Next week, scientists, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and artists will gather at Necker Island in the British Virgin Islands – both in-person and virtually – to kick-off the annual Ultramarine Ocean Summit. The event boasts an impressive line-up, including Mission Blue founder Sylvia Earle, ocean explorer Fabien Cousteau, conservationist and world-renowned wildlife photographer Cristina Mittermeier, and actress and environmental activist Jane Fonda.
The virtual portion of the event, put on by nonprofits Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) and Oceanic Global, is available for the public to enjoy. Each of the three-days of virtual programming will include a theme: plastic pollution, protecting marine life, and the regenerative ocean economy.
Day 1 – February 3, 2021: Tackling Plastic Pollution
The virtual portion of the Ultramarine Ocean Summit will kick off with lightening talks from leaders in the fight against the ocean’s plastic problem:
- Janur Yasa (Founder, Plastic Exchange)
- Rob Ianelli (Founder & President, Oceanworks)
- Stan Chen (CEO, RecycleGO; President, United Metal Recycling)
- Ingrid Giskes (Director of the Global Ghost Gear Initiative, Ocean Conservancy)
- Brian Reilly (Founder & CEO, Muuse)
Day one of the virtual Summit will also include a discussion of Oceanic Global’s initiative to reduce plastic pollution at the source through the non-profit’s “The Ocean Standard” (TOS). The session will focus on three key destinations where the campaign has been implemented: Tulum, Mexico, Barbados, and Italy’s Aeolian Islands.
The first day will conclude with a panel of experts for a discussion on the scope of the ocean plastic problem, the multifaceted issues this pollution poses to the planet, and potential solutions to this massive problem. Panelists include:
- Dianna Cohen (Co-Founder & CEO, Plastic Pollution Coalition)
- Georgia Sherwin (Director of Communications & Strategic Initiatives, Closed Loop Partners)
- Stiv Wilson (Co-Director, Peak Plastic Foundation; Creator, The Story of Plasticfilm; Steering Committee Emeritus, #BreakFreeFromPlastic movement)
- Danny Witte (Director, Ocean Heroes Network, Lonely Whale)
Day 2 – February 4, 2021: Protect Marine Life, 30×30 Campaign
The second day of the virtual portion of the Ultramarine Ocean summit will focus on international policy. The day will open with a discussion of ongoing projects to protect the ocean with a focus on the international 30×30 campaign, which seeks to protect 30% of the ocean by 2030. The panel will include:
- The Palau Pledge, featuring Palau’s former President and First Lady Tommy and Debbie Remengasau
- The World Surf League’s commitment to 30×30, featuring Reece Pacheco of the World Surf League and professional surfer and scientist, Dr. Cliff Kapono
- The Global Youth 30×30 Campaign, featurning Philippe Cousteau and Matt Anthony, CEO of VMLY&R
Before the next panel, Day 2 of the Ultramarine Ocean Summit will feature a keynote speech from Dr. Sylvia Earle on the importance of protecting marine life.
The second panel of the day will focus on other ocean policy iniatives and will be moderated by Jeffrey LeBlanc, an advisor to the Government of Ecuador and founder of Mare Nostrum. Panelists include:
- Meaghan Brosnan (Marine Program Director, WildAid)
- Sarah Hameed (Blue Parks Director & Senior Scientist, Marine Conservation Institute)
- Diwi Valiente (SOA Young Ocean Leader – Ministry of Panama)
Day two will close with a session on immersive experiences from Fabien Cousteau.
Day 3 – February 5, 2021: Regenerative Ocean Economy
The last day of the virtual portion of the Ultramarine Ocean Summit will focus on the Seabed Mining Campaign, ocean investments, and underwater filmmakers making an impact.
Before opening up a panel discussion on the Campaign, a video curated by Schmidt Ocean will lay the groundwork for the need to protect the seafloor from mining. Subsequent videos will focus on youth leaders involved in the fight against seabed mining. Jane Fonda will provide a keynote speech on the importance of the Seabed Mining Campaign, too, followed by a panel discussion featuring:
- Matt Gianni (Founder of the Deep Sea Conservation Coalition)
- Vasser Seydel (Deep Seabed Mining Campaign)
- Jeremy Raguain (SOA Young Ocean Leader, Seychelles)
- Andy Whitmore (Deep Sea Mining Campaign)
Next up will be a panel on investing in the oceans to achieve a better future. The session will be moderated by Ted Janulis of Investible Ocean and including panelists:
- Kim Kolt (For Good Ventures)
- Adam Draper (Boost VC)
- Pierre Rousseau (BNP Paribas)
The third session will include a discussion moderated by Cristina Mittermeier, featuring panelists:
- Lizzie Daly
- Malaika Vaz
- Inka Cresswell
- Dr. Erika Woolsey (Co-founder and CEO, The Hydrous)
The third and final day of virtual programming will conclude with a spotlight on entrepreneurs awarded microgrants through SOA’s ocean solutions program:
- Courtney Boyd Myers (Co-founder and CEO, Akua)
- Kourtney Opshaug (Founder and CEO, Blue Ocean Gear)
- Rafid Shidiqi (Co-Founder, Thresher Shark)
- Innandya Irawan (Co-Founder, Carbon Ethics)
You can sign up to attend the virtual component of the Ultramarine Ocean Summit through the event’s website.