[PROPOSAL] NewFoundTrees

Quick Summary of our goals

Create a platform for small to medium-sized rewilding initiatives, to facilitate the minting and sale of NFTs to fund works. Provide a mechanism to facilitate and incentivize project updates, delivered as NFTs. Give exposure to independent artists through collectable rewards given out as NFTs when certain achievements are met.

To realise the project we propose a funding of 10000 NEAR. The details of what we would spend that on are outlined below.

Background

We’re Thomas Dowdell and Peter Meckiffe, we’ve known each other most of our lives, and the growing climate crisis and the reluctance of our elected leaders to act, has spurred us into action. We come from different fields, Thom from product design, and Pete from software engineering, but both with a shared desire to effect positive change and help to solve the climate crisis.

The Project

Climate change and habitat degradation are the existential issues facing us today. If we don’t rapidly rewild the planet, and replace the carbon sinks of our forests and oceans, we will blow past the 1.5C limit agreed in the Paris climate accord. Past this point, the effects of global warming become increasingly catastrophic and will cause a mass extinction unseen in the history of mankind.

Founder Peter Meckiffe:

In 2020 I took a sabbatical to work pro-bono with Mossy Earth, an organisation dedicated to rewilding the planet. I’ve seen the impact targeted funding can make first-hand. The average budget for a rewilding intervention at Mossy Earth is £3000, often to fund critical research that builds the case for larger interventions. These interventions can give a massive ecological benefit, the more of them we are able to do, the more impact we can have.

The primary problem faced by smaller projects is simple: access to funding. This is where the emerging NFT market provides a novel opportunity.

Our marketplace would use NFTs as a means to fund vetted sustainable projects, initiatives and organisations, by providing an aggregate view of a worldwide selection of NFTs and funding opportunities. This would help organisations and individuals discover projects that align with their values. We would also encourage continued engagement through the gamified collection of projects. For example, the user buys 3 separate rewilding NFTs, and is rewarded with a free rewilding NFT created by an independent artist.

Through these various structures we can build a marketplace that A) helps fund vital projects to rewild the planet. B) provides users with access to NFTs that represent their contribution to solving the climate crisis. Be they institutions or individuals. C) Support digital artists that share the goals of the NewFoundTrees project.

Project makeup

  1. Newfoundtrees.org will have a functioning marketplace containing:
  • A map to see projects spread around the world

  • A token page that documents the prospectus for the project, including a location, a video from the founders, some cover art, a description, and any other supporting materials.

  • A method to purchase listed tokens

  • A token re-sale page for tokens owned by the user

  1. When logged in with a wallet, a user can see all tokens they own and receive updates, potentially through NFT airdrops. These will include:
  • “Bonus” NFTs - Building in some degree of gamification, the user will receive bonus NFTs containing relevant art that we will commission from artists in the NFT community. At launch, we anticipate having 1 artwork ready, and this will be given to everyone who purchases one of our “first edition” NFTs. This artwork would be sourced through the NEAR community

  • Updates by projects. If you invest in a project by purchasing an NFT of that project, you will receive updates on how it’s progressing, straight from those people who are working on it. This will appear on the content page of the token, the implementation method for this is still to be determined.

  1. New projects can onboard through an application page. This will streamline the process of sending us materials to prove the authenticity of projects, and provide the content to use in the NFTs.

We will measure our progress using the following success Metrics:

  • Number of projects funded
  • Time from listing to funding
  • NPS
  • Percentage of projects issuing updates to token owners
  • Profit
  • Number of projects implemented
  • Impact - this will require that we develop a way of measuring the impact of our projects, which will take some time and work, however, we consider it vital to measuring our success.

We have also set the following milestones:

  • Launch - Launch art NFT & 3 project NFTs
  • Sell the first token for a project
  • We fully fund our first project
  • First update sent to token owners
  • Fund a project on every continent
  • See 10 projects implemented thanks to our funding
  • Once we hit £100k in revenue each year, which would roughly equal 100 projects funded, assuming an average project cost of £10k, and a commission rate of 10%, we can both quit our jobs to focus on NewFoundTrees full time.

Funding
Funding will be spent on the following

  • Growth and acquisition - The cost of running advertising on social media both in experiments to gauge market appetite and identify our customer better, and of course to utilise targeted ads to acquire customers.
  • Legal fees for starting a company to ensure we have a solid legal footing going forward. This will include advice on the taxable status and how to ensure the NFTs are attractive to businesses potentially looking to offset taxes, and how best to transfer funds between stakeholders in projects on the platform.
  • Biologists - We will need to hire at least one biologist (freelance for now) to vet the projects for us and assess feasibility.
  • Artwork - Commissioning the first “bonus NFT”.

We will not be using the funding to pay ourselves a salary, as we are not leaving our jobs just yet.

Our wallet adress

newfoundtrees.near

Demo

Below is a link to the demo video. Please bear in mind designs have since been updated, so visit https://newfoundtrees-staging.web.app to have a look at what the current iteration looks like.

Conclusion

The project build is progressing nicely, built on top of mintbase. Our staging environment is live at https://newfoundtrees-staging.web.app we intend to complete the MVP within the next month. Our first 3 projects will be exclusively with Mossy Earth, who you can learn more about at mossy.earth and will be of varying budgets, in order to help us test appetite and better tune our approach for following projects.

More on the team

Peter Meckiffe

Having worked for 10 years now as a software engineer at IBM, CERN and now Zopa in London, last year I decided to take a career break and work pro-bono for a company called Mossy Earth which runs rewilding and reforestation initiatives around the world. This period of 3 months opened my eyes firstly to the sheer extent of the problem, but also to how much we can achieve purely through making funds available to projects that need them.

In my career thus far I’ve had the pleasure of working in some excellent teams, building systems at the CMS project at CERN, working on IBM’s cloud services, and now enabling savers to invest funds in peer-to-peer finance. While all of these projects were important, none come close in importance to the fundamental issue of our age of solving climate change.

I’ve been predominantly back-end focussed throughout my career, and the NEAR protocol’s choice of Rust as the contract language is one of the key reasons I decided to start building on NEAR. My passion is using tools like react-native, Rust and the NEAR platform to build awesome projects and effect positive social and environmental change. I also teach a python course to a class of career switchers as part of a Code For Girls initiative to facilitate more women getting into the tech industry.

I also play the clarinet and tenor saxophone :saxophone:

Thomas Dowdell

I’m currently working internationally as a Senior Product designer with top tier management consultancy Bain and Company to develop tech strategies and build new products and services for some of the largest companies in the world. I have 10 years of experience in design and innovation and have previously worked for boutique innovation agency Department of Change as their lead designer servicing clients such as Experian, EDF and Virgin Media. Then leading UK innovation consultancy Fluxx servicing Mars Wrigley, Clear Channel, L&G.

Previously my work for EDF energy won two gold B2B marketing awards for ‘best use of consumer insight’ a product that was promoting net-zero adoption in business. I design with evidence and take a customer-centric research and design approach. I have deep expertise in lean experimentation, ethnography, user testing and UX and UI design. I balance my exposure to the corporate world by encouraging my clients to invest in more sustainable practices.

I believe design can be a powerful tool for good in the world. Most recently in response to Covid-19, I directly supported the US private sector and government by acting as a vital design lead, to develop a balanced and politically unbiased brand identity for ‘Stop the Spread’, a coalition of over 1300 CEOs and leaders focused on supporting key workers and organisations throughout the pandemic.

Outside of work I have supported ‘Design Club’ an initiative to teach design thinking and product design skills to kids. I am married to a fantastic Nurse, I have far too many pets, I try to play far too many instruments and I am studying for my day skipper. :sailboat:

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