The second in the current series of The Ocean Race Summits will stream online live from The Hague on May 27 at 1400 CEST / 0800 EDT and will feature top experts and leaders from across a wide range of fields coming together to share solutions to accelerate the restoration of ocean health.
Among the highlight programming for registered Summit participants is special guest speaker Lord Sebastian Coe, the President of World Athletics and a double Olympic gold medalist, who will share insights into how to face a challenging situation and turn it into a winning position.
His words are particularly relevant as this edition of The Ocean Race Summits has been adapted to take place online, respecting the current restrictions in place due to the Covid-19 health crisis.
“It’s a terrible cliché, but it can be true nonetheless – we should never let a crisis go to waste. Sometimes we need a jolt to make us review things. The issues around ocean health, ocean cleanliness have been with us for many years. That ecosystem is very precious and needs defending,” Lord Coe notes.
“That’s why I’m so pleased for occasions like The Ocean Race Summits which give us a moment to pause for breath and think about what we really need to focus on. This is the opportunity. This is the time to do it.”
Along with Lord Coe, registered Summit participants will hear from speakers like Peter Thomson, United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for the Ocean; Jessica den Outer, Youth Ambassador for the Global Alliance for the Rights of Nature; Minna Epps, Director of IUCN’s Global Marine and Polar Programme; Wallace ‘J’ Nichols of Blue Mind; Reece Pacheco, Executive Director of WSL PURE, the World Surf League; and Charlie Enright, co-founder of 11th Hour Racing Team and a two-time co-skipper in The Ocean Race, who currently is building a team focused on more than just winning a race.
“The narrative in sports sponsorship is changing, it’s becoming a lot more cause-based, particularly in ocean racing, and this is how our team is built with 11th Hour Racing. As athletes we have the responsibility to lead by example,” Enright says.
“I think that’s built into the way that we work with our partners, the way that we challenge them, the way that we try to enact change, the way that we’ve prioritised ocean health and sustainability in our organisation. It doesn’t happen by accident. We spend a lot of time on this. It takes a shared goal, a shared vision to start moving the needle on these global issues.”
Enright will join a panel focussed on Winning Strategies, and give his insights into how the leadership mindstate and skills needed to be successful during pivotal moments in an ocean race, can also be applied in the race to restore ocean health.
Other topics to be covered include: The Science of Action; Nature-based Rights; Post-2020 Decisions and Action; Brands for Impact; and The Dutch Perspective.
Business leaders like Håkan Samuelsson, the CEO of Volvo Cars and Hans Vestberg the Chairman and CEO of Verizon, lend their perspectives and expertise, along with young influencers like Niek Roozen, who will engage all invitees across the interactive platform Slido.
During the Summit, participants will have the opportunity to join in one of 10 Action Labs — smaller, 30-minute breakout sessions tightly targeted on a topic related to the above panels, where ideas can be exchanged and solutions are shared.
The Ocean Race Summits #2 also features Innovation Workshops on May 26 and May 28, making for a three-day focus on protecting our blue planet.
On May 26, up to 100 industry leaders, including representatives from the IOC, UEFA, Formula E, FIFA, World Sailing, and the World Economic Forum, among many others, will work together on solutions to the challenges faced by the sport and event industry, focusing on Sustainable Look and Overlay and The Future for Reusable Serviceware Systems at events.
Two days later, the focus is on creating moments for change as sports, events and business leaders gather in a unique workshop to develop winning strategies to restore ocean health and abundance, inspired by the spirit of ocean racing.
The Ocean Race Summits are a series of solutions-focussed events bringing together leaders from a wide range of fields to target the restoration of ocean health.
Developed in collaboration with 11th Hour Racing, the Premier Partner and founding Sustainability Partner of The Ocean Race, the current series of Summits started in Genoa, Italy last autumn and will continue with two further events this year, including one based out of Newport, Rhode Island in September.
Up to ten events will be held before the conclusion of the 2021-22 edition of The Ocean Race.
Main image © Amory Ross/11th Hour Racing