A virtual summit series bringing together ocean solutionists.


Thank you to the people from 88 countries who registered to attend the September 3rd SOA Connects: Women in Ocean Science, Tech, and Innovation

Check back here shortly for the event impact report and recordings.

Keynote: Cristina Mittermeier

 Spotlighting Female Solutionists

The September 3rd Summit will highlight female solutionists from SOA’s global community, as well as workshops in a wide variety of subjects including Impact Investing, Environmental Advocacy through Film, and Circular Economy. This year’s theme builds on the success of SOA’s most recent all-female panel of marine biologists, scientists, and ocean leaders during SOA x United Nations World Oceans Day


Register to see the full speaker schedule.

Cristina Mittermeier
Co-Founder and Managing Director, SeaLegacy

Cristina Mittermeier is the marine biologist and activist who pioneered the concept and field of conservation photography. Mittermeier founded the International League of Conservation Photographers (ILCP) in 2005 to provide a platform for photographers working on environmental issues. In 2014, Mittermeier co-founded SeaLegacy, a non-profit organization dedicated to the protection of the ocean. SeaLegacy harnesses the power of communications technology to educate and inform the world about the incredible beauty of the ocean, and all of the challenges that it faces in the wake of the climate crisis. In 2020, on the fiftieth anniversary of Earth Day, Mittermeier announced the most ambitious project of her career: Only One, a new collective of organizations that uses digital technology and visual storytelling to catalyze lasting cultural change, with the ultimate goal of conserving the world's oceans from now into perpetuity. Mittermeier is a Sony Artisan of Imagery and was named one of National Geographic's Adventurers of the Year in 2018. She is also the recipient of many awards, including the Mission Award from the North American Nature Photography Association, the Smithsonian Conservation Photographer of the Year Award, and the Imaging Award for Photographers Who Give Back.

Debbie Remengesau
First Lady of the Republic of Palau
Kortney Opshaug
Founder and CEO, Blue Ocean Gear

Dr. Kortney Opshaug is the Founder and CEO of Blue Ocean Gear. She has over 20 years of engineering and management experience in the fields of both marine and aerospace technology at companies including Deep Ocean Engineering, Lockheed Martin, and Space Systems/Loral, while also engaging with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary's outreach efforts and advisory council. Prior to founding Blue Ocean Gear, Dr. Opshaug worked at USRA directing the Mission Operations team for NASA’s SOFIA program. She has developed the patented and patent-pending technology behind the Blue Ocean Gear’s smart fishing devices. She earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Aerospace Engineering from MIT, and she received a Ph.D. from Stanford University, completing her thesis in underwater robotics.

Innandya Irawan
Co-Founder and Chief Growth Officer, CarbonEthics

CarbonEthics is a not-for-profit organization that aims to educate, reduce and offset the carbon footprint of individuals and institutions. We contribute to decelerating climate crisis through restoration and conservation of Blue Carbon Ecosystem while improving livelihood of coastal communities.

Read a profile of Innandya and CarbonEthics on our blog.

Ashley Y Bae
Founder, Verdant Seas

Ashley is thrilled to work at the intersection of science, business, and sustainability. Prior to launching Verdant Seas, she worked on adaptation and resilience strategies at the World Bank, conducted product-level supply chain emissions analysis with CoClear and CDP, and helped plan the Global Climate Action Summit with the Office of the Governor of California. Ashley holds an M.A. in Climate & Society from Columbia University and a B.S. in Biology from the University of St. Andrews.

Read more about Ashley and Verdant Seas on our blog.

Ana Vitoria Tereza de Magalhaes
Founder, Ocean Immersion Portugal

Ana Vitória Magalhãeis is an Ecodesigner and holds a Masters in Marine Planning. She is the founder of the Ocean Immersion program, a creative ocean school dedicated to developing young ocean leaders in Portugal. She has a strong interest in ocean communication and entrepreneurship. Currently, she works as an Independent Consultant for international organizations developing campaigns and materials to promote the SDG 14. She is fluent in English, French, Spanish and Italian besides Portuguese. Ana resides in Lisbon, Portugal.

Svanika Balasubramanian
Founder and CEO, rePurpose

RePurpose is a social enterprise creating a global community of conscious consumers, workplaces & businesses going #PlasticNeutral by empowering informal urban waste workers worldwide. We are here to re-create our world's resource economy, into one where responsibility is ethically shared among consumers, manufacturers, and recyclers alike.

Recipient of the global Lead2030 award for SDG14 (Life Below Water), 2018 President's Engagement Prize, the 2019 Global Social Venture Challenge

Part of the Pear Accelerator 2020 cohort, Halcyon Fellow 2020 cohort, Sustainable Oceans Alliance 2019, MassChallenge Spring 2019, and RISN 2019.

Nadia Laabs
Co-Founder & COO, SafetyNet Technologies

SafetyNet Tech builds devices to help fishermen catch the right fish and reduce bycatch by up to 90% -- saving more fish, helping fishermen, and protecting an increasingly essential food source now and for the future.

Lindsey Hoell
Founder, Dispatch Goods

Dispatch Goods partners with restaurants to offer menu items in reusable food containers.

Read more about Lindsey and Dispatch Goods on our blog.

Yuka Kagao
Co-Founder of SOA Japan & UMINARI
Yuka is currently finishing her degree in International Business at Rikkyo University in Tokyo. She is the co-founder of UMINARI, a Youth driven NGO in Japan tackling marine pollution. They are focusing on building awareness and cooperation among a variety of sectors to make system level change. They accomplish this through education, beach cleanups and associated activities, and lifestyle design. Yuka is also the co-founder of SOA Japan, which is working to build the first impact-driven ocean youth leaders network in Japan. She has organized and participated in a variety of conferences including SDG Pitch night by Social Innovation Japan, UNEP Forum 2019, and the Our Ocean Youth Leadership Summit 2019.
Lisandra Maria
Oceanographer, Founder of Virtual Dive

Lisandra has always been interested in the environment and always wanted to help solve environmental problems. For this reason, she decided to found Virtual Diving, which takes the oceans to people through the virtual reality glasses made of recycled cardboard.


Impact Investing 

  • Kim Kolt, Moderator - Founder and President of For Good Ventures
  • Jan Yoshioka - Director of Ocean Investments, Conservation International 
  • Nina Lapagcan - Program Director, Oceankind
  • Jennie Sanders - Director of Investments, Ellevest

Circular Economy: Sustainable Innovation in Fashion's Supply Chain

  • Jennifer Lee, Moderator - Contributing Luxury Editor at Forbes.com
  • Clara Mattioli - Global Marketing DIrector at Wolford
  • Andreas Rohrich - Director of Product Development and Innovation at Wolford
  • Stephanie Connolly - Manager of Textiles and Apparel, Cradle 2 Cradle
  • Celine Seeman - Founder of Science Driven Fashion  Incubator called One x One

UN Decade of the Ocean: Global Priorities and Incorporating Youth in the Decade of Ocean Science

  • Eugenia Barroca - SOA Portuguese Language Regional Representative and All-Atlantic Youth Ambassador
  • Katie Geddes  - Program Manager, NOAA Research International Activities
  • Taylor Goelz - Knauss Marine Policy Fellow, NOAA Research
  • Assia Edderouzi - Manager, Ocean Sustainability Programs at Fugro and ECOP Representative
  • Anna-Marie Laura - Director, International Government Relations at Ocean Conservancy

Real-Time Crisis: Mauritius Oil Spill and Crowdsourcing Solutions

  • Gregoire Rouxel - Mauritian Influencer on the ground
  • Sawan Badooa - SOA Ocean Leader

Environmental Film Panel

  • Ana Blanco - Executive Director of International Ocean Film Festival
  • Dr. Erika Woolsey - Co-Founder and CEO of The Hydrous
  • Linda Booker - Director and Producer of Straws

Real-Time Crisis: Ecuadorian Marine Violations

  • Stephanie Torres - SOA Peru
  • Ericka Carrera - SOS Galapagos
  • Gabriela Martinez -Galapagos Biosphere Reserve, UNESCO-MAB Programme
  • Maximiliano Bello - Mission Blue

Europe - Collage
Action photos+statements from Europe.

Demonstrating Our Collective Impact

The inaugural SOA Connects on June 2nd brought together people in 73 countries.

We asked all registrants to submit their impact action photo and statement as a demonstration of their commitment to ocean health.

We received over 250 submissions, and compiled as many as we could in an impact report.

When you register, please consider submitting your photo and/or statement, which we will turn into graphics to showcase your passion for our ocean environment.

June 2, 2020 SOA Connects Highlight Video

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SOA Connects manifesto (3)


“As a female led organization, SOA has sought to raise the voices of female ocean changemakers since our founding. Our upcoming SOA Connects summit is part of an ongoing effort to give female leaders a global platform to effect change and inspire the next wave of ocean solutionists."

– Daniela Fernandez, Founder and CEO of SOA 

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Why SOA Connects

The global community had deemed 2020 the “Super Year” for the ocean. But as the pandemic  unfolded, pivotal convenings were cancelled and impactful votes on crucial policies have been delayed as a result.  

To keep the vision and goals of the Super Year alive, we are launching our virtual summit series, SOA Connects, to collectively work on ocean health, climate, youth mobilization and education, ocean technology, political accountability, and conscious leadership that is essential to our global rebuilding.

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What is SOA Connects?

Impact is at the core of SOA and we maintain our commitment to the urgency of measurable impact by advancing 100 ocean solutions by 2021.

Our ocean leaders from Malaysia, Indonesia, The Seychelles, Portugal, and across Latin America have been mobilizing local grassroots leaders while our Accelerator alumni and mentors continue to play a vital role in creating, building, and scaling sustainable businesses. 

To build on this momentum, SOA Connects will spotlight and support our one-of-a-kind community of ocean leaders and entrepreneurs. The zero-carbon footprint summit will include presentations from solutionists working in ocean innovation and grassroots action, and an Ideas Marketplace where attendees can showcase their work.

Register for the November 5th Summit 

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