Lusch Lecture Welcomes Animals Asia CEO

March 3, 2020

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Each year, the University of Arizona’s McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship and the Center for the Philosophy of Freedom host the Robert Lusch Lecture Series. The series honors former executive director of the McGuire Center for Entrepreneurship Robert Lusch, a prolific researcher who was well known for his work in service-dominant logic, which rests on the notion that the basis of all economies is in the exchange of service among humans.

This year, Jill Robinson, CEO and founder of Animals Asia was welcomed as part of the series. On Tuesday, February 24, Robinson gave a presentation at the University of Arizona Student Union about Animals Asia, and on Wednesday, February 25, the Loft Cinema screened To the Moon and Back, a documentary about Robinson and her work in Asia. More than 150 people attended both events.

Robinson founded Animals Asia in 1998 after she had an encounter with a caged bear on a farm in southern China. This experience changed her life forever. After learning that herbs could be a replacement to bear bile, she was determined to put a stop to bear bile farming. Animals Asia has since rescued more than 600 bears in China and Vietnam.

Animals Asia’s mission is to end the farming of bears for bile in Vietnam and China and to provide sanctuary for bears. They also strive to end the suffering of wild animals in captivity and to ensure humane treatment of cats and dogs.

Because of Animals Asia, the government of Vietnam has agreed to close all bear bile farms by the end of 2020.

“I think the special element of the event was that it had broad appeal beyond the university and also attracted members of the community with an interest in animal welfare,” says Mark Peterson, lecturer in entrepreneurship. The McGuire Center is part of the Eller College of Management. Learn more about Eller’s entrepreneurship programs.