Animal Think Tank makes its debut at VegfestUK Brighton 2019

13th December 2018

VegfestUK Brighton 2019, one of the biggest vegan festivals in the UK, will feature a brand-new series of talks and workshops focusing on building a powerful, anti-speciesist Mass Movement, created and led by new grassroots activist group Animal Think Tank, across the whole event weekend March 23rd 24th 2019 at the Brighton Centre.

Animal Think Tank aims to achieve this goal by developing its capacity and strategic direction in order to abolish the property status of animals and end all forms of animal oppression. Animal Think Tank’s main areas of work are Movement Building and Unity, Strategy, Organising Culture and Structures, Leadership Development, and Training. Animal Think Tank believes that by building a strategic, inclusive and nonviolent mass movement for animal justice, an end to animal farming and other forms of animal oppression can be achieved. Animal Think Tank takes inspiration from past and present social movements like the Suffragettes, the Colour Revolutions, abolition of the transatlantic slave trade, the U.S. Civil Rights Movement, and Occupy.

In their words, “These social justice movements had a dramatic impact because they took a movement building approach. They worked to mobilise and empower hundreds of thousands of people to participate in popular movements which shifted public opinion and/or pressured governments to grant rights and liberties to oppressed groups.”

Animal Think Tank continued, “We have spent years researching into past and present social movements to learn how we can build a powerful movement to achieve this goal together. As a collective, we have lots of exciting plans to develop and share this knowledge to help build capacity in the movement and support groups and organisations to campaign effectively. In the future, we will be designing and delivering training courses, publishing best practice guides for organisers, and collaborating with individuals and groups across the movement to develop new and effective movement building strategies.”

Animal Think Tank consists of:

  • Laila Kassam PhD, co-founder of Animal Think Tank, who has been involved in social change for most of her career, having worked in the international development sector since 2003 and worked for NGOs, foundations, government ministries and international research and development institutions;
  • Mark Westcombe, full-time volunteer with a focus on Project Direction, who also organised Animal Rights Gathering in 2017 and 2018, developing a focus on Movement Building and Strategy;
  • Dan Kidby, co-founder of Radical Think Tank, a network of activists, community organisers and academics who worked to discover, develop and disseminate best practice in grassroots movement building.

Laila Kassam, who is also co-Founder of Veterinary Vegan Network, expressed her delight at partnering up with VegfestUK:

I’m really excited Animal Think Tank is organising the new 2-day ‘Movement Building’ stream at VegFest Brighton. The stream will focus on ‘how’ we can build a powerful, anti-speciesist movement that can achieve Animal Justice. We’ll be bringing some great new speakers with a wide range of ideas and experience. This will be our launch event as Animal Think Tank – a collective that researches and provides trainings on how social movements can be successful.  I’ve been coming to VegFest since 2015. It always does a brilliant job of bringing people together and getting important ideas out to vegans and campaigners in the community. I loved giving my first talk at London VegFest this year. I’m thoroughly looking forward to coming back to Brighton next year with a whole stream of fresh and inspiring ideas.

Visit Animal Think Tank’s Facebook page for their latest news.

The full programme of talks, speakers and timetables in the Animal Think Tank will be revealed from February 2019.

VegfestUK Brighton will be returning to the Brighton Centre for the 5th year running on March 23-24 2019. The Animal Think Tank will run simultaneously along with several other interesting features, including

  • around 230 stalls,
  • 18 caterers,
  • talks on other subjects to be announced shortly
  • cookery demos
  • an art exhibition
  • other entertainment

Tickets will go on sale from January 1st 2019 at

Kids under 16 FREE (accompanied by adults)