Panelists and attendees set out to bring solutions to life.

The inaugural Rising Tide Summit – with support from the XPRIZE Ocean Initiative and AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles – was held on March 28 and 29 at Brouwerji West in San Pedro, CA. The conference convened business leaders, thinkers and innovators to discuss and unite on issues and solutions surrounding ocean conservation.

Attendees heard from those on the frontline of the issues that our oceans are facing but also from businesses and innovators who are working toward effective solutions.

“This was a gathering of key stakeholders who want to find and fund the solutions that help us better understand the ocean and offer protection to this resource that is not only the lifeblood of our planet, but also the engine that drives our state's economy,” said Vipe Desai, Founder, Rising Tide Summit and CEO of HDX Hydration Mix.

The depth and variety of discussions offered an optimistic outlook on how to mobilize leaders and organize for our ocean. Topics ranged from the emerging blue economy valued into the billions, to the importance of remaining engaged in the political spectrum and how businesses and even sports can be a force for good when it comes to raising awareness of ocean issues while shifting focus on environmentally friendly operations.

“This event was truly unlike any I have been to before. What I love about the Rising Tide Summit is that there is true innovation being shared both at a large scale and at the grassroots. There’s no grandstanding or false promises or wishful thinking. Every presenter is making a tangible and measurable difference today. This may also have been the nicest bunch of attendees for whom true collaboration and transparency is of highest priority,” said Dune Ives, Executive Director, Lonely Whale Foundation.

In addition, exciting new projects like the Tick Tock campaign that will use a countdown clock to 2025 when plastic litter will start to overtake the number of fish in the sea, are helping engage key decision makers to make change while there is still time left to do so. Ambitious projects including The Longest Swim where Ben Lecomte will soon begin his swim from Tokyo to San Francisco in the name of science and innovative solutions, Living Earth Systems where mealworms are used to devour surfboard foam and create rich soil, and Newport Beach based company reCUP responsible for developing the first commercially viable recyclable paper cup are all contributing to generating awareness and driving actionable change across all industries.

“I was ready for updates on the science and the increasing amount of plastics, mercury and other pollutants in our oceans. What I was truly struck by were the number of businesses and organizations that are applying real world solutions and ideas toward the problems. It is refreshing to see profitable solutions to what we know is already adversely affecting our lives. There is truth to the statement that there is no business on a dead planet...unless you’re WALL-E,” said Glenn Brumage, Executive Director, Surfing Heritage and Culture Center.

No summit on solutions is complete without the voice of our youth who shared their vision of a plastic-free world and introduced the Youth Call for Global Commitments to Prevent Plastic Pollution. Katie Allen from Algalita shared this campaign involving 150 students who came together to draft this document to inspire people to take responsibility for their part of the solution.

Inspirational talks from Jim Moriarty from 72andSunny and John Guastaferro from One Degree Connect got leaders and organizations inspired on the power and importance of brand strategy and messaging. Organizations left the summit with the tools needed to re-energize their mission and teams as they set out to enact change.

“AltaSea at the Port of Los Angeles was so pleased to co-sponsor the first Rising Tide Summit alongside the XPRIZE Ocean Initiative. It brought together a remarkable group of entrepreneurs, investors, companies, non-profits, scientists and others, all focused on finding sustainable solutions to some of the challenges facing our oceans, and our planet,” said Jenny Krusoe, Executive Director at AltaSea. “The conference embodies so much of what AltaSea is trying to achieve here in the harbor, bringing together research, STEM education and sustainable business incubation to create the knowledge, jobs, companies and workers for our area to thrive in the future.”

The full program included:

Making the Golden State Blue
AltaSea Executive Director Jenny Krusoe and CEO Tim McOsker

Ban List 2.0
Dr. Marcus Eriksen, Co-Founder and Research Director at 5 Gyres Institute

Turning The Tide Towards Greener and Bluer Business Practices in the Restaurant World
Moderator: Sarah Sikich, Vice President, Heal the Bay
Panelists: Greg Morena, Co-founder at The Albright and Mark Turner, Co-Founder at Bare Burger

Conscious Capitalism: How Clean Water and Healthy Beaches Drive Our Economy
Moderator: Chad Nelsen, CEO of Surfrider Foundation
Panelists: Kurt Bjorkman, GM at The Ranch Laguna Beach and Jon Moyer, Dir. of Asset Management & Leasing at Alexander & Baldwin, Inc.

Why Businesses Should Support Ocean Friendly Legislation
Lisa Kaas Boyle, Environmental Attorney and Legal Policy Expert

Small Business Session
Moderator Pierce Naghiyan, Editor-in-Chief, Planet Experts
Panelists: Katherine Tarell, CEO at Jeux de Vagues and Mateo Neri, CEO at 8hz

Sport as a Force for Good
Moderator: Angela Sun, Journalist, Television Presenter, Sportscaster, and Documentary Filmmaker
Panelists: Reece Pacheco, Executive Director at PURE WSL and Feben Yohannes, CMO at ANOC World Beach Games

Launching a Mobile Age for the Ocean Economy
Matthew Mulrennan, Director of the Ocean Initiative at XPRIZE Foundation

Helping the Siren Find Its Voice
Dune Ives, Executive Director at Lonely Whale Foundation

Changing the Narrative to Solve Climate Change
Q&A with Kevin Whilden, Co-Founder at Sustainable Surf and Eddy Garcia, Living Earth Sytems

Age of Activism: Rise of Brand Citizenship
Jim Moriarty, Director of Brand Citizenship at 72 and Sunny

Global Youth Movement to Stop Plastic Pollution
Katie Allen, Executive Director, Algalita

Getting from Conservation to Commercialization: Creating the Business Case for Ocean Innovation
Ann Carpenter, CEO at Braid Theory

How Political Hardball Can Save The Ocean
Q&A with Fred Keeley, Former California Assembly Member, Dr. David Wilmot, Co-founder at Ocean Champions and Wendy Wendlandt, Political Director at The Public Interest Network

Spark Magic in Your Team, Brand and Cause
John Guastaferro, CFRE

Images from the event can be found here.

For more information about the Rising Tide Summit, click here. Join the conversation #RisingTideSummit.

About Rising Tide Summit

The Rising Tide Summit is a two-day conference created to raise awareness about the state of our ocean and help the ocean conservation community to unite on issues and solutions by bringing together leaders, thinkers and innovators. The summit was founded by Vipe Desai, ocean activist and CEO of HDX Hydration Mix, to strengthen and encourage more collaboration.

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