Accelerating a new generation of ocean change-makers.

Healthy oceans are essential for a habitable planet, and support the livelihoods of billions of people. However, our oceans are under increasing pressure, from extraction of resources, pollution and climate change. Finding solutions depends on creative leadership that is globally distributed, works across sectors, and with awareness of social, cultural, economic and environmental contexts.

Our mission :

To have a lasting impact on the health of our marine environments by accelerating the leadership, influence and reach of exceptional early-mid career professionals working on solutions for the oceans and society.

Edinburgh Ocean Leaders and COVID-19

The ethos of the programme is to support leaders in situ, wherever they live and work around the world. COVID-19 has made this philosophy even more relevant. Therefore, although we have postponed the planned field mission and face-to-face interventions, we have enhanced our bespoke online leadership coaching, mentoring and meetings to ensure maximum impact. This includes our Ocean Leaders contributing to major online dialogues such as the Monaco Blue Initiative.

The clear message is that supporting leaders to have the confidence and skills to navigate exceptional change in diverse contexts has never been more timely or important.

Programme Overview

The programme provides several distinct leadership interventions for each new cohort throughout the year, while also supporting activities for the growing network of leaders over time.

Edinburgh Ocean Leaders (EOL) is hosted by the University of Edinburgh, and is financially supported by the University, the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation and other organisations and individuals.

EOL is designed to accelerate the leadership, creativity and influence of exceptional ocean professionals working together to make a significant positive impact on the health of the World’s oceans. Our underlying ‘theory of change’ is that distributed, creative and enabled leadership is a prerequisite to achieving this urgent and transformational positive change.

This rationale informs the goals and design of the programme, in particular, support for the Ocean Leaders to enhance their: transformative leadership capabilities; complex problem solving abilities; and international reach and influence through collaborative action.

The overall goal of EOL is to create and sustain a life-long network of ocean change-makers. Towards this, the programme supports leadership training, mentoring, professional development and online networking opportunities. This typically includes: a series of remote and face-to-face coaching dialogues; annual induction event and meeting; a joint field mission; and engagement with international ocean initiatives to help shape tangible pathways into action.


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