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  • Jenna Seiden

ZAMBEZI PARTNERS: A SUSTAINABILITY COMPANY FOR THE FIFTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION

Updated: May 28

Today we are proud to announce Zambezi Partners, a professional services company for sustainability solutioning, has launched its own managed IoT platform, Platform Zero™, built upon Microsoft’s Project 15 Open Platform for conservation and ecological sustainability and Azure digital Twins-enabled. We are the first Microsoft partner to commercialize this architecture and the only platform built natively for sustainability from the ground up.



Born out of our commitment to eradicate poaching in our lifetime but established to support the broader ecosystem of sustainability stakeholders in other verticals, Zambezi Partners is a company rising with the tide of the Fifth Industrial Revolution.


We embraced our belief that technology can be trusted and harnessed to serve humanity. This led us to Project 15’s doorstep when we realized there was no central platform that sat in the middle of all the innovative tech to collect and process the data in real-time and for predictive purposes. So we built it together. Now we have the first holistic-looking, graph-enabled IoT platform and a growing ecosystem of device partners ready to change the world for the better.


Flashback. Finding Purpose.


Spring 2018. We sat silently across from each other in a cramped co-working office space. Pariahs from the corporate world, Bastiaan from management consulting and me from entertainment, we each had fled for an as-yet articulated greater good. We were complete strangers from opposite sides of the world brought together in early May to open the LA office for a Dutch impact-driven venture firm based on our complementary skill sets.


Our mutual client now claims he always knew we would team up well - Bastiaan with his background in the telco sector, disciplined, highly analytical and possessing a disturbing capacity to listen, and me with my rebellious Matrix-style approach to turning gobs of information into business opportunities and my proficiency as a tech translator. Yet the universe had yet to reveal that to us. So, we sat there for months, working together but apart, each dreaming of that larger purpose we knew was inside of us.


“My purpose in life is to save animals,” Bastiaan exhaled one day in July. It felt like he had been holding his breath his entire life until this moment. Tilting my head, not sure he was speaking to me or the cosmos, I said, “Tell Me More.”


A Fifth Industrial Revolution Approach to Conservation and Sustainability.

Bastiaan spent nearly two decades traversing Africa, first as a tourist then as a conservationist, even securing FGASA field guide training status along the way. He saw first-hand the atrocities being committed to the keystone species in sub-Saharan Africa and despite his respect for non-profit efforts in the region, things were not scaling fast enough to stop the inevitable. When a species dies out, it has consequences for all of humanity.


With elephants killed every 15 minutes, lions on track to be eradicated in 30 years and select rhino and giraffe species already extinct, Bastiaan and I united in what we finally realized was our purpose – to achieve zero poaching in our lifetime. Together we share a vision of a world with trust of technology, symbiosis between animals and humans, and the potential for all species to thrive in harmony.


Thus in order to achieve a level of scalability and efficacy in anti-poaching that enables all 8,579 protected areas in Africa to stop poaching and prevent the 6th mass extinction from getting any further, we built a company focused on deploying the most advanced Fifth Industrial Revolution technologies in sub-Saharan Africa.

The problem was not a dearth of innovative technologies such as robotics, AI, camera traps, secure wireless communications, acoustic sensors, and UAVs, but rather there was no solution that could fully integrated the tech from multiple partners, that could scale and lead to the highest possibly efficacy. Furthermore, there was no solution that harnessed all the data – publicly available and privately captured – that could be used predictively.


Thus, three years and three enlightening Burning Mans later (one was virtual, but it counts), that mere ‘saving of animals’ statement manifested into a company that delivers on our passion for wildlife conservation, optimizes our belief that technology can be trusted to have purposeful positive impact on humanity, and solves for the infrastructure solution we were looking for. We have a platform for scalable solutioning where the ecosystem of device partners can easily integrate via API or custom builds for each applicable solutioning initiative.



The Future. Better Together.


Partner ecosystems need to work together to solve the planet’s pressing problems. A siloed approach will not work for anyone. This seems obvious yet when Bastiaan and I were on the ground in Africa and began to delve into other sustainability circles, there was a disheartening sense of ‘co-opetition’ among technology developers. Although everyone was aligned heads and hearts, other forces discouraged working together. But we are better together.


Bastiaan and I gratefully accepted the baton from Project 15, commercializing it to create Platform Zero. We developed it to encourage cooperation among IoT device partners and software developers, and we welcome them to work with us. The more we can support each other’s sustainability initiatives, drive awareness and business to everyone, the greater chance to protect the planet before it’s too late.


In finding our life’s purpose, we forged a first-of-its-kind solution for the Industry of Sustainability. Zambezi Partners took a Fifth Industrial Revolution technology approach to conservation and ended up designing the much-needed infrastructure, aka 'plumbing', to accelerate solutions across the wider environmental, social, and economic pillars of sustainability. We’re ready to deploy and look forward to forging the 5IR forward.