior Expert Ecosystems & Climate at IUCN NL.  

The sessions culminate in a competition-style plenary session where participants present their idea to a panel of people with investment experience. These ‘dragons’ (‘Dragons’ Den’ is the name a popular TV programme) assess the merits and viability of the pitches, seen through the eyes of investors. They offer feedback, give guidance on funding options – and pick a winner.

The International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED), who hosts the Dragon’s Den sessions at its 15th International Conference on Community-based Adaptation to Climate Change (CBA15), interviewed last year’s joint winner Juliet Grace Luwedde, who most impressed the dragons with her idea for a ‘Climate Action Media Mobile Van’ and its vision to build young peoples’ understanding of climate change and inspire action in their communities.

Mentors’ support

Juliet Grace Luwedde: ‘I found the mentors’ support particularly useful when preparing my pitch [for the dragons] – it was the first time I’d ever done anything like this.’

Luwedde got many comments during the various sessions: ‘The comment that has stuck with me until now was during my pitch, when one of the dragons noted how relevant my idea was: we need to be communicating much more about climate issues in the media, so my idea for a media van idea was really timely.’

Although Luwedde has not yet been able to secure funding for her van, she learnt that having people who listen to your idea and help you move it forward is also extremely valuable. ‘The visibility I got was the biggest win for me. It gave me confidence in my work and in my idea, and inspired me to share more about the Climate Action Media Mobile Van with as many people as I could.’

Why participate

Are you thinking about participating? ‘My advice to anyone thinking about entering the Dragons’ Den? Do it! No idea is too small. You’ll have thought about your idea for a long time, so you know it’s got potential. Faith in it is all you need,’ Luwedde concludes.

The quotes from this article appeared in an original blog post by IIED and have been reproduced with permission. For the full interview, see:

More information

For more information CBA15, on the Dragon’s Den session and how to attend, see:

Dragons’ Den sessions

  • 15 June, 9.00 – 11.00 Context, problem definition and relevance of your idea
  • 15 June, 13.00 – 15.00 Developing a business plan
  • 16 June, 9.00 – 11.00 Pitch development surgery
  • 17 June, 13.00 – 15.00 Meet the Dragons, hosted by IUCN NL’s Maxime Eiselin

Header photo by Eduardo Prim for Unsplash.

Maxime Eiselin
Senior Expert Nature-based Solutions