History of SmartMarkets & Our Approach

SmartMarkets was co-founded and shaped into its current form by two Yale graduates who together have worked a combined three decades on water, energy, conservation, development and infrastructure in the developing world.

Their experiences overseas – especially in the water-stressed landscapes of Asia and Africa – led them to reach similar conclusions about what works best, why societies collaborate, and how scarce water & energy resources can be used and conserved both equitably and efficiently.

At first glance, our approach may seem `high-tech` because it uses web 2.0 platforms and encourages online exchanges. To some people, it may feel radical in its novelty. In fact, the fundamental idea is as old as time.

SmartMarkets merely translates and adapts similar successful conservation dynamics used for millennia by both Kalahari Bushmen and Oman villagers and, more recently, by Maine lobstermen and Alaskan halibut anglers via Individual Tradable Quotas (ITQs).