Young leaders worldwide will gather in Norway to take ocean action

Sustainable Ocean Alliance Announces Most Selected Participants for the Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit 2019

Looking for corporate sponsors to fund travel for participants and catering services during the bootcamp


August 13th, 2019, San Francisco, Calif. — As an integral part of the Our Ocean Conference, Sustainable Ocean Alliance and the University of Tromsø will co-host in cooperation with the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the fourth Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit. The summit, which will take place in Oslo, Norway on October 23-24, 2019, will inspire, inform, and empower youth participants to build holistic solutions that better balance the needs of society, industry and the ocean environment. 

“This year the application pool was extraordinarily competitive and featured more than 1,000 ocean projects from 122 countries,” says Daniela Ferndandez, CEO and founder of Sustainable Ocean Alliance. “We are recognizing young leaders’ engagement in ocean sustainability is accelerating.”

Of the 69 chosen participants, most have shown interest in tackling marine pollution issues (39%), sustainable blue economy challenges (27% ), climate change (13%) and marine protected areas (10%). Sustainable fisheries (9%) and maritime security (2%) remain the less popular areas of intervention. (see list of selected participants)

Bryan Madera, a young leader selected to attend the summit from the Philippines, is looking to combat marine pollution through his Plastic Battle initiative. According to Madera, “Plastic Battle uses a design thinking approach to understand why we rely on bottled water to access clean and safe drinking water and then uses this data to help prevent single-use bottles at the source in the future.”

At the last Our Ocean Conference in Bali, Indonesia, Fernandez closed the summit stressing the importance of growing and developing the ocean innovation ecosystem to train young people to approach these ocean challenges through an entrepreneurial lens. Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit is structured as a bootcamp this year, with the objective of building integrated solutions for the ocean and society. Bjørn Tore Markussen, CEO of the Ocean Data Platform at REV Ocean and Her Excellency Prime Minister Erna Solberg of Norway have already confirmed their participation. 

“We are really excited to engage young people and inspire them to take action to improve the health of the ocean. We have a lot to learn from the free-thinking spirit and creative energy of youth in finding new ways to solve problems and cooperate, says REV Ocean CEO Nina Jensen.

“Cooperation between academia, politics, and business is key when it comes to finding ocean solutions,” says Anne Husebekk, principal, The Arctic University of Norway. “The fact that we see highly committed young people getting involved as strongly as they are means they see the seriousness in the situation and are prepared to make changes to sustain the health of the ocean. The Arctic University of Norway is proud to support this movement.”  

According to a spokesperson from the Anthropocene Institute, whose ProtectedSeas and F3 initiatives foster innovative solutions to environmental problems, ‘Our Ocean Leadership Youth Summit is an opportunity to empower the next generation of marine conservation stewards and innovators to ensure marine protection for generations to come." 

The summit is supported by the Anthropocene Institute, Equinor, REV Ocean, The Arctic University of Norway (UiT), and the Walton Family Foundation.

Sustainable Ocean Alliance is now seeking additional support from corporate sponsors to fund travel for participants and catering services during the length of the boot camp. Interested parties may contact the organization at 

To keep up with the latest updates and program developments, connect with Sustainable Ocean Alliance on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram using event hashtag #OurOceanYLS.


About Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit

Our Ocean conferences were initiated by Secretary of State John Kerry in 2014, with the aim to put oceans on the foreign policy agenda, and create a platform where leaders from government, business and civil society meet on an equal footing to promote action and innovation for clean, healthy and productive oceans.

For the past four years, the Sustainable Ocean Alliance has co-organized the Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit, which aims to inspire, inform, and empower young participants between the ages of 18-35 to build high impact and integrated solutions for the ocean and society. More information is available on our website.


About Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) is a global non-profit organization that advances the impact of startups, social enterprises and youth-centered initiatives that are developing solutions to protect and sustain our ocean. SOA’s pipeline of ocean leaders is cultivated through a hub-based model, led by students at the collegiate and young professional levels.

Sustainable Ocean Alliance (SOA) was founded in 2014 as a college-room idea. With phenomenal speed, SOA has created the world’s largest network of young ocean leaders – through establishing a presence in over 80 countries, launching the first-ever Ocean Solutions Accelerator to support ocean startups, and partnering with corporations such as The Economist and Lindblad Expeditions, NGOs, and governments, including Indonesia and the European Union, to develop technological solutions that can address the greatest threats facing our planet.



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Sustainable Ocean Alliance

Haley Steinhauser

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Meet Our Ocean Young Leaders

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Spotlight on Bryan Madera

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