the ocean Summit 2019

Leaders in ocean conservation, policy, art and science came together to set a target to protect 30% of the world's oceans by 2030

By Jeremy McKane

This year, we gathered innovators and prominent ocean conservationists to Necker Island (BVI), for what we called “The Ocean Summit.” Among the participants were Sir Richard Branson, Dr. Sylvia Earle, Shailene Woodley and many other leaders in the field.


I wanted for a long time to do an ocean summit where we could include innovators that wanted to create business concepts with the protection of the ocean in mind. We had folks that are working on Environmental DNA projects that hope to sequence valuable data at sea as opposed in the lab. We had projects where mushrooms are eating plastic and leaving micro-organisms intact. We even had a company manufacturing autonomous boats to combat illegal fishing.

Collaboration was one of the things that I wanted to do right off the bat, and I organized our aims in four main areas: Policy, Innovation, Investment and Storytelling. These are four fields in which science and academia are already active but collaboration and communication are often lacking. So working with others is a must. 


There are too many people working on ocean-related issues and achieving less than they could because of one major obstacle: their ego is prohibiting them from collaborating with others in a useful manner. There are other summits and we want to encourage all of them to focus on action. Our summit is about action and capacity-building.

In 2016 IUCN met in Honolulu where they mandated to protect 30% of the World’s Oceans by 2030. Our idea was: what if we get the right people together at our summit who could define the capacity to execute this mandate?

Our hope is that when we meet in 2020 for OS2, we will be able to tell the world what we accomplished and set goals moving forward to the next year. We realize that having meetings in order to have more meetings is just futile and ultimately accomplishes nothing.


The days of convening for the sake of convening are over and that’s what makes us different. We are holding people to their commitments and filling in gaps where possible.If you have an idea and want to join us, I urge you to get in touch and have your comments reviewed by our team. The ocean provides every second breath we take. She has always been there for us and now we need to be there for her. 

Jeremy McKane is an Artist that travels the planet documenting the health of the oceans and more importantly what's still worth fighting for. His work has recently been shown at the McKinney Avenue Contemporary Museum. His current project LUCiD is a brain controlled digital video installation. LUCiD is a collaboration with The Thyssen-Bornemisza Art Contemporary Foundation out of Vienna, Austria.

McKane is the founder of which utilizes the valuable attributes of the Ethereum blockchain technology, such as traceable tokens as well as transparent smart contracts, for the purpose of protecting one of the world’s most precious assets - the oceans. The OCN Coin provides an infrastructure and support system to the Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) established around coastlines of countries and islands.


UCapture is a green tech platform that funds carbon offset projects at no cost to their users. We encourage you to sign up for individual carbon offsets in support of the W2O. Learn more at

© World Ocean Observatory 2019