World Ocean Festival PROGRAM

 10:00 am - 6:00 pm: Sunday, June 4, 2017

*Free & Open to the Public*


WORLD OCEAN FESTIVAL PROGRAM

EXHIBITS & ACTIVITIES
10:00 am - 5:00 pm
National Geographic, The Nature Conservancy, Wildlife Conservation Society, Hello Fresh, Monterey Bay Aquarium; Seafood Watch Program, Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation VR Lounge, Lonely Whale Foundation, Mission Blue, Oceanic, FundingtheOcean.org, NYC Junior Ambassadors, NGO Committee on Sustainable Development-NY, Peace Boat, Surfriders Foundation, Billion Oysters Project, Harbor School, Riverkeepers, Waterfront Alliance, Clearwater,  Second Muse, Peter Lynn Kites, Bye Bye Plastic Bags, Heirs to Our Oceans, Sea Youth Rise UP.

Speaker Forum - Morning Session 
brought to you by National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

11:00 - 12:00 pm: CORAL REEFS & CLIMATE

11:30 am: Youth start gathering at Castle Williams on Governors Island for Youth Rally

INAUGURAL CEREMONY & AWARDS 
12:00 - 12:30 pm
 Presented by H.E. Mr. Peter Thomson, President of the United Nations General Assembly
City of New York, The Nature Conservancy, Toyota, and others

For a list of Awardees please click HERE

 OCEAN MARCH VIEWING
12:30 - 1:00 pm
Join the Fijian Military Band and the Youth Rally to raise
our voices for Ocean Protection and Conservation

YOUTH RALLY
1:00 - 1:15 pm: YOUTH RALLY & REMARKS
1:30 - 1:45 pm: YOUTH VOICES FOR THE OCEAN

Speaker Forum - Afternoon Session
brought to you by National Geographic Encounter: Ocean Odyssey

1:30 - 2:40 pm:  PLASTIC POLLUTION
2:40 - 3:30 pm:  FISHING & SEAFOOD
3:30 - 4:30 pm:  URBAN OCEAN CONSERVATION

CLOSING CEREMONY
Dr. Sylvia Earle & World Ocean Festival Founders
 4:30 - 5:00 pm

6:00 pm:  OCEAN VILLAGE CLOSES

Note: Governors Island ferries operate to and from Lower Manhattan and Brooklyn; the last Ferry is at 7:00 pm.


OCEAN MARCH

11:00 am: Boats forming at Pier 64

11:30 am: Preparation and boarding VIPs

12:00 pm:  Horn blows at Pier 64 kick off parade

OCEAN MARCH BEGINS: Route around NY Harbor

1:00 pm:  OCEAN MARCH ROUNDS PICNIC POINT, GOVERNORS ISLAND

1:30 pm:  Ocean March starts heading towards East River

2:30 pm:  OCEAN MARCH REACHES UNITED NATIONS 

End of Ocean March


Speaker Forum Bios

Moderator

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D. Founder Ocean Collectiv Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, conservation strategist, and Brooklyn native. She is founder and principal of Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm that creates and amplifies solutions for a healthy ocean, while centering social justice. She teaches at New York University as an adjunct professor, and volunteers as co-director of partnerships for the March for Science. As executive director of the Waitt Institute, Ayana co-founded the Blue Halo Initiative and led the Caribbean’s first successful island-wide ocean zoning effort. Previously, she worked on ocean policy at the EPA and NOAA, and was recently a TED resident and Aspen Institute fellow. She writes about how we can use the ocean without using it up on the National Geographic blog and @ayanaeliza.

Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, Ph.D.

Founder

Ocean Collectiv

Dr. Ayana Elizabeth Johnson is a marine biologist, policy expert, conservation strategist, and Brooklyn native. She is founder and principal of Ocean Collectiv, a consulting firm that creates and amplifies solutions for a healthy ocean, while centering social justice. She teaches at New York University as an adjunct professor, and volunteers as co-director of partnerships for the March for Science. As executive director of the Waitt Institute, Ayana co-founded the Blue Halo Initiative and led the Caribbean’s first successful island-wide ocean zoning effort. Previously, she worked on ocean policy at the EPA and NOAA, and was recently a TED resident and Aspen Institute fellow. She writes about how we can use the ocean without using it up on the National Geographic blog and @ayanaeliza.

Opening Ceremony

H.E. Peter Thomson President UN General Assembly Peter is a Fijian diplomat who currently serves as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He has been Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since February 2010. For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). He presided over Fiji's election to the 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China – the UN's largest negotiating group with 133 Member States. He was the architect of the name-change of the UN's Group of Asian States to the new name of the Asia-Pacific Group, effective 2011. In 2014 the President of Fiji conferred on Peter Thomson the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji.

H.E. Peter Thomson

President

UN General Assembly

Peter is a Fijian diplomat who currently serves as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He has been Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since February 2010.

For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). He presided over Fiji's election to the 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China – the UN's largest negotiating group with 133 Member States. He was the architect of the name-change of the UN's Group of Asian States to the new name of the Asia-Pacific Group, effective 2011. In 2014 the President of Fiji conferred on Peter Thomson the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji.

Natalia Vega-Berry Founder & Executive Producer Global Brain & World Ocean Festival Natalia wants to live in a world where nature has a stake in creating laws around climate change and where people, companies and organizations can collaborate for maximum impact. As the founder and established executive producer of over 20 years in the advertising industry at agencies like Publicis and Ogilvy, among others. She’s received awards and recognition from The Clio Festival, New York Festival, Fiap, among others, working for Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon, Anheuser Busch/Budweiser, P&G and Unilever to name a few. The Global Brain launched in the Spring of 2014 during the Media for Social Impact Summit at the United Nations. Although, the idea for the company originated before she went back to school in 2008 for a M.A. in Global Sustainability from UCLA. There she spent two years researching Environmental Health, Neuroscience, Systems Thinking, Integrative Medicine and Mindfulness Meditation Practices as tools to spark creativity, innovation and leadership. All of her experiences have led The Global Brain to be the driving force for using business, creativity and innovation to solve the current environmental and social challenges we face in the world.

Natalia Vega-Berry

Founder & Executive Producer

Global Brain & World Ocean Festival

Natalia wants to live in a world where nature has a stake in creating laws around climate change and where people, companies and organizations can collaborate for maximum impact.

As the founder and established executive producer of over 20 years in the advertising industry at agencies like Publicis and Ogilvy, among others. She’s received awards and recognition from The Clio Festival, New York Festival, Fiap, among others, working for Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon, Anheuser Busch/Budweiser, P&G and Unilever to name a few.

The Global Brain launched in the Spring of 2014 during the Media for Social Impact Summit at the United Nations. Although, the idea for the company originated before she went back to school in 2008 for a M.A. in Global Sustainability from UCLA. There she spent two years researching Environmental Health, Neuroscience, Systems Thinking, Integrative Medicine and Mindfulness Meditation Practices as tools to spark creativity, innovation and leadership. All of her experiences have led The Global Brain to be the driving force for using business, creativity and innovation to solve the current environmental and social challenges we face in the world.

Amina Mohammed Deputy Secretary-General United Nations Ms. Amina J. Mohammed was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development.  Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals.  Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programmes worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions.  She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University, and serves on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative, Girl Effect, 2016 African Union Reform and the ActionAid International Right to Education Project. Ms. Mohammed began her 35-year career in the private sector with architects and engineers responsible for the project management of health, education and public sector buildings. Born in 1961, and educated in Nigeria and the UK, Ms. Mohammed is married with six children.

Amina Mohammed

Deputy Secretary-General

United Nations

Ms. Amina J. Mohammed was Minister of Environment of the Federal Republic of Nigeria from November 2015 to December 2016, where she steered the country’s efforts on climate action, protecting the natural environment and conserving resources for sustainable development. 

Prior to this, she served as Special Adviser to Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon on Post-2015 Development Planning, where she was instrumental in bringing about the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, including the Sustainable Development Goals. 

Before joining the UN, Ms. Mohammed worked for three successive administrations in Nigeria, serving as Special Advisor on the Millennium Development Goals, providing advice on issues including poverty, public sector reform and sustainable development, and coordinating programmes worth $1 billion annually for MDG-related interventions. 

She is also an Adjunct Professor in Development Practice at Columbia University, and serves on numerous international advisory boards and panels, including the UN Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Post-2015 Development Agenda, the Independent Expert Advisory Group on the Data Revolution for Sustainable Development, the Global Development Program of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the African Women’s Millennium Initiative, Girl Effect, 2016 African Union Reform and the ActionAid International Right to Education Project.

Ms. Mohammed began her 35-year career in the private sector with architects and engineers responsible for the project management of health, education and public sector buildings.

Born in 1961, and educated in Nigeria and the UK, Ms. Mohammed is married with six children.

Michael Tracy Principal The Global Brain Michael wants to live in a world where collaboration is at the heart of business transactions and social enterprise companies influence standard business practices. As a portfolio manager with more than 26 years of experience in the financial services industry and 20 years as a Certified Financial Planning Practitioner (CFP), he combines his unique investment matrices and algorithms, along with his commitment to relationships and results, enabling Principium Investments to maintain long-term clients. His company, Principium Investments, is pioneering the divest, invest movement. They offer portfolios based on companies that are screened through their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria - actively divesting our portfolios of the carbon emitting energy companies, while also investing in the best of the clean technology innovators. He has also been integral in supporting different UN initiatives such The Millennial and Climate Campaign. His expertise and company hope to integrate the work they’re doing with the divest, invest movement with the Climate Campaign. Over the years he has blended his investment skills with beneficial purpose. He is an advisor and angel investor for the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, an Ambassador for the iDE (International Development Enterprise), as well as several other social enterprise startups including the HUB-Boulder, PharamaJet, Bhakti Chai, ReWork and Liberation Chocolate. When he’s not following the numbers and using his talents for good, he can be found running in the beautiful thin air of Boulder, practicing his Black Belt in Shuri Ryu Karate and Brown Belt in Shinto Yoshin Ryu Jui Jitsu and drawing on his eight years of service in the U.S. Naval Reserve for everyday life situations.

Michael Tracy

Principal

The Global Brain

Michael wants to live in a world where collaboration is at the heart of business transactions and social enterprise companies influence standard business practices.

As a portfolio manager with more than 26 years of experience in the financial services industry and 20 years as a Certified Financial Planning Practitioner (CFP), he combines his unique investment matrices and algorithms, along with his commitment to relationships and results, enabling Principium Investments to maintain long-term clients.

His company, Principium Investments, is pioneering the divest, invest movement. They offer portfolios based on companies that are screened through their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) criteria - actively divesting our portfolios of the carbon emitting energy companies, while also investing in the best of the clean technology innovators. He has also been integral in supporting different UN initiatives such The Millennial and Climate Campaign. His expertise and company hope to integrate the work they’re doing with the divest, invest movement with the Climate Campaign.

Over the years he has blended his investment skills with beneficial purpose. He is an advisor and angel investor for the Unreasonable Institute in Boulder, an Ambassador for the iDE (International Development Enterprise), as well as several other social enterprise startups including the HUB-Boulder, PharamaJet, Bhakti Chai, ReWork and Liberation Chocolate.

When he’s not following the numbers and using his talents for good, he can be found running in the beautiful thin air of Boulder, practicing his Black Belt in Shuri Ryu Karate and Brown Belt in Shinto Yoshin Ryu Jui Jitsu and drawing on his eight years of service in the U.S. Naval Reserve for everyday life situations.

Wu Hongbo Under-Secretary-General United Nations Mr. Wu Hongbo was appointed United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on 1 August 2012. As Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Wu guides UN Secretariat support for the follow-up processes of the Rio+20 Conference, including the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. He has overseen the substantive services to a number of intergovernmental processes, including the General Assembly Special Event on MDGs, the intergovernmental deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda, the General Assembly High-level Meeting on Persons with Disability, the High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development, as well as the annual meetings of the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly, the meetings of the Economic and Social Council, including its Development Cooperation Forum, and the work of the functional commissions of ECOSOC. In addition to intergovernmental processes, Mr. Wu oversees DESA’s policy analysis and capacity development work. He also serves as the Convenor of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, and advises the United Nations Secretary-General on all development-related issues, including climate change, internet governance, and financing for development. Mr. Wu graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University and pursued his postgraduate studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He was born in May 1952 in Shandong, China. Mr. Wu is married with a daughter.

Wu Hongbo

Under-Secretary-General

United Nations

Mr. Wu Hongbo was appointed United Nations Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs on 1 August 2012. As Under-Secretary-General for Economic and Social Affairs, Mr. Wu guides UN Secretariat support for the follow-up processes of the Rio+20 Conference, including the UN General Assembly Open Working Group on Sustainable Development Goals, the Intergovernmental Committee of Experts on Sustainable Development Financing, and the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development. He has overseen the substantive services to a number of intergovernmental processes, including the General Assembly Special Event on MDGs, the intergovernmental deliberations on the post-2015 development agenda, the General Assembly High-level Meeting on Persons with Disability, the High-level Dialogue on Migration and Development, as well as the annual meetings of the Second and Third Committees of the General Assembly, the meetings of the Economic and Social Council, including its Development Cooperation Forum, and the work of the functional commissions of ECOSOC.

In addition to intergovernmental processes, Mr. Wu oversees DESA’s policy analysis and capacity development work. He also serves as the Convenor of the Executive Committee on Economic and Social Affairs, and advises the United Nations Secretary-General on all development-related issues, including climate change, internet governance, and financing for development.

Mr. Wu graduated from Beijing Foreign Studies University and pursued his postgraduate studies at Victoria University of Wellington in New Zealand. He was born in May 1952 in Shandong, China. Mr. Wu is married with a daughter.

Coral Reefs & Climate Panel

Stephanie Wear, Ph.D. Senior Scientist & Strategy Advisor The Nature Conservancy Stephanie Wear is a marine ecologist and spokesperson at The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental organization, developing new strategies to reduce threats to coral reefs, paying special attention to how the fates of reefs and people are intertwined, and examining the role that sanitation plays in conservation and human health around the globe.

Stephanie Wear, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist & Strategy Advisor

The Nature Conservancy

Stephanie Wear is a marine ecologist and spokesperson at The Nature Conservancy, the world’s largest environmental organization, developing new strategies to reduce threats to coral reefs, paying special attention to how the fates of reefs and people are intertwined, and examining the role that sanitation plays in conservation and human health around the globe.

Miranda Massie Director Climate Museum Miranda is the Founder and Director of the Climate Museum, the initiative to create a museum dedicated to climate change, with the goal of catalyzing community engagement and moving climate solutions to the center of our shared public life. The Climate Museum will be a museum space for climate-focused exhibitions and programs; a hub where diverse stakeholders and communities convene to advance climate leadership; and an institution that activates dialogue across professional and social sectors. Over the coming year, the Museum’s first exhibitions will be launched; eventually, it will find a permanent home in transit-accessible, tourist friendly NYC.

Miranda Massie

Director

Climate Museum

Miranda is the Founder and Director of the Climate Museum, the initiative to create a museum dedicated to climate change, with the goal of catalyzing community engagement and moving climate solutions to the center of our shared public life. The Climate Museum will be a museum space for climate-focused exhibitions and programs; a hub where diverse stakeholders and communities convene to advance climate leadership; and an institution that activates dialogue across professional and social sectors. Over the coming year, the Museum’s first exhibitions will be launched; eventually, it will find a permanent home in transit-accessible, tourist friendly NYC.

Martha Jeffries Director & Producer   Years of Living Dangerously Martha recently directed and produced two films for the Emmy Award winning climate change documentary series Years Of Living Dangerously, which screens on National Geographic. Martha has directed and produced shoots across 6 continents, and her work has screened in over 150 countries. She directed and executive produced five seasons of the global food travel series World Kitchen.

Martha Jeffries

Director & Producer  

Years of Living Dangerously

Martha recently directed and produced two films for the Emmy Award winning climate change documentary series Years Of Living Dangerously, which screens on National Geographic. Martha has directed and produced shoots across 6 continents, and her work has screened in over 150 countries. She directed and executive produced five seasons of the global food travel series World Kitchen.

David Gruber, Ph.D. National Geographic Explorer & Professor CUNY Marine biologist, ocean explorer, and professor David Gruber searches the undersea world for bioluminescent and biofluorescent marine animals. Gruber's discoveries are providing a wealth of new insights into a secret "language" of shining colors and patterns that help many marine creatures communicate, interact, and avoid enemies. He and his collaborators have illuminated and discovered novel fluorescent molecules from marine animals and are searching for connections between glowing sea life and the ability to visualize the inner workings of human cells. His research group at City University of New York and the American Museum of Natural History has deciphered the genomic code of scores of new fluorescent proteins, which are being developed as tools to aid in medical research and illuminate biological processes. On land, his team designs submersibles and other technologies to revolutionize ocean exploration and discovery. He is also designing extremely-light-sensitive cameras to film the shimmering sea creatures in much sharper resolution and employs submarines, robotic undersea vehicles, and technical diving to push the boundaries of our understanding of life in the deep sea.

David Gruber, Ph.D.

National Geographic Explorer & Professor

CUNY

Marine biologist, ocean explorer, and professor David Gruber searches the undersea world for bioluminescent and biofluorescent marine animals. Gruber's discoveries are providing a wealth of new insights into a secret "language" of shining colors and patterns that help many marine creatures communicate, interact, and avoid enemies. He and his collaborators have illuminated and discovered novel fluorescent molecules from marine animals and are searching for connections between glowing sea life and the ability to visualize the inner workings of human cells. His research group at City University of New York and the American Museum of Natural History has deciphered the genomic code of scores of new fluorescent proteins, which are being developed as tools to aid in medical research and illuminate biological processes. On land, his team designs submersibles and other technologies to revolutionize ocean exploration and discovery. He is also designing extremely-light-sensitive cameras to film the shimmering sea creatures in much sharper resolution and employs submarines, robotic undersea vehicles, and technical diving to push the boundaries of our understanding of life in the deep sea.

Jeremy Jackson, Ph.D. Professor Emeritus Scripps Institution of Oceanography Jeremy Jackson is the Ritter Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Painting pictures of changing marine environments, particularly coral reefs and the Isthmus of Panama, Jackson's research captures the extreme environmental decline of the oceans that has accelerated in the past 200 years. Jackson's current work focuses on the future of the world’s oceans, given overfishing, habitat destruction and ocean warming, which have fundamentally changed marine ecosystems and led to "the rise of slime." Although Jackson's work describes grim circumstances, even garnering him the nickname Dr. Doom, he believes that successful management and conservation strategies can renew the ocean’s health.

Jeremy Jackson, Ph.D.

Professor Emeritus

Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Jeremy Jackson is the Ritter Professor of Oceanography and Director of the Center for Marine Biodiversity and Conservation at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography. Painting pictures of changing marine environments, particularly coral reefs and the Isthmus of Panama, Jackson's research captures the extreme environmental decline of the oceans that has accelerated in the past 200 years.

Jackson's current work focuses on the future of the world’s oceans, given overfishing, habitat destruction and ocean warming, which have fundamentally changed marine ecosystems and led to "the rise of slime." Although Jackson's work describes grim circumstances, even garnering him the nickname Dr. Doom, he believes that successful management and conservation strategies can renew the ocean’s health.

Youth Rally

Daniela Fernandez Founder Sustainable Ocean Alliance Daniela is Founder of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA), a global organization that empowers Millennials to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of our ocean, hosting annual Summits broadcast globally and engaging 30 universities, U.S. embassies and over 3,000 participants. In partnership with the U.S. State Dept, SOA co-hosted the “Our Ocean” Leadership Summit of government officials and international students and was named by the UN as one of the 50 youth led projects helping advance the SDGs. Fernandez has been recognized for her work by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, listed as one of the top 5 Ocean Heroes of 2016, named one of Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year, received the Peter Benchley Ocean Youth Award, the 2016 Bustle Upstart Award, and is a Green 2.0 environmental leader.

Daniela Fernandez

Founder

Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Daniela is Founder of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA), a global organization that empowers Millennials to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of our ocean, hosting annual Summits broadcast globally and engaging 30 universities, U.S. embassies and over 3,000 participants. In partnership with the U.S. State Dept, SOA co-hosted the “Our Ocean” Leadership Summit of government officials and international students and was named by the UN as one of the 50 youth led projects helping advance the SDGs. Fernandez has been recognized for her work by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, listed as one of the top 5 Ocean Heroes of 2016, named one of Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year, received the Peter Benchley Ocean Youth Award, the 2016 Bustle Upstart Award, and is a Green 2.0 environmental leader.

Michael Samuelian President & CEO Governors Island Michael M. Samuelian is President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. Samuelian has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors in urban design, planning, and overseeing the implementation of large-scale development projects. He will be responsible for directing and managing all of Governors Island’s activities and operations, and supporting the development of Governors Island as a vibrant, year-round destination for recreation, innovation, and culture.  Previously, a a Vice President at Related Companies, his work focused on the design of large-scale public private development projects. Samuelian has been responsible for the urban planning, design management and public approvals of Hudson Yards, a $25 billion master plan for 17 million square feet of mixed-use development on Manhattan’s West Side. Prior to joining Related, Samuelian served as Director of Lower Manhattan Special Projects at the Department of City Planning, helping the City's efforts to redevelop downtown post-9/11.  Samuelian is an architect, urban designer and urban planner. His professional career as an architect has focused on large-scale commercial and urban planning projects; working with Machado Silvetti in Boston, SMWM in San Francisco and HOK Architects in New York. Michael is a Fellow of the AIA, a registered architect in New York State and a member of the New York State Board for Architecture. He also serves on the Board of Governors of Open House New York (OHNY) and the Board of Directors of the Friends of Governors Island.

Michael Samuelian

President & CEO

Governors Island

Michael M. Samuelian is President and CEO of the Trust for Governors Island. Samuelian has a wealth of experience in both the public and private sectors in urban design, planning, and overseeing the implementation of large-scale development projects. He will be responsible for directing and managing all of Governors Island’s activities and operations, and supporting the development of Governors Island as a vibrant, year-round destination for recreation, innovation, and culture. 

Previously, a a Vice President at Related Companies, his work focused on the design of large-scale public private development projects. Samuelian has been responsible for the urban planning, design management and public approvals of Hudson Yards, a $25 billion master plan for 17 million square feet of mixed-use development on Manhattan’s West Side. Prior to joining Related, Samuelian served as Director of Lower Manhattan Special Projects at the Department of City Planning, helping the City's efforts to redevelop downtown post-9/11. 

Samuelian is an architect, urban designer and urban planner. His professional career as an architect has focused on large-scale commercial and urban planning projects; working with Machado Silvetti in Boston, SMWM in San Francisco and HOK Architects in New York. Michael is a Fellow of the AIA, a registered architect in New York State and a member of the New York State Board for Architecture. He also serves on the Board of Governors of Open House New York (OHNY) and the Board of Directors of the Friends of Governors Island.

NYC Junior Ambassadors Launched in October 2015, in celebration of the 70th Annive rsary of the United Nations, NYC Junior Ambassadors (NYCJA) was created to leverage the United Nations as a resource for NYC seventh graders and empower students in all five boroughs of New York City to become actively engaged with the United Nations and its mission of addressing some of the most pressing challenges in the world. Through innovative programming and unique opportunities for first-hand interactions, NYCJA seeks to expose a diverse array of teachers and students to the United Nations as a tool for teaching and learning in a variety of fields - from science to arts to civics. More than 80 educators competed to join the inaugural NYCJA cohort and after much deliberation, eleven classrooms and afterschool programs were selected on the basis of essays written by educators. As part of NYCJA, nearly 275 students and more than 30 NYC educators received curated tours of the United Nations headquarters matched to each class's curricular interests. United Nations diplomats also visited each classroom to engage the students and learn more about different neighborhoods of the City.

NYC Junior Ambassadors

Launched in October 2015, in celebration of the 70th Annive rsary of the United Nations, NYC Junior Ambassadors (NYCJA) was created to leverage the United Nations as a resource for NYC seventh graders and empower students in all five boroughs of New York City to become actively engaged with the United Nations and its mission of addressing some of the most pressing challenges in the world. Through innovative programming and unique opportunities for first-hand interactions, NYCJA seeks to expose a diverse array of teachers and students to the United Nations as a tool for teaching and learning in a variety of fields - from science to arts to civics.
More than 80 educators competed to join the inaugural NYCJA cohort and after much deliberation, eleven classrooms and afterschool programs were selected on the basis of essays written by educators. As part of NYCJA, nearly 275 students and more than 30 NYC educators received curated tours of the United Nations headquarters matched to each class's curricular interests. United Nations diplomats also visited each classroom to engage the students and learn more about different neighborhoods of the City.

Melati Wijsen Bye Bye Plastic Bags Inspired by a school lesson about Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi, Melati and her sister Isabel founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags in 2013, launching a mission to stop plastic bags from suffocating their beautiful island home of Bali. Their efforts — including petitions, beach cleanups, even a hunger strike — paid off when they convinced their governor to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali by 2018. It has grown to a well-known international movement of inspiration, youth empowerment, and of course, saying no to plastic bags.

Melati Wijsen

Bye Bye Plastic Bags

Inspired by a school lesson about Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi, Melati and her sister Isabel founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags in 2013, launching a mission to stop plastic bags from suffocating their beautiful island home of Bali. Their efforts — including petitions, beach cleanups, even a hunger strike — paid off when they convinced their governor to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali by 2018. It has grown to a well-known international movement of inspiration, youth empowerment, and of course, saying no to plastic bags.

H.E. Peter Thomson President UN General Assembly Peter is a Fijian diplomat who currently serves as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He has been Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since February 2010. For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). He presided over Fiji's election to the 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China – the UN's largest negotiating group with 133 Member States. He was the architect of the name-change of the UN's Group of Asian States to the new name of the Asia-Pacific Group, effective 2011. In 2014 the President of Fiji conferred on Peter Thomson the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji.

H.E. Peter Thomson

President

UN General Assembly

Peter is a Fijian diplomat who currently serves as President of the General Assembly of the United Nations. He has been Fiji's Permanent Representative to the United Nations since February 2010.

For the year 2014, he was elected President of the Executive Board of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and the United Nations Office of Project Services (UNOPS). He presided over Fiji's election to the 2013 Chair of the Group of 77 and China – the UN's largest negotiating group with 133 Member States. He was the architect of the name-change of the UN's Group of Asian States to the new name of the Asia-Pacific Group, effective 2011. In 2014 the President of Fiji conferred on Peter Thomson the award of Officer of the Order of Fiji.

Heirs To Our Oceans Heirs to Our Oceans is a rising tide of young leaders around the globe who are taking the ocean crisis into their own hands, educating themselves and others, bringing hope and solutions to the surface, and creating waves of change that will ensure the health of our blue planet for their generation and for future generations.

Heirs To Our Oceans

Heirs to Our Oceans is a rising tide of young leaders around the globe who are taking the ocean crisis into their own hands, educating themselves and others, bringing hope and solutions to the surface, and creating waves of change that will ensure the health of our blue planet for their generation and for future generations.

Youth Voices

 

Plastic Pollution Panel

Lea D'Auriol Founder Oceanic Global Foundation Lea is a Founder of Oceanic Global, a non-profit that taps into universal passions of art, music and emerge tech to educate individuals on issues impacting our oceans and provide them with solutions for driving positive change. Oceanic creates immersive experiences that: engage local communities, generate measurable impact, amplify the efforts of synergistic groups, and ignite global action.

Lea D'Auriol

Founder

Oceanic Global Foundation

Lea is a Founder of Oceanic Global, a non-profit that taps into universal passions of art, music and emerge tech to educate individuals on issues impacting our oceans and provide them with solutions for driving positive change. Oceanic creates immersive experiences that: engage local communities, generate measurable impact, amplify the efforts of synergistic groups, and ignite global action.

Jerker Tamelander Coordinator, COBSEA Head, Coral Reef Unit, UN Environment Coordinator of the Regional Seas programme for the East Asian Seas (COBSEA). Managing the COBSEA Secretariat, overseeing strategy development and ongoing work to update and implement the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter through a regional, cross-sectoral partnership. Leads UN Environment’s coral reef work, focusing on climate change resilience, ecosystem service values in public and private decision making, and assessment and reporting for ecosystem-based management. Advises UN Environment on nature-based adaptation and mitigation in coastal areas. 20 years of international experience in applied research, marine and coastal management and policy development, as an employee of the Government of Finland, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and UN Environment. Based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Jerker Tamelander

Coordinator, COBSEA

Head, Coral Reef Unit, UN Environment

Coordinator of the Regional Seas programme for the East Asian Seas (COBSEA). Managing the COBSEA Secretariat, overseeing strategy development and ongoing work to update and implement the Regional Action Plan on Marine Litter through a regional, cross-sectoral partnership. Leads UN Environment’s coral reef work, focusing on climate change resilience, ecosystem service values in public and private decision making, and assessment and reporting for ecosystem-based management. Advises UN Environment on nature-based adaptation and mitigation in coastal areas. 20 years of international experience in applied research, marine and coastal management and policy development, as an employee of the Government of Finland, the International Union for Conservation of Nature, and UN Environment. Based in Bangkok, Thailand.

Wybe Bruinsma CEO Van de Sant Global Wybe is CEO of Van de Sant Global, a sustainable design furniture company distinguished for its contemporary design using high quality frames and fabrics made from (ocean) plastic waste.

Wybe Bruinsma

CEO

Van de Sant Global

Wybe is CEO of Van de Sant Global, a sustainable design furniture company distinguished for its contemporary design using high quality frames and fabrics made from (ocean) plastic waste.

Daniela Fernandez Founder Sustainable Ocean Alliance Daniela is Founder of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA), a global organization that empowers Millennials to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of our ocean, hosting annual Summits broadcast globally and engaging 30 universities, U.S. embassies and over 3,000 participants. In partnership with the U.S. State Dept, SOA co-hosted the “Our Ocean” Leadership Summit of government officials and international students and was named by the UN as one of the 50 youth led projects helping advance the SDGs. Fernandez has been recognized for her work by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, listed as one of the top 5 Ocean Heroes of 2016, named one of Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year, received the Peter Benchley Ocean Youth Award, the 2016 Bustle Upstart Award, and is a Green 2.0 environmental leader.

Daniela Fernandez

Founder

Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Daniela is Founder of the Sustainable Oceans Alliance (SOA), a global organization that empowers Millennials to become leaders in preserving the health and sustainability of our ocean, hosting annual Summits broadcast globally and engaging 30 universities, U.S. embassies and over 3,000 participants. In partnership with the U.S. State Dept, SOA co-hosted the “Our Ocean” Leadership Summit of government officials and international students and was named by the UN as one of the 50 youth led projects helping advance the SDGs. Fernandez has been recognized for her work by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, listed as one of the top 5 Ocean Heroes of 2016, named one of Glamour Magazine’s College Women of the Year, received the Peter Benchley Ocean Youth Award, the 2016 Bustle Upstart Award, and is a Green 2.0 environmental leader.

Isabel & Melati Wijsen Co-Founders Bye Bye Plastic Bags Inspired by a school lesson about Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi, Melati and her sister Isabel founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags in 2013, launching a mission to stop plastic bags from suffocating their beautiful island home of Bali. Their efforts — including petitions, beach cleanups, even a hunger strike — paid off when they convinced their governor to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali by 2018. It has grown to a well-known international movement of inspiration, youth empowerment, and of course, saying no to plastic bags.

Isabel & Melati Wijsen

Co-Founders

Bye Bye Plastic Bags

Inspired by a school lesson about Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Ghandi, Melati and her sister Isabel founded Bye Bye Plastic Bags in 2013, launching a mission to stop plastic bags from suffocating their beautiful island home of Bali. Their efforts — including petitions, beach cleanups, even a hunger strike — paid off when they convinced their governor to commit to a plastic bag-free Bali by 2018. It has grown to a well-known international movement of inspiration, youth empowerment, and of course, saying no to plastic bags.

Fishing & Seafood Panel

Karin Stratton Partnership Manager Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program An agent of conservation for the past 25 years, Karin manages Seafood Watch’s Conservation Partner program. She works with zoos, aquariums, science museums and other mission-aligned organizations to advance sustainable seafood messaging and action in their communities. The program currently counts more than 200 partners, representing 10 countries across 4 continents. Karin’s previous experience includes positions at a notable zoo in San Diego and a wharf-side aquarium in Boston. Additionally, she has been invited to work at the industry level to advise conservation projects which showcase the intersection of endangered species with unsustainable fishing practices.

Karin Stratton

Partnership Manager

Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch Program

An agent of conservation for the past 25 years, Karin manages Seafood Watch’s Conservation Partner program. She works with zoos, aquariums, science museums and other mission-aligned organizations to advance sustainable seafood messaging and action in their communities. The program currently counts more than 200 partners, representing 10 countries across 4 continents. Karin’s previous experience includes positions at a notable zoo in San Diego and a wharf-side aquarium in Boston. Additionally, she has been invited to work at the industry level to advise conservation projects which showcase the intersection of endangered species with unsustainable fishing practices.

Jessica Harvey Cayman Islands Project Manager Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) conducts scientific research with the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment. The GHOF works to ensure future generations can enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced ocean ecosystem. Born in Jamaica to Gillian and Dr. Guy Harvey, Jessica has always had a passion for the environment and the species that live within it. During her childhood, she and her brother Alex participated in fishing and diving expeditions around the world, landing several IGFA fishing world records and exploring underwater treasures few young kids get the chance to see. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2012 with a degree in Zoology, Jessica worked for 3+ years at the Cayman Islands Department of Environment as a Research Officer in the Terrestrial Resources Unit and continued to assist with marine research when possible. Jessica now oversees GHOF’s and GHRI’s logistical planning for research on ecology, genetics, behaviors and physiology of fishes in the Cayman Islands. She and her colleagues work closely with many local and international conservation organizations to help promote environmental awareness and sustainable use of the environment through school presentations, documentaries and other social media outlets.

Jessica Harvey

Cayman Islands Project Manager

Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation

The Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation (GHOF) conducts scientific research with the Guy Harvey Research Institute (GHRI) and hosts educational programs aimed at conserving the marine environment. The GHOF works to ensure future generations can enjoy and benefit from a naturally balanced ocean ecosystem.

Born in Jamaica to Gillian and Dr. Guy Harvey, Jessica has always had a passion for the environment and the species that live within it. During her childhood, she and her brother Alex participated in fishing and diving expeditions around the world, landing several IGFA fishing world records and exploring underwater treasures few young kids get the chance to see. After graduating from the University of Edinburgh in 2012 with a degree in Zoology, Jessica worked for 3+ years at the Cayman Islands Department of Environment as a Research Officer in the Terrestrial Resources Unit and continued to assist with marine research when possible.

Jessica now oversees GHOF’s and GHRI’s logistical planning for research on ecology, genetics, behaviors and physiology of fishes in the Cayman Islands. She and her colleagues work closely with many local and international conservation organizations to help promote environmental awareness and sustainable use of the environment through school presentations, documentaries and other social media outlets.

Lasse Gustavsson Executive Director Europe Oceana Lasse Gustavsson, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Oceana, has been engaged in environmental and development issues since his early years and has a lifetime commitment to sustainable development. He has many years of experience in leading international programmes and campaigns, developing partnerships with business, running constructive political lobbying efforts as well as leading marine conservation programs in the field. Lasse has dedicated the greatest part of his professional career to supporting the work of various NGOs and has a solid background in the area of nature conservation. He is a very dedicated conservationist who always gives great priority to conservation impact on the ground.

Lasse Gustavsson

Executive Director Europe

Oceana

Lasse Gustavsson, Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Oceana, has been engaged in environmental and development issues since his early years and has a lifetime commitment to sustainable development. He has many years of experience in leading international programmes and campaigns, developing partnerships with business, running constructive political lobbying efforts as well as leading marine conservation programs in the field. Lasse has dedicated the greatest part of his professional career to supporting the work of various NGOs and has a solid background in the area of nature conservation. He is a very dedicated conservationist who always gives great priority to conservation impact on the ground.

Sean Tobias Barrett CEO Dock to Dish Sean Barrett is a lifelong veteran of both the restaurant and fishing industries of New York, and a co-founder of Dock to Dish an expanding international network of community- and restaurant-supported fishery programs.   He is a founding member of both the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) and the Amagansett Food Institute (AFI); serves on the executive board of ‪GreenWave.org; is a longtime pod member for the Future of Fish organization; and has been named Person of the Year by the United Restaurant and Tavern Owners (URTO) Association of New York State. Barrett has also been ranked among the 25 Most Daring Individuals of 2016 by Vanity Fair magazine; named to Grist’s list of the Foremost 50 People Fighting for a More Sustainable Future; listed as one of Sonima's top 50 Innovators Shaping the Future of Wellness; identified as one of the Top 7 Leaders of the Future of Food by Bon Appetit magazine; designated as New York State's ambassador to the "United States of Healthy" by editors of Cooking Light magazine; nominated by both the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carl Safina to be recognized by the White House as a United States Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood; and was recently appointed to serve as a member of the New York State Marine Resources Advisory Council under Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Sean Tobias Barrett

CEO

Dock to Dish

Sean Barrett is a lifelong veteran of both the restaurant and fishing industries of New York, and a co-founder of Dock to Dish an expanding international network of community- and restaurant-supported fishery programs.  

He is a founding member of both the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance (NAMA) and the Amagansett Food Institute (AFI); serves on the executive board of ‪GreenWave.org; is a longtime pod member for the Future of Fish organization; and has been named Person of the Year by the United Restaurant and Tavern Owners (URTO) Association of New York State. Barrett has also been ranked among the 25 Most Daring Individuals of 2016 by Vanity Fair magazine; named to Grist’s list of the Foremost 50 People Fighting for a More Sustainable Future; listed as one of Sonima's top 50 Innovators Shaping the Future of Wellness; identified as one of the Top 7 Leaders of the Future of Food by Bon Appetit magazine; designated as New York State's ambassador to the "United States of Healthy" by editors of Cooking Light magazine; nominated by both the Monterey Bay Aquarium and Carl Safina to be recognized by the White House as a United States Champion of Change for Sustainable Seafood; and was recently appointed to serve as a member of the New York State Marine Resources Advisory Council under Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Nishan Degnarain Chair, Global Agenda Council on Oceans World Economic Forum Degrees in Economics, Cambridge University and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Formerly with the UK Prime Minister's Strategy Unit; then management consultant advising governments and companies in Africa on strategy. Co-Founder, Harvard's Africa Policy Journal, Harvard University's first public policy journal with a focus on Africa. Chair, Global Agenda Council on Oceans, World Economic Forum. Economic Adviser to Mauritius on the development of a long-term economic transformation programme to move Mauritius from a middle-income to a high-income country, as well as Africa Strategy.

Nishan Degnarain

Chair, Global Agenda Council on Oceans

World Economic Forum

Degrees in Economics, Cambridge University and Harvard Kennedy School of Government. Formerly with the UK Prime Minister's Strategy Unit; then management consultant advising governments and companies in Africa on strategy. Co-Founder, Harvard's Africa Policy Journal, Harvard University's first public policy journal with a focus on Africa. Chair, Global Agenda Council on Oceans, World Economic Forum. Economic Adviser to Mauritius on the development of a long-term economic transformation programme to move Mauritius from a middle-income to a high-income country, as well as Africa Strategy.

Urban Ocean - Conservation in NYC Panel

Murray Fisher Founder Harbor School & Billion Oyster Project Murray is Executive Director of the New York Harbor Foundation, working to create a network of environmentally literate students, schools and communities working together to restore New York Harbor. Their vision is to make the entire New York Harbor estuary cleaner, more abundant, and accessible to all. The Harbor Foundation accomplishes this work through its flagship school, the New York Harbor School; and a flagship initiative, the Billion Oyster Project.

Murray Fisher

Founder

Harbor School & Billion Oyster Project

Murray is Executive Director of the New York Harbor Foundation, working to create a network of environmentally literate students, schools and communities working together to restore New York Harbor. Their vision is to make the entire New York Harbor estuary cleaner, more abundant, and accessible to all. The Harbor Foundation accomplishes this work through its flagship school, the New York Harbor School; and a flagship initiative, the Billion Oyster Project.

Matt Gove Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager Surfrider Foundation Matt Gove is champion of the surf and sand. As Surfrider’s Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager, he works to support our nine Mid-Atlantic Chapters and guides them to win coastal and ocean policy campaigns. The Surfrider Foundation is a community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground - the ocean, waves, and beaches -that provide us so much enjoyment. Our model is to engage environmental experts to create solutions, unite local and national resources to protect the coast, and leverage our local chapter network’s knowledge with a national perspective.

Matt Gove

Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager

Surfrider Foundation

Matt Gove is champion of the surf and sand. As Surfrider’s Mid-Atlantic Policy Manager, he works to support our nine Mid-Atlantic Chapters and guides them to win coastal and ocean policy campaigns. The Surfrider Foundation is a community of everyday people who passionately protect our playground - the ocean, waves, and beaches -that provide us so much enjoyment. Our model is to engage environmental experts to create solutions, unite local and national resources to protect the coast, and leverage our local chapter network’s knowledge with a national perspective.

Jon Forrest Dohlin VP & Director Wildlife Conservation Society,  New York Aquarium Jon is WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium. The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and by inspiring people to value nature. From successfully recovering the American bison recover on the Western Plains in the early 1900s to, forging the power of global conservation and the management of five parks in New York City, today they manage around 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries; and educate millions of zoo and aquarium visitors on important issues affecting our planet.

Jon Forrest Dohlin

VP & Director

Wildlife Conservation Society,  New York Aquarium

Jon is WCS Vice President and Director of the New York Aquarium. The Wildlife Conservation Society saves wildlife and wild places worldwide through science, conservation action, education, and by inspiring people to value nature. From successfully recovering the American bison recover on the Western Plains in the early 1900s to, forging the power of global conservation and the management of five parks in New York City, today they manage around 500 conservation projects in more than 60 countries; and educate millions of zoo and aquarium visitors on important issues affecting our planet.

Roland Lewis President Waterfront Alliance  A lifetime New Yorker, Roland Lewis has worked in the field of community development since 1984. A graduate of Columbia University, he then went on to earn both a Master of City and Regional Planning and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University. For nine years he served as a partner in the law firm of Dellapa, Lewis, and Perseo, whose clients included nonprofit organizations, civic groups, churches, cooperative corporations, and private real estate developers. In 1997 Roland became the executive director of Habitat for Humanity New York City. He led the organization for 10 years, guiding it to become one of the top producers in the region and a nationally emulated model for Habitat for Humanity locations in other urban settings. In early 2007, Roland took the helm of the Waterfront Alliance. Under his leadership, the Waterfront Alliance has organized a powerful constituency for a better waterfront. It has instituted new programs, initiated and helped create a new waterfront plan for the City of New York, and become the leading waterfront policy organization in the New York region, known nationally and internationally. Recognized as a community development, waterfront, and nonprofit expert, Roland has written extensively and spoken widely on these topics. In addition to his professional experience with community development, Roland is active with many nonprofit community organizations.

Roland Lewis

President

Waterfront Alliance 

A lifetime New Yorker, Roland Lewis has worked in the field of community development since 1984. A graduate of Columbia University, he then went on to earn both a Master of City and Regional Planning and a Juris Doctor from Rutgers University. For nine years he served as a partner in the law firm of Dellapa, Lewis, and Perseo, whose clients included nonprofit organizations, civic groups, churches, cooperative corporations, and private real estate developers.

In 1997 Roland became the executive director of Habitat for Humanity New York City. He led the organization for 10 years, guiding it to become one of the top producers in the region and a nationally emulated model for Habitat for Humanity locations in other urban settings.

In early 2007, Roland took the helm of the Waterfront Alliance. Under his leadership, the Waterfront Alliance has organized a powerful constituency for a better waterfront. It has instituted new programs, initiated and helped create a new waterfront plan for the City of New York, and become the leading waterfront policy organization in the New York region, known nationally and internationally. Recognized as a community development, waterfront, and nonprofit expert, Roland has written extensively and spoken widely on these topics.

In addition to his professional experience with community development, Roland is active with many nonprofit community organizations.

Closing Remarks

Heirs To Our Oceans April Peebler   Executive Director Heirs to Our Oceans is a rising tide of young leaders around the globe who are taking the ocean crisis into their own hands, educating themselves and others, bringing hope and solutions to the surface, and creating waves of change that will ensure the health of our blue planet for their generation and for future generations.

Heirs To Our Oceans

April Peebler  

Executive Director

Heirs to Our Oceans is a rising tide of young leaders around the globe who are taking the ocean crisis into their own hands, educating themselves and others, bringing hope and solutions to the surface, and creating waves of change that will ensure the health of our blue planet for their generation and for future generations.

Sylvia Earle National Geographic National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the New York Times, "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, and first "Hero for the Planet" by Time magazine, is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer. She has experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Kerr McGee Corporation, Dresser Industries, Oryx Energy, the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, American Rivers, Mote Marine Laboratory, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Rutgers Institute for Marine Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Ocean Futures. Formerly chief scientist of NOAA, Earle is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., founder of Mission Blue and SEAlliance, and chair of the Advisory Councils of the Harte Research Institute and the Ocean in Google Earth. She has a B.S. degree from Florida State University, M.S. and PhD. from Duke University, and 22 honorary degrees. She has authored more than 190 scientific, technical, and popular publications; lectured in more than 80 countries; and appeared in hundreds of radio and television productions. Her special focus is on developing a global network of areas on the land and in the ocean to safeguard the living systems that provide the underpinnings of global processes, from maintaining biodiversity and yielding basic life support services to providing stability and resiliency in response to accelerating climate change.

Sylvia Earle

National Geographic

National Geographic Society Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Sylvia A. Earle, called "Her Deepness" by the New Yorker and the New York Times, "Living Legend" by the Library of Congress, and first "Hero for the Planet" by Time magazine, is an oceanographer, explorer, author, and lecturer. She has experience as a field research scientist, government official, and director for corporate and nonprofit organizations, including the Kerr McGee Corporation, Dresser Industries, Oryx Energy, the Aspen Institute, the Conservation Fund, American Rivers, Mote Marine Laboratory, Duke University Marine Laboratory, Rutgers Institute for Marine Science, the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, National Marine Sanctuary Foundation, and Ocean Futures.

Formerly chief scientist of NOAA, Earle is the founder of Deep Ocean Exploration and Research, Inc., founder of Mission Blue and SEAlliance, and chair of the Advisory Councils of the Harte Research Institute and the Ocean in Google Earth. She has a B.S. degree from Florida State University, M.S. and PhD. from Duke University, and 22 honorary degrees. She has authored more than 190 scientific, technical, and popular publications; lectured in more than 80 countries; and appeared in hundreds of radio and television productions.

Her special focus is on developing a global network of areas on the land and in the ocean to safeguard the living systems that provide the underpinnings of global processes, from maintaining biodiversity and yielding basic life support services to providing stability and resiliency in response to accelerating climate change.

Sea Youth Rise Up Bill Mott, Danni Washington, Sean Russell The 2017 Sea Youth Rise Up delegation unites an outstanding group of seven young conservation leaders working to improve the health of the ocean and empower others to do the same. Taking action to address diverse marine conservation challenges, these young people remind us of the important role youth leadership plays in the ocean conservation field and inspire all of us to renew our dedication to protecting our blue planet.

Sea Youth Rise Up

Bill Mott, Danni Washington, Sean Russell

The 2017 Sea Youth Rise Up delegation unites an outstanding group of seven young conservation leaders working to improve the health of the ocean and empower others to do the same. Taking action to address diverse marine conservation challenges, these young people remind us of the important role youth leadership plays in the ocean conservation field and inspire all of us to renew our dedication to protecting our blue planet.

Natalia Vega-Berry Founder & Executive Producer Global Brain & World Ocean Festival Natalia wants to live in a world where nature has a stake in creating laws around climate change and where people, companies and organizations can collaborate for maximum impact. As the founder and established executive producer of over 20 years in the advertising industry at agencies like Publicis and Ogilvy, among others. She’s received awards and recognition from The Clio Festival, New York Festival, Fiap, among others, working for Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon, Anheuser Busch/Budweiser, P&G and Unilever to name a few. The Global Brain launched in the Spring of 2014 during the Media for Social Impact Summit at the United Nations. Although, the idea for the company originated before she went back to school in 2008 for a M.A. in Global Sustainability from UCLA. There she spent two years researching Environmental Health, Neuroscience, Systems Thinking, Integrative Medicine and Mindfulness Meditation Practices as tools to spark creativity, innovation and leadership. All of her experiences have led The Global Brain to be the driving force for using business, creativity and innovation to solve the current environmental and social challenges we face in the world.

Natalia Vega-Berry

Founder & Executive Producer

Global Brain & World Ocean Festival

Natalia wants to live in a world where nature has a stake in creating laws around climate change and where people, companies and organizations can collaborate for maximum impact.

As the founder and established executive producer of over 20 years in the advertising industry at agencies like Publicis and Ogilvy, among others. She’s received awards and recognition from The Clio Festival, New York Festival, Fiap, among others, working for Fortune 500 companies such as Verizon, Anheuser Busch/Budweiser, P&G and Unilever to name a few.

The Global Brain launched in the Spring of 2014 during the Media for Social Impact Summit at the United Nations. Although, the idea for the company originated before she went back to school in 2008 for a M.A. in Global Sustainability from UCLA. There she spent two years researching Environmental Health, Neuroscience, Systems Thinking, Integrative Medicine and Mindfulness Meditation Practices as tools to spark creativity, innovation and leadership. All of her experiences have led The Global Brain to be the driving force for using business, creativity and innovation to solve the current environmental and social challenges we face in the world.

Stuart Gruskin Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer The Nature Conservancy As chief conservation and external affairs officer for The Nature Conservancy in New York, Gruskin oversees the organization's conservation and policy work in New York. He has a background that includes legal, finance, and policy experience in both the private and public sectors. He speaks regularly on environmental issues and specializes i environmental, energy, and economic development policy; real estate financing and development; government relations; open space conservation and preservation. 

Stuart Gruskin

Chief Conservation and External Affairs Officer

The Nature Conservancy

As chief conservation and external affairs officer for The Nature Conservancy in New York, Gruskin oversees the organization's conservation and policy work in New York.

He has a background that includes legal, finance, and policy experience in both the private and public sectors. He speaks regularly on environmental issues and specializes i environmental, energy, and economic development policy; real estate financing and development; government relations; open space conservation and preservation.