Edinburgh Ocean Leaders at the UN Ocean Decade Conference, Barcelona

During the recent UN Ocean Decade Conference in Barcelona in April 2024, Edinburgh Ocean Leaders (EOL) and Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOPs) held a joint event titled “Building Ocean Leadership: Fostering Networking, Creativity, and Leadership.” The event focused on career development and networking for professionals in the ocean sector.

The session included a presentation from Eric Markowitz, a professional business and executive coach, who provided valuable insights into effective networking and communication skills. He emphasised the importance of creating networks that foster collaboration over competition and support diversity, interdisciplinarity, and open dialogue.

Following this, a panel discussion on leadership development featured Edinburgh Ocean Leaders Joao Canning-Clode, Imogen Napper, and Yolanda Sanchez alongside Nimea Crawford, the Project Officer of Federated States of Micronesia Pacific Islands Regional Oceanscape Project and Evgeniia Kostianaia, the global coordinator of the Early Career Ocean Professionals Programme. Jessie Turner introduced the Edinburgh Ocean Leaders initiative, highlighting the importance of creativity and networks in fostering a sustainable future for our oceans. Panellists discussed their strengths, vulnerabilities, and interdisciplinary perspectives, showcasing the diverse viewpoints that contribute to effective leadership. The emphasis was on developing capacities and talents, recognizing leadership skills, and understanding how effective leaders can bring about change, support, and empower others.

Overall, the event was an excellent showcase for the importance of leadership development in the ocean sector. The collaboration and knowledge exchange during the event united early and mid-career ocean professionals from around the world, helping to strengthen the global community dedicated to advancing ocean science and sustainability.

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