Governance design for global conservation prize

Designed the governance of a prestigious global environmental prize, to support its successful transition from within a leading philanthropic foundation.

Conducting in-depth research with multiple stakeholders to determine the criteria for successful governance and define possible options, we agreed and detailed a governance structure which would enable the newly independent entity to realise its global ambitions.


The Earthshot Prize was conceived and launched by The Royal Foundation. The Prize’s bold ambitions and the need for agility and speed to realise them led the Foundation to conclude that the Prize should become an independent entity.

Eden McCallum was asked to support the foundation to design a governance structure for the new organisation. The challenge was to retain the benefits of collaboration with the Foundation, and balance stakeholder needs with the right autonomy for the prize to deliver on its global ambitions.


Eden McCallum’s senior consultants brought broad experience as board members as well as technical expertise in governance. They worked with key stakeholders to define the parameters of a new governance structure, and to identify risks to be mitigated.

Drawing on learnings from previous similar initiatives launched by the Foundation, as well as external benchmarks, we identified a range of options which through further stakeholders discussions were narrowed to one. This was fleshed out to an actionable level of detail – describing for example the terms of reference, proposed size of the Board, role of NEDs – to ensure a smooth transition to independence.


The recommendations formed the basis of the newly independent Prize’s organisation and governance. The Earthshot Prize went on to attract a world-class Board to oversee it, and to secure significant funding.