Blueprint: Nature + Progress

February 2-3, 2018 | Duke University

Join us for a two day conference at Duke University bringing together experts and students from across the nation to solve environmental problems.

What is Blueprint?

Blueprint exists to inspire disruptive innovation for future-focused global change.

The Blueprint event was founded by Duke Conservation Tech to bring together students and experts from around the world to learn from one another. Student participants will form teams to ideate solutions under the mentorship of leading experts. Students from diverse backgrounds and universities will engage problems on environmental topics before presenting blueprints to solutions so crazy, they just might work.

Blueprint 2018: Nature + Progress

Blueprint 2018: Nature + Progress focuses on reconciling the natural world with the inevitability of human progress. Humans have exploited ecosystems to support growing societal demands. While beneficial in the short term, these disruptions have led to a widespread degradation of ecosystem services, the often overlooked things nature does for us.

Consider, for example…
– the deterioration of urban air quality by deforestation and fossil fuel use.
– the cost of artificial pollination because of the honeybee crisis.
– the damage of tropical storms no longer tempered by barrier reefs.

This year’s event aims to inspire actionable blueprints for sustainable and regenerative technologies that address and reverse degradation by individuals now in order to prevent the exponentially growing costs of replacing these ecosystem services.


(Subject to Change)

Friday, February 2nd

Saturday, February 3rd




All Day




All Day

Connections and Team Formation

Late Evening and Overnight

Closing Ceremony


How Can I Participate?


Undergraduates and graduates from any college/university may apply to attend and participate in the Blueprint event for 2018. Students will form teams on-site and design a solution for given topics. Then, they’ll present their idea before judges.

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As a student participant, you will have the opportunity to listen to distinguished speakers, ask questions, and produce a real solution to pressing issues in today’s world. Each participant will be on a team tasked with producing a solution for a topic. Note: you do not need to be an environmental guru to contribute to this event! Participants of all backgrounds (artists, computer scientists, etc) are encouraged to apply. We will provide you a design framework to guide you through the research, ideation, and rapid prototyping of your solution. Plus, mentors will be alongside you to provide advice and answer questions!

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Mentors are knowledgeable individuals who have generously provided their time to advise students during this event.

Learn More

During the event, students go through a design process to produce solutions to problems relating to a track within the scope of the theme. And mentors are there to help. They are individuals or company representatives with an interest and expertise in a relevant field for this event. We are grateful for the time mentors provide to make Blueprint a hotbed of innovation toward today’s conservation and sustainability problems.

Apply Now

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I attend if I have no prior experience?

Absolutely! We are looking for fresh, creative minds from all life backgrounds.

How do I get to Duke?

Once you have been accepted to Blueprint, we will provide you with more information on transportation details and travel reimbursements.

Do I need to apply with a team?

Nope. Team formation will happen at Blueprint to encourage you to connect and communicate with other people with different ideas and perspectives.


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