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World Ocean Summit 2018

March 7, 2018 @ 2:00 pm - March 9, 2018 @ 5:30 pm

World Ocean Summit 2018

The Economist Events’ fifth World Ocean Summit will be held in Mexico, on March 7th to 9th 2018 and will expand into a wider, more ambitious World Ocean Initiative focused on five pillars: sustainable fisheries, pollution, climate change, finance and technology. Their aim is ambitious: to deepen our engagement with the private sector and particularly private capital’s involvement with the ocean. At the World Ocean Summit 2018, you will:

  • Meet with impact investors, decision-makers, government officials, and leaders in environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) who can drive scalable, sustainable investment in the ocean.
  • Define investment frameworks, with the ocean community, for scaling responses in the areas of plastics and pollution, sustainable fisheries and climate change.
  • Build strategic partnerships with the public and private sectors to build sustainable best practices within your organisation, country or industry, and lead change.

What’s new for 2018?

  • An extension of the Word Ocean Summit 2017, deepening on the issue of financing
  • Focus on measurement providing accountability of blue initiatives in the areas of fisheries, pollution and climate change
  • The first business case of the blue economy that drives discussions on investments and growth in the blue economy

Featured speakers include:

  • Luis​ ​Guillermo​ ​Solís,​ ​president,​ ​​Costa​ ​Rica
  • Guðni​ ​​ ​Jóhannesson,​ ​president,​ ​​Iceland
  • Enrique​ ​Peña​ ​Nieto,​ ​president,​ ​​Mexico
  • Erna​ ​Solberg,​ ​prime​ ​minister,​ ​​Norway​ ​​(via​ ​live​ ​video)
  • Tarsicio​ ​Granizo,​ ​minister​ ​of​ ​environment,​ ​​Ecuador
  • Arif​ ​Havas​ ​Oegroseno,​ ​deputy​ ​coordinating​ ​minister​ ​of​ ​maritime​ ​affairs,​ ​​Indonesia
  • Vidar​ ​Helgesen,​ ​minister​ ​of​ ​climate​ ​and​ ​environment,​ ​​Norway
  • Beth​ ​Christensen,​ ​professor​ ​and​ ​director​ ​of​ ​environmental​ ​studies​ ​programme,  Adelphi​ ​University
  • Dagmar​ ​Nelissen,​ ​senior​ ​researcher​ ​and​ ​consultant,​ ​​CE​ ​Delft
  • Geir​ ​Molvik,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​Cermaq
  • Michael​ ​Eckhart,​ ​managing​ ​director​ ​and​ ​global​ ​head​ ​of​ ​environmental​ ​finance,  Citigroup
  • Werner​ ​Hoyer,​ ​president,​ ​​European​ ​Investment​ ​Bank
  • Jonathan​ ​Taylor,​ ​vice-president,​ ​​European​ ​Investment​ ​Bank
  • Matthew​ ​Arnold,​ ​managing​ ​director​ ​and​ ​global​ ​head​ ​of​ ​sustainable​ ​finance,  JPMorgan​ ​Chase​ ​&​ ​
  • Gary​ ​Gysin,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​Liquid​ ​Robotics,​ ​A​ ​Boeing​ ​Company
  • Alf-Helge​ ​Aarskog,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​Marine​ ​Harvest
  • Sylvia​ ​Earle,​ ​president​ ​and​ ​chairman,​ ​​Mission​ ​Blue
  • Claus​ ​Fuglsang,​ ​senior​ ​vice-president,​ ​research​ ​and​ ​technology,​ ​​Novozymes
  • Alexandra​ ​Cousteau,​ ​senior​ ​advisor,​ ​​Oceana
  • Carter​ ​Ries​ ​and​ ​Olivia​ ​Ries,​ ​co-founders,​ ​​One​ ​More​ ​Generation
  • Francisco​ ​Saraiva​ ​Gomes,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​Pontos​ ​Aqua​ ​Holdings
  • Rolando​ ​Morillo,​ ​vice-president,​ ​sustainability​ ​and​ ​impact​ ​group,​ ​​Rockefeller​ ​&​ ​Co
  • Martyn​ ​Parker,​ ​chairman,​ ​global​ ​partnership,​ ​​Swiss​ ​Re
  • Darian​ ​McBain,​ ​global​ ​director​ ​of​ ​sustainable​ ​development,​ ​​Thai​ ​Union
  • Peter​ ​Thomson,​ ​special​ ​envoy​ ​for​ ​the​ ​ocean,​ ​​United​ ​Nations
  • Richard​ ​Branson,​ ​founder,​ ​​Virgin​ ​Group​​ ​(via​ ​live​ ​video)
  • John​ ​Haley,​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​​ ​Willis​ ​Towers​ ​Watson
  • Audrey​ ​Azoulay,​ ​director-general,​ ​​UNESCO  Paula​ ​Caballero,​ ​global​ ​director,​ ​climate​ ​programme,​ ​​World​ ​Resources​ ​Institute
  • Margaret​ ​Leinen,​ ​director,​ ​Scripps​ ​Institution​ ​of​ ​Oceanography,​​ ​University​ ​of  California,​ ​San​ ​Diego
  • Timothy​ ​Gordon​ ​,​ ​marine​ ​biologist,​ ​​University​ ​of​ ​Exeter
  • Ove​ ​Hoegh-Guldberg,​ ​director,​ ​Global​ ​Change​ ​Institute,​​ ​University​ ​of​ ​Queensland
  • Paul​ ​Jardine,​ ​executive​ ​vice-president​ ​and​ ​chief​ ​experience​ ​officer,​ ​​XL​ ​Catlin
  • Roz​ ​Savage,​ ​senior​ ​fellow,​ ​Jackson​ ​Institute​ ​for​ ​Global​ ​Affairs,​ ​​Yale​ ​University
  • Rana​ ​Kapoor,​ ​managing​ ​director​ ​and​ ​chief​ ​executive​ ​officer,​ ​​YES​ ​BANK

For event updates, please follow the Summit on Twitter via @Economist_WOS with the hashtag #OceanSummit


  • Saver rate:US$2,520 (available until February 9th)
  • standard rate: US$2,800

> Register today

> Download brochure

More about the Summit:

The ocean is in trouble. Across the world, humans have effected dramatic change upon the seas. One thing is certain: our current course is unsustainable. Yet the ocean remains a vital resource with the potential to generate enormous economic growth. Balancing human activity with the long-term health of the ocean is essential.

The last year has been a decisive one for the ocean. In June the United Nations held its first conference on the ocean to discuss the implementation of an ocean-specific sustainable development goal. The COP23 climate change meeting presented an opportunity to usher in swifter and more ambitious action than we have seen so far. Companies, governments and individuals have made commitments to the ocean—many of which were unveiled at the World Ocean Summit 2017.

If 2017 was the year of big promises, 2018 must be about delivery. The World Ocean Summit, the most diverse and important global gathering on the ocean, will bring together political leaders and policymakers, heads of global business, scientists, NGOs and multilaterals for a frank and future-oriented discussion on how to turn these pledges into reality. Which initiatives have borne fruit, and which require reassessment? How can government and industry turn pledges into reality?

Since 2012 the World Ocean Summit has sought to focus the sometimes divergent perspectives of business, government and civil society on how we use our troubled seas. In 2018 the World Ocean Summit will expand into a wider, more ambitious World Ocean Initiative. Its vision will be of an ocean in robust health and with a vital economy; its goal to accelerate the transition to sustainable use of the ocean.

Why attend

World Ocean Summit convenes more than 360+ global leaders from government, industry, multilateral organisations, the scientific community and civil society for a constructive and solution-focused dialogue.

Featured topics

  • Sustainable seafood
  • Ocean finance
  • Marine debris
  • Blue economy clusters
  • Ocean governance
  • Technology and the ocean


Questions we’ll answer

  • What will SDG14, which pledges to “conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources,” mean for businesses operating in the ocean?
  • How can government and industry turn pledges on the ocean into reality?
  • How can sustainable investment in the ocean be scaled to the size of the ‘green’ investment market?
  • What role can ‘blue economy’ clusters play in driving progress on the ocean?
  • What new technologies are enabling progress and driving investment in the ocean?
  • What climate-related risks are businesses operating in the ocean exposed to, and how can they manage these risks?
  • Which businesses and industries are having the most success in preserving the ocean environment while improving their profitability? How do they do it?
  • What might a plastic control plan look like?



Enrique Peña Nieto

President, Mexico

Guðni Th. Jóhannesson

President, Iceland

Luis Guillermo Solís

President, Costa Rica

Erna Solberg

Prime minister, Norway

Arif Havas Oegroseno

Deputy minister of the coordinating ministry of maritime affairs, Indonesia

Tarsicio Granizo

Minister of environment, Ecuador

Vidar Helgesen

Minister of climate and environment, Norway

Alf-Helge Aarskog

Chief executive officer, Marine Harvest

Alexandra Cousteau

Senior advisor, Oceana

Audrey Azoulay

Director-general, UNESCO

Beth A Christensen

Director, Environmental Studies Program, Adelphi University

Carter Ries

Co-founder, One More Generation

Claus Fuglsang

Senior vice-president, research and technology, Novozymes

Darian McBain

Global director of sustainable development, Thai Union

Francisco Saraiva Gomes

Chief executive officer, Pontos Aqua Holdings

Gary Gysin

Chief executive officer, Liquid Robotics, A Boeing Company

Geir Molvik

Chief executive officer, Cermaq

John Haley

Chief executive officer, Willis Towers Watson

Margaret Leinen

Director, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego

Matthew Arnold

Managing director and global head of sustainable finance, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

Martyn Parker

Chairman, global partnership, Swiss Re

Michael Eckhart

Managing director and head of environmental finance, power, Citigroup

Olivia Ries

Co-founder, One More Generation

Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

Director, The Global Change Institute, University of Queensland

Paula Caballero

Global director, climate programme, World Resources Institute

Peter Thomson

Special envoy for the ocean, United Nations

Rana Kapoor

Managing director and chief executive officer, YES BANK

Rolando Morillo

Vice-president, sustainability and impact group, Rockefeller & Co

Werner Hoyer

President, European Investment Bank

Jonathan Taylor

Vice-president, European Investment Bank

Julie Katzman

Executive vice-president, Inter-American Development Bank

Roz Savage

Senior fellow, Jackson Institute for Global Affairs, Yale University

Sylvia Earle

President and chairman, Mission Blue

Timothy Gordon

Marine biologist, University of Exeter

Sam Teicher

Founder and chief reef officer, Coral Vita

Dagmar Nelissen

Senior researcher and consultant, CE Delft

Andrew Palmer

Business affairs editor, The Economist

Charles Goddard

Executive director, World Ocean Summit

daniel franklin

Daniel Franklin

Executive editor, The Economist

Jan Pietrowski

Sustainability editor, The Economist

Mike Reid

Columnist and senior editor Latin America and Spain, The Economist

Zanny Minton Beddoes

Editor-in-Chief, The Economist


March 7th
  • 11:00 AM

    Conference registration; networking lounge open


  • 2:00 PM

    Blue economy workshops—by invitation or pre-registration


    • Blue economy finance guidelines
      • According to the WWD, the Blue Economy, or “the economic benefit and value we realize from the Earth’s oceans and coastlines,” is estimated to generate US$2.5 trillion per year from fishing and aquaculture, shipping, tourism, and other activities. But how is this economy best developed and regulated? Join us for a stimulating workshop that assesses the economic risks and impacts associated with the Blue Economy and underscores the importance of establishing a sound investment framework to support the world’s rapidly declining marine resources.
    • CEOs’ guide to saving the oceans
      • The case for protecting our oceans is as much a matter of the environment, as it is of economics. Hear from leading CEOs on how they’re seizing opportunities to improve the ocean’s health, and their bottom line.
    • Blue economy clusters
  • 4:30 PM

    Spotlight on science: Big data, machine learning and the science of being understood

    The latest thinking on the state of the ocean, and the ocean science we can look forward to in 2018 and beyond, including tipping points and planetary boundaries, and the impact of changes in the cryosphere. Big data, machine learning, innovative computational analysis: new tools and methods are helping unlock our understanding of complex ocean systems, potentially transforming ocean science. Sharing and translating these advances, particularly with policymakers, will require creativity too. During the Summit we will highlight exciting new science and technology in our Sizzle sessions.

    Claus Fuglsang

    Senior vice-president, research and technology, Novozymes

    Ove Hoegh-Guldberg

    Director, The Global Change Institute, University of Queensland

  • 6:00 PM

    Opening cocktail reception


  • 8:00 PM

    Moonlight cinema: The Economist Films



Fairmont Mayakoba Riviera Maya is located at Playa del Carmen in Mexico (40mins by car from Cancun airport or 1h30 mins by car from Cozumel International Airport). To book your accommodation at the preferential rate (Basic King and Queen rooms: US$239/night, Deluxe rooms: US$289 and Signature rooms at a rate of US$339/night), simply book online  or contact Riviera Maya directly: +52 (984) 206 3150.

We recommend that you book your accommodation as soon as possible in order to ensure availability.

fairmont-World Ocean Summit 2018

Fairmont Mayakoba

Carretera Federal Cancún-Playa del Carmen Km. 298, 77710 Playa del Carmen, QROO – Cancún-Playa del Carmen, Mexico

Fairmont Mayakoba
Carretera Federal Cancún-Playa del Carmen Km. 298, 77710 Playa del Carmen, QROO – Cancún-Playa del Carmen, Mexico


Gold sponsors
Silver sponsors
the nature conservancy
Bronze sponsor
Exhibitor sponsor
Supporting associations


Tickets and further information

Phone : +44(0) 20 7576 8118 or

+1 212 641 9865

Email us: oceansummit@economist.com


Barrett Bingley

+852 2585 3864


Speaking opportunity

If you would like to submit a speaker for suggestion please send a concise, 100 word pitch, one or two videos of the proposed speaker, a biography and any relevant articles to oceanspeakers@economist.com.

Please note that we receive a large volume of requests for speaking, and will consider each based on suitability for our programme. We may not be able to make a final decision on your speaking role until closer to the event, but will keep your request on file for consideration.



The Economist


Fairmont Mayakoba
Riviera Maya, Callle 5 Sur (Av. Apto.) Mz 29 Lt 3, Planta Alta
Playa del Carmen, Quintana Roo Mexico
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