TESS stands for Teaching Empathy, Saving Species. We are an organisation that builds schools which are also animal sanctuaries. TESS exists to revolutionise education, conservation and animal care. TESS transforms both education and animal care by combining them, and placing empathy at their core. TESS' ultimate aim is to disrupt standard models of zoos and education through revised design, practices, and values from the ground up.    

Our strategy to improve lives (both human and non-human) is based on focusing upon empathy, the understanding of others both intellectually and emotionally. By teaching and incorporating empathy through the care of animals with our students we create and build upon the natural emotional connection we all have with nature. We do this within a redesigned schooling system with aspects borrowed from tested alternative schools such as Kaospilot and Hyper Island, and alternative systems such as Steiner and Montessori. Our strategy allows both learning and the appreciation of nature to be incredibly enhanced, increasing the success of students and society as a whole. 

Our first school in Southern England will make the most out of the South's abandoned quarries and disused land. Our flagship exhibit and Ranger experience, is competing for the World's largest walk through aviary and animal exhibit. Here's today's largest aviary; Birds of Eden, South Africa. Our flagship will be both a unique and spectacular visitor experience showcasing a wide variety of species whilst providing these endangered and persecuted animals with a semi-wild habitat to flourish in.

Using empathy as a driving force and nature as a world of lessons, we can teach, we can inspire, we can create a better world - a world where the next generation is less stressed, more self-aware, less destructive and more empathic toward each other and nature.


Christopher Watson is the founder of TESS. He has a degree in Zoology from John Moore's University, England, and a Master's degree in Evolutionary Biology from Uppsala University, Sweden. He has been designing TESS in his head since he was eight years old, now he is building a collective of minds and talent around the world to make his dream a reality.

Learn more

How It Works                  Interview Blog                      Contact                   Support