Out of the Blue, Big Ideas for the Ocean

Enric Sala

This April, National Geographic Ocean Fellow Enric Sala and Emerging Explorer Kenny Broad will set sail with Summit at Sea, a three-day immersion in big ideas and high-energy activities for business leaders, artists, non-profit founders, and others working to educate and inspire the world’s up-and-coming generation.

While participants and presenters come from many fields, there is a common current that will run throughout the event: celebrating life and the oceans that create it.

Kenny Broad

As part of the lead-up, and to qualify to participate in a shark-research activity with the University of Miami during the event, the participants are asked to answer this question:

What is the most serious issue facing the oceans today, and how can you, your company, or your industry help address it?

As answers come in, the Summit at Sea team is posting them online where everyone can see what kinds of ideas are out there floating around, ready for action.

The Ideas So Far

The first round of submissions has included a wide range of concepts from a wide range of individuals. Kristofer Lofgren, founder of Bamboo Sushi (the world’s first certified, sustainable sushi restaurant), discussed his company’s efforts to create private marine protected areas. The CEO of Good World Games, Greg Sukornyk, posted his idea for an online game based on managing a conservation park. Actress and activist Kristin Bell suggested producing catchy, edgy public service announcements, saying “Think Greenpeace meets Funny or Die,” referring to the comedy video website known for regular appearances by stars like Will Ferrell.

In the above photo collage, Jane Kim’s “Migrating Mural” begins to come to life. Image courtesy Jane Kim.

Others suggest letting images do the talking. Artist Jane Kim has proposed a series of large murals of animal paintings, making “hard to see wildlife” more visible to everyone. Jane would like to document a year in the life of a blue whale through a series of paintings to be seen up and down the highways of coastal California.  “Our planet is home to incredible and wondrous life and that makes me feel overwhelmed with passion,” she says. “Sharing even a fraction of that with the rest of the world is the best gift that I know how to give.”

Keep watching to see what other gifts and ideas the Summit at Sea team members bring to light.

More Water Conservation Content

Guide to Critical Issues Facing the Ocean

National Geographic Freshwater Initiative


Andrew Howley is a longtime contributor to the National Geographic blog, with a particular focus on archaeology and paleoanthropology generally, and ancient rock art in particular. In 2018 he became Communications Director at Adventure Scientists, founded by Nat Geo Explorer Gregg Treinish. Over 11 years at the National Geographic Society, Andrew worked in various ways to share the stories of NG explorers and grantees online. He also produced the Home Page of nationalgeographic.com for several years, and helped manage the Society's Facebook page during its breakout year of 2010. He studied Anthropology with a focus on Archaeology from the College of William & Mary in Virginia. He has covered expeditions with NG Explorers-in-Residence Mike Fay, Enric Sala, and Lee Berger. His personal interests include painting, running, and reading about history. You can follow him on Twitter @anderhowl and on Instagram @andrewjhowley.
  • […] As the event approaches, artists, engineers, business people, and activists are getting ready by posting their ideas about how they and their organizations can help address the serious threats facing the health of the ocean (learn more about the challenge). […]

  • […] In April of 2011, readers of this blog voted Jane Kim’s Migrating Mural the Viewers’ Choice “Best Ocean Saving Idea” out of 60 proposed by young artists, business leaders, non-profit founders and other attendees of the Summit at Sea. […]

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