About the Conference

75th WAZA Annual Conference with IZE

The Future of Zoos & Aquariums


The zoological industry is at a major crossroad. Established over 250 years ago, zoos and aquariums have evolved from private collections for royalty to state-of-the art centers for education, conservation, and research. With over 700 million guests visiting our facilities a year, we have an unprecedented audience for us to influence and motivate to act. No other organizations at this time are better positioned to help address the challenges our planet and its wildlife face.

As we confront a crisis of unimaginable portions, with estimates of over one million species headed for extinction over the next few decades, it is time to build a shared vision that can help us lead the fight against extinction. This is a battle that will take time, talent, and extraordinary resources. It will take collaboration and sacrifice. And it will lead to both heartbreak and success.

There is no better time than WAZA’s 75th conference to discuss the future of our profession. We will tackle some of the most challenging topics of our time that will be instrumental in our planning. We will be delving into the following:

  • How do we keep zoos and aquariums relevant in the digital age?
  • How do we continue to position ourselves as the experts in animal welfare as well as ensure the best animal welfare practices at our facilities?
  • How do we raise the funds necessary to grow and maintain our facilities while at the same time fund overwhelming conservation necessities?
  • How do we align ourselves more closely with IUCN, CITES, and other organizations in the battle to end extinction?
  • How do we deal with climate change?
  • How do we make our own facilities sustainable?
  • How do we drive conservation behavioral change in our guests?
  • Where will our next generation of conservation leaders come from?

Please join us in San Diego, California. We look forward to sharing with you the San Diego Zoo and San Diego Zoo Safari Park along with our best practices and work together to develop a roadmap for the future. We hope to both challenge and delight you during our time together.

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