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Using medical and public health expertise to solve problems for people, animals, and the planet—so everyone can rise and thrive.

Our Mission

Phoenix Zones Initiative (PZI) advances the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet through education, research, and advocacy.

Led by physicians and an interdisciplinary team, our work draws on our expertise in medicine, global public health, research, and ethics.

PZI promotes social, economic, and environmental policy to uplift the most vulnerable, and we provide resources to empower others to advocate for similar changes.

Our Vision

We envision intergovernmental and government agencies, policies, positions, and funding mechanisms that advance the interdependent health and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet. Our vision is grounded in meeting the needs of the most vulnerable populations, communities, and individuals.

We strive for the widespread adoption of economic metrics and policies that emphasize the right to health and the right to a healthy and safe home and environment.

Our Impact

Guided by an ambitious strategic plan, we have met or exceeded established benchmarks. PZI has built bridges across diverse disciplines to advance the rights, health, and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet.

Our team has published or been featured in prominent international publications and multimedia outlets. PZI events have engaged and educated professionals across six continents, and we provide ongoing expertise in global, national, and local forums.

Our Story

Dr. Hope Ferdowsian and Dr. Nik Kulkarni co-founded Phoenix Zones Initiative. Around the world, they observed how certain policies and industries have driven the exploitation of vulnerable populations, while fueling climate change, hunger, chronic diseases, emerging infectious diseases, poverty, forced migration, and conflict. 

They also witnessed the power of resilience—how people and animals can heal in healthy environments. Hope wrote about this phenomenon in Phoenix Zones: Where Strength Is Born and Resilience Lives, a book named after places where individuals and communities can rise and thrive—like the proverbial phoenix rising from the ashes.

With the help of key partners, Hope and Nik launched PZI to advance the essential links between human, animal, and environmental health and wellbeing, and to fuel the creation of more Phoenix Zones. They are joined by a team of talented individuals, partners, and supporters dedicated to making the world a better place.

Our Focus

  • Health and Wellbeing

    We ground our work in a Just One Health approach, placing justice, prevention, and the links between people, animals, and the planet at the heart of policy, research, and practice.

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  • Policy and Practice

    Through our commitment to a Just One Health approach, we envision that policies and practices can become more socially and ecologically just, and that they can uplift the most vulnerable.

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  • Ethics and Justice

    We center our policy work and programs on ethics, and we recognize that justice is a key prerequisite for the health and wellbeing of people, animals, and the planet.

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