Date: April 21-23, 2017 | Register here
Prices: starting from USD 250,-
Location: Washington, The United States

Earth Optimism Summit 2017

Earth Optimism celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution in the area of global conservation with an unprecedented gathering of thought leaders, scientists, environmentalists, artists, civic leaders and international media.

What’s Working in Conservation

The global conservation movement has reached a turning point. We have documented the fast pace of habitat loss, the growing number of endangered and extinct species, and the increasing speed of global climate change. Yet while the seriousness of these threats cannot be denied, there are a growing number of examples of improvements in the health of species and ecosystems, along with benefits to human well-being, thanks to the conservation actions.

Earth Optimism is a global initiative that celebrates a change in focus from problem to solution, from a sense of loss to one of hope, in the dialogue about conservation and sustainability.

Summit schedule

The Summit will commence on Friday morning, April 21, with a plenary opening welcome by Smithsonian Secretary David Skorton. It will include key speakers – led by Stanford’s Gretchen Daily – who will tell stories about the value of nature for humanity across an array of systems (valuation, nature’s impact on human health, nature and human well-being).


Six major plenary sessions will be spread over the three days covering topics from whole Systems, to Species and Spaces; from Food and Conservation to Energy and Business, Conservation Economics and Cities. Plenary sessions will feature a combination of speakers, performers, short films, “lightning rounds” and young talent with “conservation solutions-in-progress.”

Storytelling sessions

30 Storytelling Sessions of various lengths will be featured throughout the 3 days, with talented conservationists, designers, social entrepreneurs, business people, and teachers from all over the world participating.

Speakers and panellists will talk about local, regional, and global interventions that have succeeded in saving species and ecosystems as well as designing communities and whole support systems that are working! Interspersed with these sessions “Meet the Geek” sessions will be hosted where conservationists can share ideas and success models in a “speed-dating” format.

Exhibition space for delegates and the public

The Innovation Commons area, featuring a series of uplifting experiences designed to inspire awe, will set this summit apart. This will be a public play-space where participants and the public will interact with new, innovative tools and products critically assisting conservation success. Unique sponsor demonstrations, curated art installations, and networking lounges will feature bird-friendly coffee.

The Innovation Commons will include a real-time “Make for the Planet” competition organized by Conservation X Labs, with Duke University and Engineering networks. The “Make for the Planet” competition, which will run throughout the Summit, will develop, in real time, tools and technologies to answer conservation challenges invited speakers will present to them live.

In addition, the Smithsonian and its partners will feature a Conservation Comics Lab and multiple conservation story-telling and networking sites in the Commons, along with exhibits of global “solutions in progress” being developed by Smithsonian and partner conservation labs.

The Innovation Commons is centrally located in the Atrium of the building. It is at the crossroads of the main Plenary sessions and the Public access so it is a high traffic, high activation space. The central hub of the space is a lounge area where guests can order “bird-friendly coffee” at all times during the conference hours. This is then surrounded by key sponsor innovation areas, and flanked by the “Make for the Planet” and Conservation storytelling units: Conservation Comics Lab and Story-Booths.

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