Radical Collaboration: Charting A New Course For Our Oceans

by Tina Nguyen

Tina Nguyen is a long-time surfer and committed driver of sustainability who focused her master’s research on sustainable surfing events, comparing major contests in Jeffreys Bay and on the North Shore, Hawaii. She loves talking about trash! And is curious about what sustainability means for different people in different places. Currently, Tina is exploring ways to create tangible benefits for people and the environment.

Through the lens of ocean advocacy, it’s easy to only see problems in everything we do. Yet everything we do is both an impact and an opportunity in one.

And opportunity is everywhere if one is looking for it.

Right now, there are so many great sustainability initiatives and solutions popping up all around the world. In fact, it can be difficult to keep up with all them. We are seeing a myriad of innovative ‘ocean-first’ ventures happening across the spectrum, from the nonprofit space to education, politics and businesses spaces. With the world’s 5th largest economy, California is experiencing no shortage of clever business solutions to the problems our oceans are facing.

On March 27th and 28th, citizens from all backgrounds are invited to attend the 2nd annual Rising Tide Summit in San Pedro, CA, a two-day conference that brings together an extraordinary group of purpose-driven people to share real actions and scalable solutions for ocean protection.

Underwritten by X Prize Foundation, Marisla Foundation, and HDX Mix, with additional support from AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles, the purpose of this gathering is to have a constructive conversation that moves beyond disseminating awareness of environmental problems and onto making a tangible and measurable difference right now. This is a space for people to learn about how they can be more effective in protecting our ocean and essentially, be inspired to embrace that intuition we have to be a part of something bigger than ourselves.

At last year’s Rising Tide Summit, we learned about a diverse range of initiatives ranging from the higher level “political hardball” approach to support pro-ocean policies in the legislative environment, to how widely successful campaigns such as #stopsucking and Tick Tock, by the Lonely Whale Foundation, can and should lead to policy action to dramatically reduce and eliminate single-use plastic. We heard about lessons learnt by the 5 Gyres Institute’s to obtain invaluable scientific data used to lay the foundation to leverage environmental action into the future. The folks at Smart Planet Technologies showed us how they are addressing the fact that the 50 billion paper cups going into landfills each year can be prevented, by providing, for the first time, a legitimately recyclable paper cup, called reCUP. From the surfing industry, Earth Technologies showed us that the boundaries of innovation are limitless by using styrofoam-eating mealworms to become the first zero-waste surfboard factory.

Rising Tides 2018: Chad Nelson, CEO of Surfrider Foundation and Kurt Bjorkman, GM at The Ranch Laguna Beach and Jon Moyer, Director Asset Management at Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.

And this is only naming a small handful of the speakers and topics. Building on last year’s successful event, 2019’s Rising Tide Summit will be showcasing exciting topics, including why it’s crucial to get environmentalists to vote, the opportunity to grow surf therapy while growing a healthy economy, and a workshop on how to articulate your mission and purpose. Further tackling our waste issue, we’ll hear more about palpable solutions in the business environment from start-up businesses such as Final Straw, which raised $1.8 million on Kickstarter, to show how businesses can play a critical role in solving plastic pollution. This event is a chance to hear from the people at the forefront of the most recent and profound environmental wins of our time.

Speaking at this year’s Summit, Derek Sabori, Sustainability Advisor/Educator and KOZM entrepreneur, tells us “It’s time to get off the fence. You’ve heard about all the issues, your employees are talking about it, and your customers are talking about it… let me tell you, there’s never been a more crucial time to learn, engage, educate, collaborate and commit to the topic of doing business better. Our oceans rely on it, our planet is relying on it, and us humans? Well, we’re the ones most desperately relying on it. See you at the Rising Tide Summit.”

There’s no one solution or one answer to what we are trying to accomplish with the ocean. A healthy ocean is connected to so many things: healthy people, sport, business innovations, campaign strategies. This conference inspires us to think about the ocean, its health, and our connection to it. As Leon Panetta puts it, “We have to be good stewards of this national treasure that is so important to our life, our economy, and our very spirit. Your presence translates as your willingness to fight this battle” that Panetta believes we all can win.

For more information, agenda and speaker line up, visit RisingTideSummit.net.

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