Join the next generation of young people passionate about the future of grassroots conservation
WFN NextGen is a programme with two main goals. The first is to build a community of young people who are passionate about conservation. By hosting events and engaging with audiences on social media, NextGen aims to bring likeminded people together to learn and talk about environmental issues, solutions, successes.
The second goal is to channel the energy and enthusiasm of young people into raising funds for the grassroots initiatives of Whitley Award winners around the world. One million species are threatened by extinction, yet only 4% of UK philanthropic giving is directed to the environment. Through fundraising challenges and events, NextGen hopes to leverage the passion and dedication of our network to collectively fundraise and help close this wildlife conservation funding gap.
The programme is headed up by members of the WFN team, and steered by a close-knit group of committed individuals; the WFN NextGen Committee (meet them below!)
WFN NextGen’s Core Objectives:
- Inspire and facilitate fundraising initiatives amongst young people to raise funds for WFN.
- Build and increase awareness of WFN through wider engagement on social media, at events and between groups of young people.
- Platform and celebrate the work of Whitley Award winners through social media, at events and between groups of young people.
- Facilitate timely, important conversations about environmental issues and solutions between groups of young people who are passionate about conserving our planet.
- Enable those involved to feel empowered to support conservation in a way which does not centre around personal capacity for giving, but rather around fundraising and collaborating in a creative way with likeminded young people.
- Create an engaged and supportive community of young people who are passionate about the conservation of our planet and want to enact positive change
- Register HERE to join the WFN NextGen mailing list! We’ll keep you up to date on events, opportunities, and news from our amazing Whitley Award winners.
- Follow NextGen on Instagram and Twitter
- Download the WFN NextGen Fundraising Pack for fundraiser ideas! Anyone fundraising as part of WFN NextGen will have the mentorship and support of the Committee. We can help you hone an complex fundraising idea into something ready to go, or help you find a fundraising challenge which suits your skills.
- ‘Go Wild With Laughter’ Wildlife & Comedy Quiz night: See the highlights here
- The Virtual Launch!: Re-watch on YouTube here
- ‘Jingle in the Jungle’: Get the inside scoop on our 2021 Christmas social here
Meet the committee
Lily Himmelman (WFN)
I joined the Whitley Fund for Nature from BOMA, a Kenya-based organisation addressing extreme poverty in Africa’s drylands. I’ve worked around the world for various non-profits focused on microfinance, eco-tourism, horticulture, and education (including one very special month as a gardener at Versailles!). As Chair of the NextGen Committee, I am responsible for overseeing the programme and running our annual events.
A conservation cause I won’t shut up about: greening urban spaces and making nature accessible to everyone – particularly young people!
Georgie White (WFN)
I’ve got a BSc in Biology from Imperial College London and worked internationally on community development programmes across Asia, before gaining a MSc in Conservation from University College London. I’ve got a background in sustainable business having worked for leading sustainable tourism brand, Soneva. I’m a Trustee of YAKUM, an NGO which protects indigenous forest in Ecuador and builds cultural, medicinal and food sovereignty, through reforestation. I have a passion for fine art and I’m a Director at Shenstone Art. I’m also an avid dancer and head of SafeSpace for Zoukglow, a Latin dance company based in London.
A conservation cause I won’t shut up about: the inclusion of indigenous and local knowledge being a critical part of protecting the planet’s biodiversity and the overall health of our ecosystems.
As a lifelong lover of animals and the outdoors, I have naturally always had an interest in conservation. I have tried to become more involved in protecting the world around me via developing my understanding of – and taking up a role in- Corporate Social Responsibility alongside making conscious changes in my personal life. My proudest achievement was running the Birmingham Marathon in under the elusive 3 hours and I have extensive experience as a guide-runner for the Blind. I am now honoured to be a part of the WFN Next Gen Committee. I am awestruck by the work the Whitley Award Winners do.
Ask me about: Running & fitness, Wine and all things abv (this is linked to conservation I promise..)
Recommends: Born to Run by Christopher McDougal, hard copy O.S. maps, tonic water
Elizabeth (Biddy) Briggs
Based between the West Midlands and North London, I am never more at home than when out and about. Whether it’s a mountain summit, ultra-marathon, or just a quiet swim in a pond. WFN offers us the chance to give back, showing how we can combine doing the things we love, with protecting the world we love and live in. Since I first began attending the Whitley Awards six years ago, I have been blown away by the passion and entrepreneurial flare of all the winners. Witnessing conservationists from across the globe come together to prove that there is great purpose in our efforts, is a welcome reminder that we can all make a big difference to someone or something somewhere, now or in the future.
A conservation issue I won’t shut up about: Soil! Go on, talk dirt to me …
Recommends: What I Talk About When I Talk About Running by Haruki Murakami, Meadowland by John Lewis Stempel, every song ever by Cosmo Sheldrake, Willy’s apple cider vinegar shots
I’m a wildlife photographer from Washington, DC. Two years ago, I left my so-fun-it-hurts job as a National Geographic Kids book designer to launch a nonprofit aimed at empowering young people to save threatened habitat and species through land conservation: Reserva: The Youth Land Trust. When WFN told me they too wanted to engage the “NextGen” in supporting grassroots conservation, I was stoked. Half the world’s population is under 31, and there’s so much we can do to help!
A conservation topic I wont shut up about is: The impact small donations can have for biodiversity if directed into the right hands. Did you know that your $5 morning coffee costs the same amount as an apartment-sized area of tropical forest in many parts of the world?
I am Archie and I work in the art world. The Whitley Fund for Nature has been a part of my life since I was a small boy as my mother, Catherine, is a Trustee. Each year all the winners would come around to our house for a drinks reception and I remember being in total awe, if not a little scared, of the amazing conservationists and the stories they told. Whether that be Romulus Whitaker telling me about the many times he had been bitten by king cobras or Charudutt Mishra discussing the snow leopard with a love, at that stage, I thought only possible for one’s family. For this reason I am very excited to do my best in helping to raise money for such incredible people and projects. My favourite animals are humpback whales and I dream about them often.
I’m a naturalist, author and wildlife producer. I came across the brilliant WFN when working at Icon Films and had the pleasure of directing the short films for two of the award ceremonies. I was enormously impressed with the work of the conservationists that WFN sponsors, and it became so clear to me that this is the most efficient way to support global conservation initiatives. I’m a big fan of outdoor sports, from skiing to kayaking to mountain biking. When I’m not out in the field directing, I love building camera trap rigs and travelling around Europe looking for its rarest critters!
A conservation topic I won’t shut up about: Hunting – I find the nuances around hunting as a conservation tool fascinating and despite being almost vegan am trying to understand the subject as much as possible.
Ask me about: Growing a wildlife garden!
I am an Interior Architect with a passion for sustainable design, conservation, and habitat protection. Three years ago I was the first person ever to initiate and take part in a sponsored event for Whitley Fund for Nature, raising money and spreading the word about all the great work WFN funds globally. Drawing from this experience I’m so excited to help create a network of passionate young conservationists, like me, who can really make a difference.
A conservation topic I won’t shut up about: the use of sustainable materials and products in architecture and our day to day lives. Thinking about supply chains and where things come from is really important to me. Being aware of which communities and animals our lifestyles may affecting the whole way along the supply chain is vital.
OfficiaL events PARTNER OF WFN NEXTGEN
I have worked and lived in London for 17 years since moving up north from Durban, South Africa. The majority of my professional career has been in finance in London, but in 2019, I hung up my suit to follow a dream to change the salad game in London and opened Urban Greens. I am honoured to be on the Committee and for Urban Greens to be an official Partner for WFN.
I am very interested in big cat conservation and cannot think of anything better than a trip to the bush. I am also particularly interested in projects which improve co-existence between humans and animals. I strongly feel success stories in these projects breed fundamental change that is needed for both our species to survive in the long-term.