Model & Strategy
Rainforest Connection (RFCx) is focused on preventing rainforest deforestation, a leading cause of climate change and species extinction, by providing real-time monitoring and detection of illegal logging activity. RFCx transforms recycled cell-phones into autonomous, solar-powered listening devices that can remotely monitor and detect logging activity. Using this data, RFCx partners with local NGOs and indigenous tribes to deter incursions through more effective patrols or to pressure governments to take action to prevent further incursions. RFCx plans to make this data available to academic researches and government agencies in the hopes of reshaping the fields of field ecology and conservation.
Topher White is Founder and CEO of Rainforest Connection. Topher has experience building systems for large and small startups as well as international science projects, including four years working on nuclear fusion at ITER, in France. He has received multiple accolades for his work, including being named a National Geographic Emerging Explorer in 2015 and an “Engineering Hero” by the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).
RFCx directly aids the efforts of local in-country partner organizations, NGOs, indigenous tribes and governments struggling to reduce environmental destruction. RFCx can already claim to be a key element in the protection of thousands of hectares of forest in Latin America and Southeast Asia.
Since 2015, RFCx has developed and deployed specialized conservation technology to empower the Brazilian Tembé indigenous people to protect 60,000 hectares of their native rainforest in Brazil, using real-time data and alerts.
In many cases, RFCx takes responsibility for improving local infrastructure in the forest, offering myriad benefits for partners and their communities, including improved cell networks, internet access, solar power stations, and more.
RFCx also uses data streaming from remote forests combined with advanced acoustic algorithm development to measure biodiversity and ecology, creating new and simplified interfaces for scientists to contribute to environmental protection while furthering their own research.
Rainforest Connection News
How Old Cell Phones Are Being Used to Save the RainforestTopher White has a black eye, but there’s no cause for alarm. He just got it from walking through the forest, getting swiped by flying…Nov 2016
The Guardians of the ForestThe Borneo rainforest is severely threatened by deforestation. In this new video James Reed, a tree climbing expert, collaborates with the Rainforest Connection to place…Sep 2016
This Accelerator Is Building An Ecosystem For Climate Change StartupsRainforest Connection transforms recycled cellphones into solar-powered devices that monitor and pinpoint deforestation activity for intervention in real time. While the breakthrough technology has proven…Jun 2016
National Georgraphic: 2015 Emerging ExplorersDeforestation, much of it illegal, is one of the main contributors to climate change. Detecting and interdicting illicit loggers in remote areas has always been…Jun 2015
Topher White TEDx Talk: What Can Save the Rainforest? Your Used Cell PhoneThe sounds of the rainforest include: the chirps of birds, the buzz of cicadas, the banter of gibbons. But in the background is the almost-always…Sep 2014