Monaco Blue Iniative and Monaco Ocean Week 2024

In March, the 2023 cohort of the Edinburgh Ocean Leaders  headed to Monaco for our annual engagement with Monaco Ocean Week and the Monaco Blue Initiative.

Monaco Ocean Week Event - Action Based Leadership: Navigating the Highs and Lows

The 2024 gathering marked the fourth Edinburgh Ocean Leaders event during Monaco Ocean Week, focusing on the central theme of leadership and its pivotal role in driving positive change for our oceans. We were pleased to welcome attendees from Monaco Ocean Week as well as students from the International University of Monaco.


Ocean Leader Event at Monaco Ocean Week Action Based Leadership: Navigating the Highs and Lows ©JC Vinaj

 The event featured two engaging panels comprising of Ocean Leaders from 2023. Guiding the proceedings was marine scientist and EOL Communucations Lead Amber Carter and the event kicked off with an introduction from co-founder and co-director of Edinburgh Ocean Leaders Sandy Tudhope.

The first panel with Alifa Haque, João Canning-Clode, Willys Osore and Tasrif Kartawijaya delved into “Local Initiatives; Global Impacts,” featuring Ocean professionals from diverse regions including Indonesia, Bangladesh, Madeira, and Kenya. The Ocean Leaders showcased locally and nationally focused projects with the potential to inspire global change. Discussions highlighted the significance of creativity, collaboration, and communication as indispensable tools for overcoming obstacles in ocean leadership. Examples included Alifa’s resourceful research initiatives in Bangladesh to Joao’s innovative approaches when first starting MARE Maderia despite limited funding. Willys and Tasrif emphasized the importance of active listening and conflict resolution in their endeavours for marine conservation and supporting the livelihoods of coastal communities.

Alexis Grosskopf, Timothy Bouley, Jhorace Tupas and Bharka Mossaë were on the second panel. This session shifted the focus towards leadership in ocean finance, policy and business. Addressing similar questions on obstacles and effective tools for ocean leadership, the panel underscored challenges such as conflicting interests, social inequity, and insufficient funding and knowledge in ocean business. However, they also highlighted the significance of adhering to core values and cultivating robust networks as essential strategies for effective ocean leadership.

Post-panel discussions saw the audience engaging in roundtable sessions, reflecting on insights gained and discussing actionable takeaways from the panel discussion.

Ocean Leader Event at Monaco Ocean Week Action Based Leadership: Navigating the Highs and Lows ©JC Vinaj

15th Meeting of the Monaco Blue Initiative

Attendees of the 15th Monaco Blue Initiative ©JC Vinaj - FPA2

The Monaco Blue Initiative (MBI) is a unique platform that brings together major players in ocean conservation and governance in annual debates to explore solutions for the global challenges facing the ocean.

MBI is co-convened by the Prince Albert II of Monaco Foundation, a foundational partner in the establishment of Edinburgh Ocean Leaders (EOL). Since the creation of EOL in 2020, MBI organisers have drawn on the expertise of the ocean professionals in EOL to contribute to the event.

This year, 2023 Ocean Leader Alexis Grosskopf moderated the panel A Sustainable and Regenerative Blue Economy: The Role of the Private Sector to Drive the Shift Towards a Resilient Ocean discussion was moderated by Alexis Grosskopf, Founder and CEO of OceanHub Africa and Edinburgh Ocean Leader, South Africa. Alexis invited panellists to discuss pathways for reconciliation between economic growth and marine ecosystems for a regenerative blue economy – that is a nature-positive economy that supports nature and people. Topics of discussion on the panel related carbon pricing as tool to mitigate carbon emissions, the ecological impacts of bottom trawling and the role of marine ecosystems in storing carbon, particularly within marine protected areas.

Ocean Leader Alexis Grosskopf moderating a panel at the 15th Monaco Blue Initiative ©JC Vinaj - FPA2

Read a full IISD report of the 2024 Monaco Blue Initiative here.

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