Terraso: Building a Sustainable Future

Tech Matters is the technology partner in an ambitious global collaboration called 1000 Landscapes for 1 Billion People. We want to help communities plan and finance sustainable economies. The Terraso platform will provide the data and software tools needed to plan, finance, and track their progress.

Social Problem Addressed

Reaching many of the Sustainable Development Goals requires a holistic approach to catalyzing and coordinating the necessary behavioral and economic changes in our society. Existing single-focus (“targeted” or “siloed”) interventions can have unintended side effects, leading to improvement in one area, but degradation in others. Only by planning and implementing a coordinated set of changes at the ecosystem level can we make the tradeoffs (and compromises) required to maximize the benefits to all, and the best group to make these critical decisions is the community itself.

Here's What We're Doing

In the design phase of this decade-long project, we first interviewed leaders from twenty-five local initiatives all over the globe. Based on their input and continued participation, we are beginning to create the Terraso platform to meet their needs. As we synthesize their data and software needs, we will be making and adapting tools to make critical information and simulations far more accessible to communities themselves. We will preserve the decisions that are made by the communities as they generate them. We’ll ensure that data collected about an area stays available to the people who live there, rather than being taken away or privatized. And finally, once a community has settled on its top priorities for creating a sustainable future, we will provide tested methodologies for finding the funding for those ideas from mainstream investors, impact investors, banks, development banks, foundations and governments.

Partners and Supporters

The 1000 Landscapes project is a “radical collaboration” among seven social change organizations including Tech Matters. The other core partners include: Rainforest Alliance, World Wildlife Fund, Conservation International, UNDP, Commonland and EcoAgriculture Partners, the convener of the initiative. Major funders for the Terraso platform include Schmidt Futures, the IKEA Foundation, and the Patrick J. McGovern Foundation. Startup funding for Tech Matters’ work on the 1000 Landscapes project was provided by the Hitz Foundation.

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