Summit | Thinking Animals United


The massive global exploitation of animals is worsening.  In this unsettled political climate, the protection and conservation of animals is sorely neglected.  The Endangered Species Act is itself endangered, and looming federal cuts to science and environmental protection threaten critical animal habitat and well-being.

The Rethinking Animals Summit 2017 was an assembly of science, health, business, conservation, animal welfare, security and ethics leaders and concerned citizens that addressed the volatile coexistence of human and non-human animals in a world threatened by rampantly exploitative economic activities. It’s goal was to ignite sustainable actions to create a healthy and humane future that includes the protection of all creatures.


View our gallery above to learn about the Summit

The ReThinking Animals Summit has been made possible
in part by the generous support of the


Saturday May 6, 2017

The New York Academy of Medicine at 1216 5th Avenue


9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Keynote Speakers

Paula Kahumbu, PhD 
CEO, WildlifeDirect

Carter and Olivia Ries 
Founders, One More Generation

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

The Threat to Human Health 

Our treatment of animals around the world is making us sick.

Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals:


Jim Robbins 
Contributor, New York Times


Dr. Scarlett Magda
Founding President, Veterinarians International

Aysha Akhtar, MD, MPH
Neurologist, Public Health Specialist

 Anna Cummins
Co-Founder and Global Strategy Director, 5 Gyres

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

The Threat to Global Security

How we contribute to terrorism and international crime through the exploitation of animals.

Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals:


Crawford Allan
Senior Director, TRAFFIC, WWF


Azzedine Downes
President and CEO, IFAW

Gary A. Flory 
Agricultural Program Manager, Virginia Department of Environmental Quality

Mark Spalding, JD 
President, The Ocean Foundation


2:15 PM – 3:15 PM

The Threat to the World Economy

The long-term costs of short-term thinking.

Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals:


Andrew Revkin
Senior Reporter, ProPublica


Carl Safina, PhD
Founding President, The Safina Center

Philip Lymbery
CEO, Compassion in World Farming

David E. Guggenheim, PhD 
Founder and President, Ocean Doctor

3:45 PM – 4:45 PM

The Threat to Environmental Sustainability

Are we consuming to kill the planet?

Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals:


Erica Goode
Contributor, New York Times


Mary Rice
Executive Director, EIA International

Gene Baur 
President and Co-Founder, Farm Sanctuary

Susan Shaw, DrPH 
Founder and Executive Director, Marine and Environmental Research Institute

5:15 PM – 6:15 PM

The Threat to our Happiness

The high price we pay for anthropocentric behavior.

Relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals:


Steven M. Wise, Esq.
President, Nonhuman Rights Project, Inc.


Rev. Fletcher Harper
Founder, GreenFaith

 Will Travers, OBE 
President, Born Free Foundation / Born Free USA

Beth Allgood
U.S. Country Director, IFAW


The Explorers Club at 46 E 70th Street

7:00 PM – 10:00 PM

Evening at the The Explorers Club

Limited tickets for a special evening at the Explorers Club to meet the speakers, guests and experience the Wild Sounds of Ben Mirin, beatboxer, birder and DJ Ecotone!

Sunday May 7, 2017

The New York Academy of Medicine at 1216 5th Avenue


9:00 AM – 9:45 AM

Keynote Speakers

Jeremy Coller 

Founder, Coller Capital; Jeremy Coller Foundation; FAIRR

Rebecca Riley, Esq.
Senior Attorney, NRDC

10:15 AM – 11:15 AM

Business for Sustainable Solutions

Making a profit while protecting the environment and biodiversity.


Jane Lawton
Director, Global Community and Development, The B-Team


Mike Nilan

Mike Korchinsky 
Founder, Wildlife Works, Inc.

Ashley Jablow
Vice President, Development and Impact, Vizzuality

Gavin McIntyre
Co-Founder and Chief Scientist, Ecovative Design

11:45 AM – 12:45 PM

Biodesigning Our Future

Changing how we maintain life and growth on the planet.


Jennifer Jacquet, PhD
Environmental Scientist, Writer


Isha Datar
Co-Founder and CEO, New Harvest

Philip Ross
CTO and Co-Founder, MycoWorks

Matthew Markus 
Founder and CEO, Pembient

David Benjamin
Founder, Living Architecture Lab


2:15 PM – 3:00 PM


Stephan Bognar
Program Director,
US National Park Service / Oxford University:
Women Leaders in Conservation

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM

Tapping the Global Citizen

The power of individuals to change the world.


James Deutsch, PhD
Wildlife Conservation Director, Vulcan Philanthropy


Stephen M. Kohn, Esq.
Founder, National Whistleblower Center

Alex Dehgan, PhD, JD
Co-Founder, Conservation X Labs

Mary Ellen Hannibal 
Author, Citizen Scientist

Sam Rivers
Founder, Allott

5:00 PM – 6:00 PM

Moderators Wrap-Up

Annette Lanjouw, Drs. 
Co-Executive Director, The ARCUS Foundation


DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Metropolitan
569 Lexington Ave
New York, NY 10022
(212) 752-7000


The New York Academy of Medicine

1216 5th Avenue

The Explorers Club

46 E 70th Street