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Maritime Forum

The Ocean as a global common - connecting generations of stakeholders through storytelling

Youth4Ocean Forum Side event at the UN OCEAN CONFERENCE Lisbon, Portugal | 30 June 2022


The Youth4Ocean Forum will hosted a side event

The Ocean as a global common -

connecting generations of stakeholders through storytelling

at the United Nations OCEAN Conference Scaling up ocean action based on science and innovation for the implementation of Goal 14: stocktaking, partnerships and solutions in Lisbon, Portugal.

The event was held

on 30th June 2022 from 11:30 to 13:00

at the

Institut français du Portugal - French Embassy
Rua Santos-o-Velho 11, Lisbon

It was hosted in collaboration with World Ocean Network, Ocean as Common, Early Career Ocean Professionals (ECOP) Programme of IOC-UNESCO, Surfrider Europe, Institute of Oceanology of Polish Academy of Sciences, Sustainable Ocean Alliance, University of Brest - UBO, European Marine Board, Today We Have, EurOcean, WildTrust, Youth4MPAs and Nausicaa.

We care about what we know, and we care about what affects us emotionally. This all-inclusive side event emphasise the importance of creating one ocean generation connected to the ocean through personal experiences, shared knowledge and storytelling. It encourage a trans-generational dialogue by facilitating communication between different generations of stakeholders with diverse cultural backgrounds, anchored in the concept of having the ocean as a global common and its individual and local impacts shared through story-telling.

This side event aimed to connect stakeholders from different backgrounds, sectors, cultures and generations. We operates an 'All welcome policy'- this was an inclusive workshop and the more diversity among participants the better.

Speakers, young people, and participants shared their perception of the ocean as a common good, the global commons and heritage. Attendees will exchange personal stories about how the ocean benefits them and their communities, alongside a showcase of cultural approaches to ocean management and innovative solutions achieved through trans-generational cooperation. The workshop involved networking and storytelling activities to connect diverse stakeholders and young people from different backgrounds and sectors. It engaged the audience with personal ocean-related stories to find agreements and differences of opinion, activating emotional and collective intelligence to plan future concrete cooperation and innovative solutions for managing, protecting and restoring ocean and coasts through effective trans-generational cooperation.


Moderator: Dr Jack Laverick, University of Strathclyde, UK; Founding Member of Youth4Ocean Forum

  1. Welcome and introduction.
  2. Collecting lived experiences and personal stories. Speakers will share their personal experience using a storytelling technique to illustrate the necessity, the benefits, and the impacts of transgenerational cooperation and how the concept of ocean as the global commons can assemble diverse stakeholders and initiatives.
    • Catherine Chabaud, a journalist, sailor, Member of European Parliament, and founder of Ocean as Common initiative,
    • Sarah-Marie Thomas, Eurocean’s Youth,
    • Rebecca Zitoun, European Marine Board Young Ambassador,
    • Daniela Fernandez or Anne Sophie Roux, Sustainable Ocean Alliance,
    • Tymon Zielinski, Institute of Oceanology of the Polish Academy of Sciences,
    • Elyne Dugeny and Mariana Schiavetti, All Atlantic Ocean Youth Ambassadors and One Ocean University,
    • Nozi Mbongwa, Oceans Alive, Marine Protected Areas,
    • Evgeniia Kostianaia, Early Career Ocean Professionals Programme - IOC-UNESCO.
  3. Collecting lived-experiences - storytelling through one-to-one speed dating. The purpose was to get the audience to exchange their personal stories about the ocean, that have a strong emotive connection. Participants developped a common fresco by sticking key notions on a pre-fabricated poster.
  4. Participant feedback.
  5. Setting next steps. Participants discussed in teams how to bring generations closer and prepare recommendations for better trans-generational cooperation for the sustainability of the ocean. They continued the fresco with their key recommendations and individual pledges towards a global healthy ocean that unifies us all. The fresco was shared on social media.
  6. Conclusions.

The UN Ocean Decade and the SDG14 imply the cooperation of all generations of stakeholders who will work together to ensure a resilient ocean, providing for all marine life and humans, and allowing the well-being of our societies today and in the years to come. The many threats to the ocean demand commitment throughout our entire society, the scaling up of ocean action across generations and continents, and require that young people reach their full potential as soon as possible.

Trans-generational storytelling linked with stocktaking and partnerships. We can’t respond effectively to environmental change under shifting baselines without collecting our lived experiences overtime (stocktaking) and connecting present and future generations. Have you ever gone back to a city you used to live in after 5 or 10 years away? You can often feel like a stranger somewhere you used to know so well. The same thing is true for our beaches, reefs, and oceans. What do we want them to look like in 50 years?