Towards a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions

May 18-21, 2021

The Ocean Visions 2021 Summit May 18-21, 2021 “Towards a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions” will bring together a multi-sector community of researchers, innovators, decision-makers, funders, and more to develop roadmaps for solving great ocean challenges including ocean-based solutions to climate, equitable coastal solutions strategies for resilience and adaptation, marine circular economies, ocean & human health, and how to transform research from academia into sustainable businesses. 
Online Virtual Format
The Summit will be held virtually on the campus of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, USA, between May 18-21, 2021. The summit is linked and co-organized with satellite virtual campuses in Hobart, Australia, Cape Town, South Africa, Mindelo, Cabo Verde, and Kiel, Germany
Registration FREE on AGU Portal
Program AVAILABLE April 21
Virtual Summit Portal. The American Geophysical Union (AGU) is partnering with Ocean Visions to organize the summit. Registration and abstract submissions are handled by the AGU online system. Registration is required to have access to the virtual summit portal. Program and more information coming soon.


Margaret Leinen

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Susan Lozier

Dean, College of Sciences, Georgia Tech
President of AGU

Peter de Menocal

President & Director
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution 

Emanuele Di Lorenzo

Chairman Ocean Visions
Director, Ocean Science & Engineering, Georgia Tech

Fiorenza Micheli

Co-Director, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions

Brad Ack

Executive Director & Chief Innovation Officer
Ocean Visions Inc


Delphine Lobelle

Europe Host, Co-Organizer

Ocean Visions Summit Postgraduate Researcher Utrecht University

Erin Satterthwaite

Co-Founder, ECOP CalCOFI Coordinator
Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Alfredo Giron

USA Host, André Hoffmann Fellow, Stanford Center for Ocean Solutions & World Economic Forum 

Louise Gammage

Africa Host
Research Fellow, University of Cape Town, South Africa

Valeriya Komyakova

Australia Host

Associate Lecturer

 University of Tasmania


Accelerating the Ocean's Power to Sequester Carbon and Reverse Climate Disruption


Marine Circular Bioeconomy: Sustainable Food, Bioenergy, & Biomaterials 


9th Annual Triton Innovation Challenge 


Human wellbeing of marine communities in a conflicted world


Equitable Solutions for Coastal Inundations and Sea Level Rise


Harnessing Innovation to Accelerate Ocean Solutions


Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring in

Cabo Verde & South Africa


Healthy Ocean & Healthy People


Towards a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions (GEOS)


Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) for Ocean Solutions


Ocean solutions: what is needed for success in Tasmania?




SESSION 1: Accelerating the Ocean's Power to Sequester Carbon and Reverse Climate Disruption 

Co-chairs: David Koweek (Ocean Visions, Inc. & Stanford COS), Brad Ack (Ocean Visions, Inc.), Lydia Kapsenberg (CEA)

The Ocean has been, and continues to be, dramatically disrupted by warming and acidification caused by decades of greenhouse gas pollution in our atmosphere. Removing this pollution, carbon dioxide removal (CDR), is becoming increasingly understood as an imperative for slowing, and later reversing, climate change. The Ocean holds enormous potential for CDR solutions at the needed global scale given their sheer size and their biological productivity. Thus, The Ocean may play an important role in helping to solve the climate crisis, instead of merely suffering its effects. In this session, we present results and lessons learned from a year-long Ocean Visions-led process of developing road maps for actionable progress on development, testing, and deployment of ocean-based CDR approaches. These road maps address technological, market, policy, and governance barriers to progress and propose paths forward to accelerate ocean-based CDR approaches. The road maps are intended to catalyze increased attention, engagement and action and lead to increased deployment of needed intellectual, physical, institutional and financial resources throughout the global community.

SESSION 2: Solutions for Coastal Inundations and Sea Level Rise

Co-chairs: Mark Merrifield (Scripps), Renee Collini (Mississippi State University), Laura Engeman (Scripps and Sea Grant), A.R. Siders (University of Delaware), Jill Gambill (University of Georgia, Marine Extension and Georgia Sea Grant), Théophile Bongarts (Ocean & Climate Platform), and Emanuele Di Lorenzo (Georgia Tech)


Coastal flooding, inundations, and sea-level rise threaten infrastructure, economies, ecosystems, communities, and cultures. Adapting to these threats will require a holistic, coordinated, multi-sector approach to identify and implement systems-wide transformative solutions. To this end, national task forces are developing to link experts from numerous fields with one another and with coastal communities to facilitate knowledge exchange, promote cross-sector collaborations that meet local needs, and pursue optimistic visions for adaptation. Building on the Ocean Visions coastal solutions scoping workshop, this session will convene potential United States task force members from a wide range of sectors (e.g., insurance, engineering, social and physical sciences, humanities, journalists) and connect them with ongoing international Sea'ties initiative under the Ocean & Climate Platform. Coastal community leaders will meet with breakout groups to discuss their most pressing needs, and participants will develop an agenda with priority actions for the task force and a vision for an adaptable coast.

Background on The Sea'ties initiative. It aims to identify and implement adaptation solutions and responses to climate change, based on scientific synthesis, peer-to-peer learning, and network sharing, in five regions (Pacific, North & West Africa, US West Coast, and Europe). It will mainly focus on medium-sized cities and explore solutions and responses tailored to each regional context: hard & soft responses, nature-based solutions, relocation, and spatial recomposition. Based on scientific analysis and with the support of local referents, the project will mobilize a wide range of stakeholders and enable local experiences to be collected, analyzed, and shared. The main objectives are 1) to identify and promote key factors of success to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement, and 2) to create and animate a dynamic network of medium-sized coastal cities.

SESSION 3: Healthy Ocean – Healthy People

Co-chairs: Fio Micheli, Michelle Tigchelaar and Collin Closek (COS), Jack Gilbert (Scripps), Anupa Asokan (Surfrider Foundation), Gretta Pecl (Centre for Marine Socioecology, Univ. of Tasmania), Sarah Allard (Department of Pediatrics and Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UCSD), Gertrude Ecklu-Mensah (Health Sciences, UCSD), Manu Prakash (Stanford University), Susanne Sokolow (Stanford University), Louise Gammage (University of Cape Town), Delphine Lobelle (Utrecht University)

There is broad recognition that oceans bring wealth, through fisheries, aquaculture, minerals, energy, commerce, tourism, and more. They are a global, irreplaceable source of income and livelihood. There is an increasing awareness that oceans are also critical to health and well-being. This session has the goal of identifying opportunities and levers for promoting healthy ocean-healthy people. Through presentations, public participation and input, and small-group sessions we aim to: highlight key links between ocean and human health; showcase innovation in this space; identify pressure points, where action has the greatest potential to deliver solutions.

SESSION 4. The Coastal Circular Bioeconomy: Sustainable Food, Bioenergy, and Biomaterials from the Sea


Co-Chairs: David Babson (ARPA-E), Halley Froehlich (UC Santa Barbara), Chuck Greene (Cornell University), Steve Mayfield (UC San Diego), Celina Scott-Buechler (Cornell University)

The primary goal of this session is to explore the potential of marine aquaculture for sustainably intensifying global food production. All forms of marine aquaculture will be considered, from micro- and macroalgae to fin- and shellfish. Sustainability issues to be quantified relative to the current global food production system will include reductions in greenhouse gases emissions, energy use, arable land footprint, eutrophication, and biodiversity loss. The secondary objectives of the session will be to consider the role of marine aquaculture in the coastal circular bioeconomy, with a special focus on the recycling of materials in algae-based wastewater treatment and the co-production of bioenergy and biomaterials. Bioenergy uses include microalgae-based liquid fuels for the transportation sector and macroalgae-based liquid and solid fuels for the transportation and power sectors, respectively. Biomaterial uses include microalgae-based petroleum product substitutes, such as plastics, foams, and carbon fiber. Possible Themes include the future of aquaculture and food from the sea, the future of algal biomaterials and energy from the sea, finding the ocean’s sweet spot in the climate, energy, food, and water nexus.

SESSION 5: Harnessing Innovation to Accelerate Ocean Solutions

Co-chairs: Gwen Nero (Scripps), Millicent Pitts (Ocean Exchange), Miguel Granier (OneFive), Shally Shanker (AiiMs), Ann Carpenter (Braid Theory), Brad Ack (Ocean Visions, Inc.), Alexis Grosskopf (OceanHub Africa)

It is encouraging to see the amount of science and engineering innovation developing through university and research institutions.  Given the great challenges of ocean health,  climate disruption, coastal resiliency, sustainable energy/food/materials, and the ocean/human health nexus, how do we accelerate the final development of solutions that can be financed, scaled, and deployed for maximum positive impact?   Join Session 5 to learn and be inspired.   Our first panel will describe the paths from research to deployment with tips and tools for success. Following will be panel two with entrepreneurs whose solutions have moved from institution to marketplace.  Finally, we will bring investors and philanthropists on stage to describe their view of philanthropy and impact/ traditional investment scenarios for financing scalable solutions.

SESSION 6: A Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions (GEOS)

Co-chairs: Anna Zivian (Ocean Conservancy), Erin Satterthwaite (California Sea Grant & Scripps/UCSD), Karen Evans (CSIRO)

To overcome the persistent gap between research and solutions, we are establishing a Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions (GEOS) as a flagship Programme of the UN Ocean Decade. The mission of GEOS is to “establish a vibrant, global ocean solutions community of researchers, innovators, investors, decision-makers and other stakeholders to co-design and co-deploy equitable, durable, and scalable ocean-based solutions for climate change and ocean grand challenges”.  The GEOS strategy for action is (1) to deploy new multi-sector processes that enable the generation and transition of scientific knowledge into co-developed ocean solutions (2) to address ocean grand challenges in climate change and the ocean that require system level (e.g. multi-sector and interdisciplinary) use-inspired research and action. This session will be devoted to the development of the implementation phase of GEOS. You can learn more about GEOS here: http://oceansolutions.org

EVENT: 9th Annual Triton Innovation Challenge 

Co-organizers: Gwen Nero (Scripps), Karen Jensen (Rady School of Management), Dennis Abremski (Institute for the Global Entrepreneur)

From algal farming microbusinesses to sustainably-powered ocean buoys, student and scientist innovators compete for cash prizes before a panel of investment professionals and the public. The Triton Innovation Challenge, now in its ninth year, is a business competition focused on fostering creativity and bringing to the spotlight commercially promising, environmentally focused technologies generated by the finest minds at the University of California San Diego. Supported through the generosity of The William and Kathryn Scripps Family Foundation Inc., the program is presented through a partnership of the Rady School of Management, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, and the Jacobs School of Engineering.

EVENT: Coastal Ecosystem Monitoring in Cabo Verde & South Africa

Co-organizers: Corrine Almeida (UTA), Maya Pfaff (DEA& UCT), Björn Fiedler (GEOMAR), Vito Ramos (OSCM)

This event will bring together experts and projects that are engaged in systematic ecosystem observations in order to improve local knowledge about the marine coastal environment and the development of coastal solutions for South Africa, Cabo Verde, and similar regions. We will share experience towards establishing standards for coastal monitoring programs. How to best develop human capacities at the stakeholder level, strengthening university programs and furthering institutional capacities while improving data accessibility?  What are good training schemes for coastal communities and stakeholders to improve observation capacity as well as the use of data and data projects for the benefit of different sectors. Are existing projects ready to become by co-creation methods the cornerstones for coastal ecosystem monitoring programs that can be operated by local investigators and technicians on their own and can be expanded to other regions.

EVENT: Early Career Ocean Professionals for Ocean Solutions

Co-organizers: Delphine Lobelle (Utrecht University), Erin Satterthwaite (California Sea Grant & Scripps/UCSD)

ECOP will host informal interactive events to share their perspectives on ocean solutions around the summit's main sessions, as well as cross-cutting themes that emerge throughout the program. Outputs from these conversations with be posted on live e-boards that will be available and updatable during the whole summit. The goal is to enable collaboration between participants from around the globe and promote interactions in the ECOP network around ocean solutions. 

EVENT: Facilitating human wellbeing of marine communities in a conflicted world

Co-organizers: Gretta Pecl (Centre for Marine Socioecology, Univ. of Tasmania), Maraa Fudge (Univ. of Tasmania)

Oceans underpin marine communities around the world, supporting cultures, fisheries, aquaculture, minerals, energy, commerce, tourism, and more. Oceans are also critical to health and well-being. This session builds of the broader Ocean Solutions summit theme of ‘Healthy Ocean-Healthy People’ to unpack what this means for the island state of Tasmania, and surrounding regions, with the goal of identifying opportunities and levers for promoting healthy ocean-healthy people in a local on-the-ground context. Through e-posters, lightning talks and Q&A panels this session aims to highlight what is needed at a local scale to facilitate and strengthen the links between ocean and human health, and help identify what actions have the greatest potential to deliver solutions.

EVENT: Ocean solutions: what is needed for success in Tasmania?

Co-organizers: Karen Evans (CSIRO), Valeriya Komyakova (Univ. of Tasmania), 

Following on from the special event introducing the Global Ecosystem for Ocean Solutions (GEOS) program, this session comprising e-posters, presentations, and discussion groups will focus on the elements needed to develop, design, and deliver solutions to ocean challenges with a focus on Tasmania. What is needed to bring ocean stakeholders including decision-makers and expert knowledge holders across research, business, industry, civil society, and community groups together to identify and develop pathways that will facilitate practical solutions towards sustainability that are applicable to the Tasmanian context? What is needed to then scale and tailor those solutions to regions beyond Tasmania 

The Ocean Visions Research Consortium and Network is open to anyone who wants to join forces at the institutional and individual level
Ocean Visions, Inc. 
225 Baker Street
Atlanta, GA 30313
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