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GreenStand is employment and empowerment platform for smallholder tree planters.

Photo of David Ezra Jay
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Explain your project idea (2,000 characters)

Our goal is to create a self-sustaining restoration platform that connects local communities in developing countries with socially and environmentally concerned world citizens. Restoration efforts are informed, and adjusted, by results of basic research on ecological systems. Through local engagement, we aim to empower communities to improve their environmental integrity while providing opportunities for economic gain. As trees grow in size, their potential value to communities grows as well. By empowering end users with the tools to document and map their work, we provide a framework to incentivize the funding and long-term care of planted trees. Data from our custom mobile app, linked to a database on our website, ensures transparency in the tree-planting process by delivering a visible and quantifiable measure of success to donors. This data provides foundational ecological information that can be used to optimize future planting efforts within each region. Our system is currently developed to work on Android devices, giving smallholder tree planters the technology necessary to verify and measure their existing tree planting efforts. By creating a verified digital tree token, we value individual trees from the day they are planted. This allows us to facilitate the transactions necessary for the free market trading of trees. Picture a system that allows you to buy a cup of coffee and automatically offset the carbon emissions generated for its production by funding reforestation efforts that employ and feed people in some of the worlds poorest most depleted environments.

Who are the beneficiaries? (1,000 characters)

Our primary beneficiaries are individual planters in remote areas of developing countries. These are the people who are making less than a dollar a day destroying the forests for charcoal and subsistence agriculture. Our platform creates an alternative means of employment and builds ecological wealth, bringing economic opportunity to the farthest corners of the earth. Our main goal is to bring money and environmental wealth into impoverished communities.

How is your idea unique? (1,000 characters)

We have created a data collection framework that incentives an ongoing interaction between smallholder tree planters, their trees. This is not an easy task and has never been done before. This framework is built as open source software, anyone in the world can copy it. Our competitive advantage lies in our approach. We are a lean organization built by a strong team of dedicated individuals who have joined to solve a complex and real global problem. We have extensive experience working on environmental and social issues in developing countries. There is no direct link between tree planting in any corner of the world and the individual anywhere else.

Idea Proposal Stage (choose one)

  • Pilot: I have started to implement the idea as a whole with a first set of real users.

Tell us more about your organization/company (1 sentence and website URL)

We are a collective of volunteers who have joined under the umbrella of a non-profit social enterprise to implement an idea that will change the face of the planet and offer meaningful widespread employment to the world's poorest rural communities.

Expertise in sector

  • 7+ years

Organization Filing Status

  • Yes, we are a registered non-profit.

In 3-4 sentences, tell us the inspiration or story that encouraged you to start this project.

I met a woman, a single mother in a mud hut. She was a friend of mine. Her image, her plight, her desperate situation can easily be transposed onto the lives of a multitude of others in her same situation. No work, no food, no hope, just actions out of desperation. So often those actions tax the environment beyond what it can bear and the situation worsens. I am inspired by a solution, by a way to give these women, millions of them, a job and a meaningful task that feeds and nourishes.

Please explain how your selected topic areas are influenced, in the local context of your project (1,000 characters).

The instability of the governments in developing countries and general lack of political stability in such regions prevent the long-term planning or access to any internal tools and mechanisms necessary to for sustainable economic development. Our planet is suffering because the people of these impoverished regions have no path to prosperity other than the over-extraction of the scarce environmental resources they have available.

Who will work alongside your organization in the project idea? (1,000 characters)

We work alongside other tree orgainzations by creating an interactive link and treemaps that they can use as a fundraising tool. Providing transparency to these organizations increases their funding opportunities. We also connect tree planting funds from other organizations to individual planters. Now we are ready to support green marking by creating a direct link from the consumer to the planter's measured environmental impact.

Please share some of the top strengths identified in the community which your project will serve (500 characters)

Millions of the worlds poorest find their next meal by cutting down forests and selling the wood. These people work extremely hard and most make less than a dollar a day. Thier actions are out of desperation. They already want to rebuild the environment but do not have the means to do so. By offering sustained employment to plant trees, these people are extremely resourceful and will grow forests like never before.

Geographic Focus

This is a global project with a focus on equatorial areas of extreme poverty.

How many months are required for the project idea? (500 characters)

Currently, the project is already working and the goals are clear. Within 6 months the software will be solid enough to handle millions of data entries per day. We aim to be fully operational, within 24 months.

Did you submit this idea to our 2017 BridgeBuilder Challenge? (Y/N)

  • No


Join the conversation:

Photo of Ana Luisa Ahern

Very cool project, I will be in touch and hope we can collaborate on tree planting initiatives in Central America in the future!

Photo of David Ezra Jay

Thanks, Ana,
We are relying on a volunteer team of cool people to build and implement it. And so we are always looking for awesome people with fresh insights. There appears to be a real need for the project and it has serious potential to scale, which means a lot more trees and economic opportunity in rural areas around the world. So I invite you to stop by and say. Or even better help us roll it out. Can you tell I am a recruiter :)

Photo of Ana Luisa Ahern

Hahaha yes, you are definitely a good recruiter! Good luck and we will keep in touch!

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