In 2000 we created a philanthropic organisation called The Synchronicity Foundation. At the time, we were fundamentally interested in engaging with brilliant people and organisations with inspired ideas, but little or no funding. The people behind the projects were equally important as the chosen projects and topics.
Over the years, however, some repeated themes emerged including education, social and economic welfare, healthcare, relief efforts, the environment, endangered species, and children’s wellbeing. To date, The Synchronicity Foundation has worked with over 70 projects in nearly 40 countries, giving away over US $6 million.
A number of years ago we became increasingly aware that environmental degradation was becoming a key (if not the key) issue underpinning all of our interests. We found ourselves funding children’s education projects where the focus was about obtaining freshwater and healthy meals; while refugee projects were suddenly less about politics and more about climate displacement and access to resources.
Conversely, projects about saving species were more about politics and people than conservation biology: who owns the land? Who has access to the resources? Is there enough science? Do we create animal sanctuaries or support protected areas?
Arguments for protecting nature became arguments about human welfare: what undiscovered medicines might we one day source from the Amazon? How do I benefit from natural capital? Can we use markets to save trees? What will we eat without pollinators?
As we began to investigate how we could get more involved in conservation, the thing that struck us was how appallingly under-funded the field is, especially considering how important the natural world is to us all – far from being a ‘luxury’, saving nature amounts to saving ourselves.
We also quickly realized that it is an incredibly complicated world – there are thousands of organisations with varying levels of expertise and capacity working around the world; the issues range from local to global and are often unconstrained by human borders; virtually everything involves negotiations between politicians, global businesses, and local people; and success in conservation is very difficult to measure.
We knew that if we were having a tough time negotiating the conservation landscape, then others must find it equally daunting.
So, we evolved. We created Synchronicity Earth – an organisation that aspires to look at the whole conservation landscape, make sense of it, and spread the word, so that ultimately we can ramp up funding to excellent projects.
Now we are merging the two organisations because, quite simply, without our environment intact nothing else matters, and we want to stay focused on this most urgent of tasks. While this means Synchronicity Foundation will no longer be operational, it allows Synchronicity Earth to benefit from the sustainable funding stream that we set up over 15 years ago.
We can now offer over 15 years of grant-making experience, a track record for sourcing and nurturing creative and exciting projects worldwide, and an innovative mechanism that provides core funding. With Synchronicity Earth this is coupled with a top research-driven team, a network of expert advisors, an original operational platform and a hunger to produce outstanding results for conservation.
We hope you enjoy our website and, more importantly, we hope that our approach will inspire new supporters for conserving our life support system: our planet, the only one we have, and the incredible diversity of life that exists alongside us.
Jessica & Adam Sweidan