How would you describe Restor?
You could describe Restor as a hybrid of a charity and a business because we spun off from a research institution but are fundamentally a non-profit company that’s owned by a charitable foundation. Our goal is to become financially independent of the foundation and cover our own costs over time. We will never have a mandate to generate profit, so we get the best of both worlds of having a non-profit structure that ensures we always prioritize impact while operating in a nimble start-up fashion.
What plans do you have for the future?
Short term, we are launching an updated version of our platform in September 2022, allowing companies, governments, and organizations to have profiles and describe the work they are doing linked to specific sites. Our mid- to long-term vision is that Restor is the place to come to find new restoration projects, to monitor their progress and to connect with people doing similar kinds of work. It’s a hub much like the way Google Maps is centralizing what’s happening around the globe. It means any funder, any implementer, a drone provider, a carbon creditor, a seed nursery, all these actors will exist on Restor and will have more value because they can be found together on the site.
Are you optimistic?
There’s obviously a lot of bad environmental news out there and we need to understand that and figure out what to do with it. But the restoration space is a space where people are really pushing back, regrowing, and regreening. It’s a very hopeful place. People are drawn to that hope. I think it’s important we don’t romanticize planting a tree and then think we have fixed everything, but restoration really can fuel a sense of hope and drive our strategies. I think that is very powerful.