MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy: Building Conservation Leaders

The MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy addressed the critical need for leadership development in the conservation sector. By equipping participants with the skills and knowledge to lead across generations and boundaries, the program played a vital role in building a more resilient and impactful conservation community.
MAVA Leaders for Nature Case Study

Project: MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy

Location: West Africa, Switzerland, and the Mediterranean region

Client: MAVA, Fondation pour la Nature (formerly Fondation MAVA)


The MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy was an intergenerational leadership development programme designed to strengthen the ability of experienced and emerging conservation professionals to collaborate across generations, sectors, and cultural divides.


  • Enhance self-awareness and personal resilience
  • Develop cross-boundary leadership skills
  • Foster mentoring and coaching skills
  • Empower young professionals and encourage senior professionals to support them
  • Explore generational differences to drive innovation in the conservation sector


  • The programme combined a year-long curriculum with:
    • Opening and closing 360-degree assessments
    • Leading Beyond Authority module to develop skills for leading outside of traditional hierarchical structures
    • Mentoring between senior and young professionals
    • Innoventure module to explore rapid innovation approaches and intergenerational collaboration
    • Individual coaching for senior professionals
    • Online platform for learning resources and face-to-face gathering preparation


  • Participants reported greater self-confidence, resilience, and improved leadership skills.
  • Many organisations experienced shifts in strategy and culture, fostering collaboration and innovation.
  • New cross-sector partnerships were formed, leading to tangible benefits for conservation efforts.

Key Takeaways:

  • Investing in leadership development is crucial for the sustainability of the conservation sector.
  • Intergenerational collaboration can drive positive change and innovation.
  • A combination of mentoring, coaching, and self-reflection can empower leaders to achieve greater impact.