We close this year with deep gratitude and great optimism. Together, we’ve accomplished much this year. Thank you for walking with us.
When we founded Wonder Labs in April 2020, we envisioned a near future in which communities can live and work with fire in sustainable, equitable, and just ways. To realize this vision, we launched the Reimagining 2025: Living with Fire Program and Design Challenge. We were motivated by the belief that diverse communities on the frontlines of climate impacts can be empowered to reimagine the futures we collectively want and need.
Mid-point into our five-year reimagining journey, and with two Living with Fire Design Challenge cohorts under our belt, we now have tangible outcomes that confirm our vision is within reach. We need not wait for decades. In the current policy and funding environment, we are no longer constrained by a lack of capital, only a lack of imagination.
Over the past two years, our student-led teams have conducted convergence research in partnership with regional, local, and grassroots organizations across California and Colorado. The teams have facilitated inclusive processes to reimagine how diverse communities can live, work, even thrive, in a fiery future.
We step into 2023 determined to scale the reimagining methodology with a growing pipeline of powerhouse teams. We’re also excited to extend our Reimagining 2025 Living with Fire program to include a Reimagining Fire Podcast and begin work on a Reimagining Life and Work with Fire Atlas.
This year, we also witnessed how responsible innovation and catalytic capital can be powerful scale multipliers. Our incubation, BurnBot Inc., raised $5m, graduated from our backyard, and is launching field operations in California and Oregon. Catalytic capital turbo charged BurnBot, and BurnBot in turn, will help scale fuel treatments.
This is why we are proud partners to the Wildfire Tech Funders Group, the newly formed Wildfire Resilience Funders Network, and Convective Capital––the first FireTech venture fund. Talking about catalytic capital with many of you led to the first State of FireTech Report (look out for the State of FireTech 2023 Annual Update)!
In 2022, we worked across academia, policy, philanthropy, venture capital, start-ups, the private sector, international organizations, community-based organizations, as well as Federal, State, Local and Tribal agencies. Together, we advanced policy, investment, research, and practice agendas. Building on our 2022-23 Living with Fire Design Challenge theme, we called for a new research and practice agenda to reimagine the forestry and fire workforce in caring, equitable, and just ways. The momentum we’re seeing emerge from these diverse and effective partnerships is electrifying!
Thank you for inspiring us with your resolve, commitment, and impact. We look forward to advancing our collective mission in 2023.
Our warmest wishes to you and yours,
Shefali and Anukool
Co-Founders, Wonder Labs