The U.S. Endowment for Forestry and Communities (Endowment) recently announced a new forum for innovative ideas designed to help solve some of today’s most significant natural resources challenges. The first annual Forest Innovation Reviews (FIRz) will be held on Wednesday, September 18, 2019 in Athens, Georgia. The inaugural FIRz event will create a space for presenting well-formed ideas about forests, forest management, forest products and forest-rich communities that will be conveyed through short, powerful talks.
Innovative thinkers from around the world will gather for a day of breakthrough intellectual discussion and sharing about the biggest challenges (and potential solutions) that face forests and forest health. Similar to the TED Conference format, selected speakers at FIRz will share their new and innovative forestry-based ideas with a participating audience, and those ideas will then be shared around the world via video.
“As the nation’s largest public charity dedicated to working forests, the Endowment has a consistent and proven track record of successful ventures that link to at least one of seven strategic initiative areas: traditional markets, non-traditional markets, wood-to-energy, innovation, asset creation, forest health and forest retention,” said Endowment President and CEO Carlton Owen.
The inaugural FIRz event will take place at the University of Georgia, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. Each year thereafter, FIRz will rotate to a different region of the US; FIRz 2020 is already slated for Oregon in collaboration with Oregon State University’s College of Forestry.
Over time, the FIRz community will become a diverse mix of thinkers from the public, private, government, conservation and academic sectors, and FIRz will emerge as the signature annual event for sharing forest sector innovation and fresh thinking. As a nexus of ideas, FIRz will connect potential funding partners and those with cutting-edge ideas. To help jumpstart that process at its inaugural event, the presentation voted by attendees as “Most Likely to Make a Lasting Difference” will be awarded $10,000.
The deadline for nominating yourself or someone else for FIRz 2019 is February 28, 2019. To learn more about presenter criteria and process details for the inaugural event, visit the Endowment’s website at http://www.usendowment.org