It’s half time in the fight for conservation. So far, the game hasn’t gone our way – even as we speak, entire species are in danger of being lost altogether and the opposition comes at us from all sides.
But it’s not too late to turn things around. We’ve got the players. We’ve got the skills. We just need to regroup, find some self-belief and work together to win Africa’s conservation challenges.

Enter the Conservation Lab. 2021 will see the fifth edition of the progressive two-day un-conference* from This is Beyond. This event builds bridges between up to 150 leaders from the key sectors of conservation, travel, technology, behavioural sciences, philanthropy and government, under optimal conditions for creative thinking and collaborative innovation. There will be no bystanders; only active participants – everyone will be expected to contribute to the discussion with the aim of igniting conservation efforts.

Because if we come together as a team, We Can Fight Our Way Back.


We’re calling on the sharpest minds in conservation, travel, technology, behavioral sciences, philanthropy, government and community to share ideas, pool resources and expertise, and gather intelligent insights that lead to informed decisions and more effective action.


The event was created with a single mission in mind – to make the travel industry a stronger force for conservation – but conservationists alone cannot change the world.

At the end of the two-day event, participants will return to their respective fields with fresh tactics, renewed energy, and a whole new network of contacts to help overcome their individual conservation challenges and generate significant change.


100% un-conference! We’re mixing things up with 4-minute timed talks, group presentations, freeform debates, interactive dining, late night cinema, networking campfires and more in order to spark real innovation and foster meaningful connections.


We’re hosting collaborative group sessions and interactive workshops designed and led by you, the participants, to create a democratic forum for productivity and creativity.


We’re playing host at the 4* Spier Hotel, set on one of the continent’s oldest wine farms, in picturesque Stellenbosch – the inspirational centre of South Africa’s innovation hub.



At the Conservation Lab un-conference, everyone is created equal. Designed by you, the players, the agenda will feature open discussions and collaborative workshops, anyone who wants to initiate a discussion can (and should). Democratic yet at times anarchic, the Conservation Lab un-conference is a productive, creative forum that brings together experts from in and around the conservation world to work as a team towards a common goal: to win the conservation game.



In addition to taking your place at the centre of the action, your pass includes two nights’ accommodation, morning adventures, two breakfasts, one lunch and two dinners. Plus, you’ll have full access to one of Africa’s oldest wine farms – after all, the team that eats (and drinks) together, stays together!

All profits from the Conservation Lab will be reinvested into the next event.


Here’s what some of the participants at our previous editions had to say about what they learned:

Camilla Rhodes

“There is a fine line to tread with community-led conservation. The impacts to communities need to be tangible and the understanding of benefits from protected areas & their wildlife inherent.”
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Camilla Rhodes - Abercrombie & Kent Philathropy Coordinator in Zambia

Beks Ndlovu

“There is a clear need for the industry at large to be more coordinated in our efforts to tackle the conservation issues that plague not only Africa, but the world at large. Without cohesive and well-coordinated attitudes, we are in for a hiding and a great loss.”
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Beks Ndlovu - CEO African Bush Camps

Ralf Buckley

“The role of tourism in conservation deserves greater recognition by governments and large NGOs such as IUCN.  The 2014 World Parks Congress barely acknowledged it, even though it is key to reaching the Aichi Targets for global conservation.”
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Ralf Buckley - International Chair in Ecotourism Research at Griffith University

Rob Moffett

“The challenge is to figure out options to improve economic returns to Governments, Communities and other land owners that will maintain the incentives that compel them to commit land to conservation-based (least harmful) use.”
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Rob Moffett - Managing Director at Ongava Game Reserve (PTY) Ltd

Les Carlisle

“Congratulations on revolutionising the traditional conference with this ground-breaking ‘un-conference’ format. Certainly for me, it achieved real networking engagement and dialogue opportunities. Well done to all involved.”
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Les Carlisle - andBeyond's Group Conservation Manager and Rhinos Without Borders' Project Manager


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